Tag Archives: Baked Goods

Raspberry Scones

19 Oct

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I was always a bit hesitant about scones. They seemed like muffins’ dry and boring cousin. But that was until I met Luke, a man obsessed with scones. So I actually began ordering scones in restaurants and cafes and found that when done right, they can be AMAZING! My favorites were ones where there was fruit involved, blueberries or strawberries. And I figured, that it couldn’t be too hard to try to make some…

You know how when you get a new cookbook, there are just some recipes that jump out at you and you KNOW you have to try it?! Regardless of the time or the steps, sometimes the picture or the name of a recipe jumps out of the cookbook to me. I know which recipes these were for each of the dozen cookbooks I own (an example, Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts from Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy is That? cookbook). One of these such experiences was with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (another fairly new favorite cookbook of mine, from the blog Smitten Kitchen) and her recipe for Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones.

I now had the perfect reason to make scones: I finally came to the conclusion these could be delicious, I could feed my husband a good portion of them (and earn some brownie points, perhaps) AND I had a great recipe to start from.

I made these the first time last Christmas, following the recipe to a ‘T’ from the cookbook. I loved them and thought they turned out incredibly moist and delicious. However, I wanted to make them again and put my own spin on them. Particularly, I wanted to experiment with using something instead of ricotta, as I don’t normally have that just ‘hanging out’ in my fridge.

So, this is my own spin on the recipe from Deb’s cookbook. I think the original recipe is great and highly encourage you guys to pick up her cookbook, flip to page 15 and give it a go. You can also try my twist on it below and see what you think!

I didn’t have whole-wheat flour on hand and used cottage cheese instead of ricotta, so the texture and taste of mine is slightly different. I personally loved the twist and will continue to make them this way in the future, especially as it means I likely could decide to make these and have everything I need on hand and not require any grocery store trips. However, making them with the original recipe gives more texture and makes them a bit thicker, due to the ricotta mixture. So it’s up to you!

Ready for scone-making? Here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1 c. fresh raspberries (or insert in another fruit you want to use, blueberries or strawberries could be great!)
  • 3/4 c. skim milk cottage cheese
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream

How to Make:

First things first, preheat your oven (which I always seem to forget to do) to 425. Next, prep your baking sheet by lining it with a big sheet of parchment paper. My parchment paper loves to just roll itself back up in a ball so I set a drinking glass on each end to help keep it in place. Genius move, I know.

Next up: dry ingredients. Measure out the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and whisk it all up together in a medium-sized bowl.

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Now, butter time. Grab your butter directly from the fridge when you’re ready for this step. Chop it up into little cubes and then drop those directly into your bowl of dry ingredients. As I lacked a pastry blender, I went with the finger-mixing method. Gently work the butter into the dry ingredients until the large butter pieces start to become little pea-size guys. The butter should be mixed in enough that the dry ingredients just look a bit more like a sandy mixture, kind of with a breadcrumb consistency.

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With whichever fruit you decided to use, throw it on a cutting board and chop it up a bit. Strawberries you’d want to definitely chop down into smaller pieces but blueberries and raspberries can just get a quick rough chop and be all set. Once you’re done chopping, throw the fruit into the dry ingredients.

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Last, but certainly not least, measure out and throw in the cottage cheese and the heavy cream. Stir everything together gently, ensuring all the dry ingredients are exposed to the wet ingredients, soaking up all the dairy goodness.

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Once it all starts to come together and look like dough, pour out the batter on to a floured surface (cutting boards work well for this). Get your hands good and floured up too, as this is a sticky dough and it loves to hang out on your hands. Add some flour to the top of the dough and work it into a square that’s about an inch high. Now, cut the square into 9 smaller squares and transfer each square to your parchment-lined baking sheet.

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Bake ’em for 15 minutes or until the tops are just starting to golden up.

Sigh, they look and smell SO tasty, right?! Cool them for a few minutes in the pan, then move them to a wire cooling rack to fully cool.

