Tag Archives: baking

Cream Scones: simple pleasures

I love Saturday mornings.  The weekend stretches out ahead of us with so much possibility, the pace is slow and most of the house is still asleep.  I make my way downstairs to make a pot of coffee and mix up some scones.  With the most basic of ingredients and about 15 or 20 minutes I have a warm, delicious batch.  The simplicity of cream scones appeals to me some now.  Basically just some flour, butter and cream.  I like to stir up a little powdered sugar and the juice of an orange for a super-simple glaze as the finishing touch.

With all of the hustle and bustle of the week, baking something sort of grounds me and slows me down.  Perfect for a Saturday morning.  Try it!

 

This recipe is from one of my favorite sources: America’s Test Kitchen.

Cream Scones

  • Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 3 T sugar, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 5 T butter, 1 cup cream

 

  1. Put all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse it 3 times.
  2. Sprinkle chunks of the butter over the floor and pulse about 10 more times – will look a little like sand
  3. Pour into a bowl, add cream and stir together for about 30 seconds
  4. Turn onto a floured surface, knead about 5 times and shape into a disc.  Cut the circle into 8 wedges
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-14 minutes – basically bake til golden on top.
  6. Totally optional – For a little glaze, just mix a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and add a drizzle of juice (I squeezed a tangerine into the sugar this morning.)  Super simple glaze to drizzle over your warm scones.  So good!

 

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Tackling Sugar Pumpkins

They look so darn cute, that for years I just bought them as decorations.   Somehow I think some of you might have done the same??  But this year I decided to try to roast them and use fresh pumpkin instead of canned for our pumpkin bread.  And as a little bonus, we made some toasted pumpkin seeds to boot!  So I recruited Justin to help me.

Now I will admit – the skin of these little sugar pumpkins were stubborn!  But once we got past the first step, it was easy sailing.  And I’m excited to see how my pumpkin bread recipe will be different from fresh pumpkin – fingers crossed on that.

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Our first sugar pumpkin – from Farm Chicks Produce CSA.

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Justin was ready to help remove the stem and cut the pumpkin in half … til we realized that it seemed to be made of titanium and would require a little more elbow grease than he had.

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So first we removed the step and top section of the pumkin

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Then we cut it in half and scoped the seeds and fleshy center into a bowl – for toasted pumpkin seeds later.  Definitely save the seeds!

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We placed in a 350 degree oven, covered in foil, and roasted for about an hour.  Depends on the size of your pumpkin.  You know its ready when the pumpkin flesh can be scooped with a spoon or fork.  (the instructions I used online said the skin would be very soft now – mine was not, but the pumpkin was still soft and ready.)

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Ta-da!  Freshly roasted sugar pumpkin.  You can then use it in recipes … pumpkin bread for breakfast tomorrow.

Now for a little bonus, we whipped up the toasted pumpkin seeds.  Justin made these – though he thought it was pretty gross to have to separate the seeds from the stringy pulp in the center.  I think he washed his hands 10 times during this part 🙂  All you do is:

(1) separate the seeds from the stringy, fleshy center

(2) rinse in a colander and drip dry (don’t use a paper towel – the seeds will stick)

(3) place the seeds on a greased cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and spices (we did garlic olive oil and several herbs … so many possibilities.)

(4) bake in the same oven as the pumpkin you are roasting, but only for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

(5) yum!

Our Favorite Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies

These cookies are definitely one of our perennial favorites – and super easy to make.  Great to make with the kids.  They love rolling the warm cookies in powdered sugar!  Hope you try them,  and enjoy.  Bon appetit!

Ingredients

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at
    room temperature
  • 1/2  cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Plus: extra confectioners sugar for covering the cookies
  • Optional: 1 cup ground almonds, or chopped walnuts or no nuts (delicious no matter which way)

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the vanilla and salt, and beat until blended.

Sift together the flour and cinnamon, and add to the butter mixture.  Mix with a wooden spoon and add nuts if you are using them.

The dough will be a little sticky, so cool in the refrigerator for about 15 minute.  While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets.

Bake until the cookies are just golden on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes (it’s normal for them not to all be golden on top.)  Cool the cookies for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies one at a time and roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. Let the cookies cool completely on wire racks. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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