Raspberry Thumbprint Scones

Can we talk about these scones for real? They are ridiculous in the best possible way. The dough, oh that dough. It crumbles in your mouth but doesn’t fall apart on your plate. It’s graced with flaky salty morsels while remaining sweet. It’s even good enough to be devoured on its own sans jam. But who are we kidding? Of course we’re going to put jam on it.

Scones

I generally try to avoid recipes that call for obscure ingredients. And by obscure, I mean anything not typically found in my pantry. Almond what? Coca-who? These intimidating ingredients usually lead to depleting my baking budget while filling my shelves with items I won’t use again. However, for this recipe I put on my big girl pants and ventured down the path of the unknown. The outcome was these delicious Raspberry Thumbprint Scones.

Okay, so almond meal and buttermilk might not be the most obscure foods out there, but they don’t typically find their way into my kitchen. Turns out tracking them down wasn’t half as hard as I thought it was going to be.

I was able to purchase almond meal from the bulk bins at my local grocery store, which allowed me to cut costs and only buy the amount the recipe required. As for buttermilk, I chose to use an easy at-home substitute. Mix 1 tbsp of white vinegar with 1 cup of milk; let rest for 3-5 minutes and voila! You can now scratch buttermilk off your list. Although it’s not as flavorful as true buttermilk, I love this trick because I use what the recipe calls for and am left with regular milk (a baking staple!).

When whipping up these scones, store bought jam will do just fine. The magic comes in baking the scones. As the dough bakes, the jam begins to break down and comes out thicker and seemingly gooier than before. I opted for raspberry but you can use any flavor jam or preserves your heart desires.

Now do yourself a favor and head on over to Butter and Brioche for the complete mouth watering recipe.

Peach Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake

I’ve cast caution to the blazing hot wind this summer and have continued to bake in the relentless heat. Turning my apartment into a sauna seemed like a good idea at first. You know, save on those expensive trips to the spa (you’re welcome roomie). I’ve even tried embracing my inner night owl, waiting to bake until the sun to goes down and the cool temps make an appearance. This recipe is the result of one of those endeavors.

I had just finished a bowl of popcorn, a movie was streaming in the background, and I was finding my second wind. I was heading to a friend’s for brunch the next morning and knew this would be the perfect item to bring. Behold, I give you the Peach Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake.

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Okay, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but you are going to love every bit of this moist, tangy sweet cake. Slices of peaches adorned with juicy blueberries layer every bite; you almost forget that you’re eating cake for breakfast.

The fruity colors of orange, red, and blue scream summer to me and awaken memories of sunrises dancing on lakes or early morning rays glimmering through your tent. If the vibrant colors aren’t enough to draw you in, hopefully the simple ingredient list will do the trick. The components of the cake are probably already in your kitchen; since I have a bag of berries that live in my fridge year round, the only ingredients I had to go out and grab were the greek yogurt (I opted for a single serve 8 oz container) and the peaches. Once you’ve gathered these items, follow the two step mixing process of wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients; pour the cake batter into your greased pan and decorate with sliced peaches and blueberries. Voila! You’ve just prepared a crowd pleasing, eye catching breakfast staple. Really, it’s that easy.

Head on over to Julia’s Album for the complete recipe.

Blackberry Almond Cake

Summer is in the air, like 90 degrees in the air. I’d like to tell you this post is about me trying out creative recipes that don’t require baking in an oven. But, alas, I’m a sucker for freshly baked goodies. . . even in the hottest of summer months. . . in an apartment with no A/C. So with windows open, the whispers of a breeze flowing in, and the steady whir of fans in the background, I set out to bake this Blackberry Almond Cake.

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I love this recipe for a couple of reasons:

  1. Incredibly approachable ingredients. This moist cake only calls for eleven items; the majority of which are are probably already in your kitchen.
  2. Prep time is a breeze. There’s no waiting, sifting, or rising involved with this cake; simply mix the ingredients, pour into a pan, and then pop it into the oven. What’s not to love about that?
  3. Berries. Berries. Berries. This cake will be amazing with any berry of your choosing; I opted for blackberries like the original recipe called for, but you can easily adjust depending on what’s in season or your personal preference. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, a berry medley …. need I go on?

