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.

Advertisements

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.

FullSizeRender

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.

FullSizeRender

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…

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!

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.