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These are SUPER good when they’re still warm but they keep well in a Ziploc for a few days too. We loved having them on the counter to allow both of us to grab a quick breakfast on-the-go. They were also great for a snack or a little dessert at the end of the day. To be perfectly honest, they don’t last long on our counter as we both gobble them up pretty quick. I don’t even feel guilty about that, they’re so tasty and wonderful that we just can’t help ourselves.

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These got a big thumbs up from my husband, the scone-lover and I think you guys will REALLY love them too.

Highly encourage you guys to try these out and leave me a comment about how they go!

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

6 Mar

So, I preface this post with this – I’m not a great baker. I for some reason have more success with the ‘cooking’ end than the ‘baking’ end of culinary abilities. Nonetheless, I’m determined to change that! I’ve dabbled in cakes and cookies but one thing I want, no DESIRE to become good at is bread making. Maybe it’s the kneading thing or that it’s just fun to watch rise. Or that it smells divine when it’s baking. I even loved play-doh as a kid (ask my mom!) and I think it’s all about me, deep down, wanting to be a master of bread.

Ok, that’s a bit extreme. Either way, I’m trying to attempt some variations of breads to see what I like, what’s fun to make etc. This past weekend, while I had the lasagna simmering on the stove, I attempted to make Rosemary bread. I found this recipe on pinterest.com which took me to the recipe I used on a great blog: A Hint of Honey. I can’t wait to peruse the blog for other tasty recipes!

This was a great bread recipe for a newbie like me – not a lot of steps but still kneading fun involved. 🙂 I modified the recipe a bit, but see A Hint of Honey for the original recipe and other delicious ideas.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (not scalding hot but fairly warm)
  • 1 Tbsp. cane sugar
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast (if you’re like me and get the packets, you’ll have a bit left over, 1/4 tsp to be exact)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped or 2 tsp. dried (I only had dried, but LOVE rosemary and decided to use 2 Tbsp anyway. Up to you!)
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil) (I went with her suggested concoction and it turned out great, as an FYI)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used normal whole wheat flour, again, up to you!)
  • 1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
  • 1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
  • dried rosemary, for sprinkling

How to Make:

In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. To a new bread maker, this process allows the yeast to ‘proof’. For those that know all about breads, I’m sorry I didn’t know about this term. I’m now more educated.

Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. I didn’t mix it all the way in, just enough to have the flour and liquid start to mix together. Then, add in the bread flour and stir until it starts to come together. Mine came together in many little balls but it’s supposed to come together in one larger ball. Either way, now it’s time for FUN! Let’s knead…

Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes. Yes, I know, you want to knead for 10 minutes. I too had to cut myself off from kneading. You’ll survive. If the dough becomes sticky, add in more flour to the dough or your heads, or both! It shouldn’t be sticky, but smooth when you’re all done.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover (I used a clean kitchen towel for this); and let rise until (about) doubled in size. This step takes about an hour. If you’re making the lovely lasagna from my post a few days ago, this gives you time to continue work on that. Or drink a glass of wine. Or watch some Netflix. I may have done all three.

Now, more kneading fun, well, just punching. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. I  then placed my load on a pizza pan sprinkled with bread flour. The original recipe also states you can place the dough on a flour dusted pizza peel or parchment paper. Whatever is in your kitchen should be able to work. Again, cover that baby up and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes this time around

At this time, hopefully your lasagna (or other items in the oven, if there are any) are out and you can turn the head to 400 F. The recipe suggests to preheat and bake on a pizza stone, an item lacking in my kitchen. I simply warmed up my pizza pan (moved the dough to a new, floured spot while this preheat was happening.) Once the dough has risen, brush that baby with the egg wash and with a hearty helping of dried rosemary.

Bake on preheated stone (or for those with less cooking items at their fingertips, a preheated pizza pan) for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. I did not tap mine, but it was golden brown and looked/tasted done to me.

This recipe makes one, lovely, round load of glorious smelling bread. It also goes FABULOUSLY with lasagna. Just saying.

Enjoy!

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