The sweetness of this cake is subtle, which makes it perfect for breakfast (or really any time of day). The flavor ride starts with the spongy, moist cake slowly melting in your mouth and continues on to bursts of fresh, juicy berries, and gems of crystallized sugar. Finally, there’s the crunch of perfectly toasted almonds that adorn the top. My mouth is already watering…

For the complete recipe, head over to Seasons & Suppers.

Triple Berry Scones

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee, and a freshly baked pastry. Okay, to be fair, it’s usually multiple cups of coffee and more than one pastry, but I do stick with one book. It had been a while since I was able to indulge in this relaxing pastime, and I was experiencing serious cravings for a scone. Luckily, my weekend schedule was pretty light and the weather outside was overcast and rainy. It was the ideal time to commit to staying in and testing out a new scone recipe.

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I’ve only dabbled with making scones a few times in the past, and they sadly produced less than stellar results. This was is it though. I could feel it. Today was going to be the day I conquered the scone.

To me, the perfect scone, is soft and slightly crumbly on the inside, yet firm and crisp on the outside. Extra points go to the ones that are dusted in crystallized sugar. And, of course, berries. ALL the berries.

As I set off to make these scones (recipe via Pretty. Simple. Sweet), I was having a hard time picking just one type of berry to use. So naturally, I decided to use all of them. The mix I chose included blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You can find frozen mixed berries at your local grocery store or, if you prefer, you can opt to use a single type of berry.

Pretty. Simple. Sweet’s recipe delivers on exactly the kind of scone I was craving. The use of heavy cream in the dough produces a pastry that is rich yet balanced. The extra sugar on top adds sweetness which is cut by the zest of the lemon and the juice of the berries.

I have a feeling this recipe will be getting a lot of use in my kitchen…

Oversized Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lazy days are something I rarely grant myself the freedom to enjoy. But after weeks of busyness and a schedule that has me running from place to place, sometimes a lazy morning is exactly what’s needed. And what better way to indulge in a day off than to enjoy freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

cinnamon rolls

When it comes to these morning pastries, the phrase Go Big or Go Home comes to mind, well kind of. I mean, I’m already home, and I’m going big too. So. There.

…. have I mentioned these cinnamon rolls are oversized?

Not only are these cinnamon rolls oversized, they are swirled with intricate layers of cinnamon and topped with a well balanced creamy, sweet frosting. One of my favorite things about these rolls is that they can be prepared the night before. You can even slip out of bed half awake in the morning to let them finish rising. As the smell of cinnamon wafts through your house, you’ll have enough time to brew a pot of coffee and prepare the decadent frosting. When it comes time to layer on the frosting, don’t be shy; it’s part of what makes these treats so special.

Once the rolls finish baking and you’ve adorned them with frosting, grab a cup of coffee and head back to bed to enjoy the warmth of your covers and a good book.

To treat yourself to these cinnamon rolls, head on over to Lovely Little Kitchen for the recipe. If you want to make these rolls oversized, like I did, simply cut the dough into 8 sections instead of 12. For an extra punch of cinnamon, I also added 4 tablespoons to the filling instead of the recommended 2-3.

Nutella Cinnamon Sticks

What do you get when you mix Nutella, cinnamon, and sugar? A recipe that has lovingly been dubbed Sugar Sticks.

photo (8)Last weekend, I set out to make an updated version of the cinnamon roll; one that would be oozing with gooey chocolate hazelnut goodness and drizzled with a layer of sweet, cream cheese frosting. Sounds pretty good, right?

Well . . . things didn’t quite go as planned, and sometimes you just need to roll with the Nutella slathered dough that’s lying in front of you.

I blame the pounds of hazelnut spread layered on this moist dough that resulted in a cinnamon roll refusing to roll. Okay, blame might be too strong of a word; I can’t say I was mad about the amount of chocolate and sugar I was about to consume. But seeing as round cinnamon rolls were no longer in my future, I quickly switched gears and decided to bake this in a log shape instead of the typical cinnamon roll form. Once it came out of the oven, I still drizzled it with the rich cream cheese frosting and cut it into perfectly dunkable sticks. Since this treat is so sweet, it pairs perfectly with coffee or a glass of milk. Enjoy!

