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.

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.

Double Crumb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Dear Mr. Coffee Cake.

Oh, coffee cake. I’m not sure how we got off on the wrong foot. But somehow, we just don’t seem to see eye to eye. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with you. In fact, you’re sweet, comforting, and pack a welcome punch of cinnamon flavor. You even have multiple textures, which I adore. But somehow, you never quite make it to the top of my “I want to bake you” list. You always seem to be overlooked and quickly pushed aside when other flashier desserts come along.

coffeecake_editMy roommate, though, she never underestimates you. I often ask her what she thinks I should bake, and she always brings you up. I told her for weeks that I would bake you, but every time I had the baking itch (which we know is often), you never made the cut. Finally, enough was enough. I couldn’t put it off any longer. You and I needed to try and reconcile our differences.

And so, I searched and searched, and finally settled on this Double Crumb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake recipe (because who only wants to settle for a single crumb coffee cake? Not me). And, I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised. You had so much dimension: ribbons of cinnamon, layers of brown sugar, moist cake, hints of nuttiness, and a sweet gooey vanilla glaze.

Coffee cake, I have to apologize for before. From now on, you’re alright in my book.

Baked Doughnuts with Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze

Doughnuts and I? Oh, ya. We go way back. I guess you could call us childhood friends. Growing up, doughnuts were my family’s post-church, Sunday morning treat. I especially loved going to the store to help pick out which doughnuts we’d bring home. I’m not sure if it was a premature sugar rush or simply the flood of bright colors and endless options that added to the excitement; either way, I was one happy camper. I mean, it’s every kid’s dream to basically eat sugar for breakfast, right?

Confession: it’s still my dream, I just pair it with coffee to make it seem acceptable.

This leads us to today’s tasty treats, baked doughnuts with strawberry rhubarb glaze sprinkled with poppy seeds.

doughnutsWhile walking through the store the other day, stalks of rhubarb caught my eye. I haven’t experimented very much with this vegetable, but it seemed to be calling to me. Buy me! Buy me! I couldn’t resist their call, and my mind quickly started running through potential baking ideas. I came across this recipe from Adventures in Cooking and knew it would be a winner. The glaze balances sweet and tangy and complements the subtle flavors of the dough perfectly. Since I only had a mini doughnut pan (turns out regular ones are hard to find!), I decided to alter the dough recipe for one that would cook better in the pans and also be more cake like. The result was exactly what I was looking for…. breakfast bliss, not to mention they’re mini and adorable. Enjoy!
Mini Doughnuts
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks
½ buttermilk
 

Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup strawberries, cut in halves
½ cup chopped rhubarb
¼ cup cream
2 heaping tablespoons white chocolate
¾ cup confectioners sugar
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray mini-doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prep the dry ingredients by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the egg and yolks one at a time. Once combined, alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  4. Fill a pastry bag (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut off) with the batter and fill the doughnut pans about halfway full. You can experiment with the filling ratio depending on how plump you want the doughnuts to be, but the ideal amount is about 1 ½ teaspoons.
  5. Place pans in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes until the doughnuts are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Once the doughnuts are done baking, you can prepare the glaze. You’ll need to bake the strawberry and rhubarb so don’t turn off your oven just yet!
  7. The complete glaze recipe and helpful step by step instructions can be found on Adventures in Cooking’s website
  8. Once doughnuts have cooled and the glaze is complete, dip doughnuts in the glaze and then sprinkle with poppy seeds

Blueberry Danish with Vanilla Glaze

When you hear the word danish, your mind probably goes to a long white box filled with an overly sweet pastry and ingredients you can’t pronounce. I know that’s what I think of. Well friends, it’s time to throw this idea out the window. But seriously, if that’s what’s sitting on your counter, go ahead and just throw it out. This danish recipe is going to blow your mind…. and your taste buds.

IMG_1294What’s that you say, you’re not a fan of soft, flaky pastry filled with the sweet, sweet goodness of fresh fruit drizzled with the perfectly balanced vanilla glaze? Stop. Just stop. Are you even human? I too would like to say I can resist this baked treat…. wait, who am I kidding. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to say that. I love me some danish. I may or may not have eaten an entire one of these danish braids by myself. I mean, it has fruit in the middle, that’s totally acceptable, right?

Now that you’re mouth is watering, and you’re picturing yourself eating this danish with perfect self control while sipping your morning coffee (good luck with that!), you’re ready for the recipe. My thanks go out to Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She offers great step by step pictures and helpful tips along the way. Do yourself a favor and go check out this recipe.

Since I had a surplus of fresh blueberries on hand, (I know. Life is hard) and because blueberries are delicious, I opted to change the filling from raspberry to blueberry; you can use whatever berry you like but the temperature and boiling time may vary. I also added slivered almonds to the top before popping the completed braid into the oven, because why not? See below for the blueberry filling variation.

Blueberry Filling:

  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and allow the blueberries to break down, about 5-6 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. You can also keep it chilled in the refrigerator or if you’re impatient like me you can pop it into the freezer for a hot second (aka several minutes, you don’t actually want it to freeze).