Nutella Cinnamon Filling:

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1 cup Nutella (I melted mine slightly so it was easier to spread)

Dough:

  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 Tbs butter, melted, divided
  • 2 Tbs butter, softened

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 Tbs butter, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Begin by preheating the oven to 425ºF. Next, prepare the cinnamon sugar filling by combining sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a fork until well combined, set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Separately mix the buttermilk, regular milk and 2 tbs melted butter. Once combined, add the wet mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined, then knead with your hands for about 30 seconds. Be sure to flour your hands first as the dough will be very sticky.

Once you’ve finished kneading, you’re ready to roll out the dough. On a lightly floured surface, use hands to press dough into a 12×10 inch rectangle. Coat the dough with Nutella leaving about ½ inch of space around the edges. Next sprinkle the dough with cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting with the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough to the opposite end. Roll the dough back and forth to shape it evenly into a log shape. Pinch the ends together and cut off any excess dough. Transfer dough to a non-stick cookie sheet and brush the top with 2 tbs melted butter. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes. Once the top begins to turn golden, cover the roll with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

While the roll is baking, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, beat softened butter and cream cheese until light and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix until well combined. When the roll is finished baking, allow to cool 5-10 minutes before drizzling on the frosting. Next, cut the log into 1 inch thick slices (similar to a biscotti). Store in airtight container for 2 days or serve immediately. Enjoy!

Triple Berry Bread Pudding with Baked Doughnuts and Vanilla Glaze

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And, when life gives you over baked mini doughnuts that look more like muffins than doughnuts, make bread pudding! Okay, so maybe the second saying isn’t going to catch on, but it is the inspiration behind this recipe.

good_IMG_1564editWhile attempting to make baked buttermilk doughnuts, something went wrong, like really wrong. I should have known better than to bake during the middle of the day when it’s over 90ºF outside and there’s no A/C, but one thing led to another and I suddenly found myself with flour on my hands and doughnuts in the oven.

Everything seemed to be going well, other than the fact that due to the heat the dough had barely risen and was far too sticky. Oh what’s that you say? That should have been a warning sign. I know, I know. But my craving for doughnuts outweighed my common sense, and I decided to try and bake these bad boys anyway. The at first adorable mini doughnuts quickly morphed into overgrown muffin wannabes that had no right to even look at another doughnut. Hmph. As I scanned the nearly 3 dozen “doughnuts” that now lined my counter, I knew I had to do something with them.

Think. Think. Think

Aha! Bread Pudding to the rescue. But not just anyway bread pudding, triple berry baked doughnut bread pudding with vanilla glaze. Now we’re talkin’. 

I decided to substitute berries for the traditional raisins because 1. berries are just better 2. I was out of raisins 3. berries. If you want to be a weirdo and use raisins, go for it. But I’m warning you, it won’t be the same. And, if you don’t have a surplus of baked doughnuts lying around, you can make this with day old bread; I recommend sourdough.

Alright friends, get ready to test your self-control, here’s the recipe:

Bread Pudding
Doughnuts or sourdough bread, cubed/broken (enough to fill the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar will also work)
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 and ½ cups mixed berries, frozen or fresh (I used, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar (light also works)
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions

Begin by preheating the oven to 350ºF and spraying a 9×12 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; fill the prepared pan with cubed doughnuts or bread. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugars, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Next add in the heavy whipping cream, milk, and eggs. Whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread in prepared pan; use your hands or a spoon to make make sure all the doughnuts/bread are covered with the milk mixture. Finally, sprinkle the doughnuts with mixed berries and again stir to make sure berries are evenly incorporated. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is springy and the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Check the bread after 20 minutes; if the top is becoming too golden brown, cover with foil for the remaining time.

While the bread pudding is baking, you can prepare the vanilla glaze. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients excluding the vanilla. Continually whisk ingredients until the sauce thickens and could coat the back of a spoon. This should take between 5-7 minutes. Once this consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Sauce can be drizzled over warm bread pudding or served on the side.