Monday, November 24, 2014

Prince Charming Scones!

Recently a friend of mine asked me to bake some scones (you know, like 70 or 80!) for her to give as holiday gifts to her friends :)  She knows that I really like baking and hope to someday open something like a bakery or baked goods business (click here for my site: Fairytale Baked Goods!).  She loves my scones and wants her friends to love them too so they will order too!  What a great friend, right?!  So her challenge to me: make some kind of coffee, chocolate, and nut scone.  I tried out something today the scones came out great.  Introducing: Prince Charming scones: coffee, chocolate chips, and walnut scones topped with a crunchy sugar crust!  Hey, something with coffee and chocolate sounds like a prince to me (especially early in the morning)!  Below is my recipe if you want to make your own Prince Charmings ;)  

Prince Charming Scones!
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder (Toll House is my fave)
1 Tablespoon of instant coffee (you know, the stuff people stir into hot water)
6 Tablespoons of salter butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk 
1 egg
2 teaspoons of coffee extract (don't be fancy, I got the store brand)
2/3 cups of mini chocolate chips
2/3 cups of chopped walnuts

2-3 Tablespoons of heavy cream
1/4 cup of white sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Foil a pan, lightly spray it with cooking spray, and set it aside.
Mix the heavy cream, milk, egg, and extract in a cup, and put it in the fridge.  Stir with a fork the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and instant coffee.  Cut the butter into dime size pieces and put them into the flour mix.  Use 2 knives, a fork, or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mix until you get mostly pea-size pieces of butter in the flour.  Dump in the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir until evenly dispersed. Pour in the cream mixture and stir with a fork until you have a loose dough (don't over mix).  Carefully pour out the dough onto a surface (I use a floured cutting board) and do your best to form it into a ball.  Fold the dough, bring it back together, and repeat a few times.  Then, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.  Shape both pieces into round disks about an 1-1/2 thick.  Then cut each disk in half and each half into 4 wedges.  Place the wedges on your foiled and sprayed pan and brush each wedge with cream.  Sprinkle each wedge well with sugar.  Bake for about 16 minutes, cool, and enjoy!  :)  

Note: I usually freeze my scones and take one out as I want one...or two.  For reheating, defrost in the microwave for 1 minute until soft (not too warm) and toast in the toaster oven or regular oven at 350 for 3-4 minutes.  If you're like my mom who tells me that cooking/baking gives her a rash (LOL), just nuke a frozen scone for 30 seconds in the microwave ;) 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Favorite Biscuits!

A good biscuit recipe is hard to find!  I've made different kinds of biscuits using various recipes, but I always come back to the one below (adapted from Dishing the Divine's recipe).  The biscuits come out flaky, buttery, and magical (because they disappear almost immediately!) Har har ;-)

Favorite Biscuits! 
Note: I use a food processor for this recipe, but if you don't have one you can use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut in the butter to the flour mix, and then a spoon to mix in the buttermilk. 


-1 stick of cold, salted butter
-2 cups of all purpose flour
-2 teaspoons of baking power
-1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-A smidgen less than 1 Tablespoon of white sugar (so close to 3/4)
-3/4 cup of buttermilk (use buttermilk from the store or "made buttermilk" made by adding 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes.  Save or discard the extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk after using the 3/4 cup for this recipe.) 
-2 Tablespoons of half and half or cream to brush the tops of the biscuits before they go in the oven.  

Prep work:
-Cut up 1 stick of cold, salted butter into half inch pieces on a plate and put them in the freezer for a few minutes to super chill them.
-Preheat your oven to 450 (you will drop it down to 425 once you put your biscuits in).  
-Place foil on a baking sheet and spray it with a little non-stick spray.

Directions: In a food processor, put in the flour, powder, salt, soda, and sugar and pulse a few times 'till you think it's all been combined.  Put in your butter pieces and pulse 'till they look like rough crumbs (not too small because you're going to keep processing it).  Next pour in the buttermilk and pulse until the dough just starts to form a mass in the processor.  Empty out the rough dough mass onto a lightly floured surface, form one piece of dough with your hands, roll it out with a rolling pin a little bit, and sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour.  Next you're going to fold your dough a few times, roll it out, fold it up again, roll it out again, and fold & roll one last time.  The last roll out should leave your dough about a 1/2 inch thick (this creates those yummy layers as it bakes later).

So at this point, get out your biscuit cutter (or use just use a wine glass like I do!) and go to work cutting out your "first cut" of biscuits (don't twist on your way down, just push straight down.  The twisting seals the dough and prevents some of those layers).  Your "first cut" refers to all your initial dough before it's been re-rolled and re-cut (second cut).  Place your first cut of biscuits on your cookie sheet and then gently and quickly reform a biscuit dough mass with the remaining dough.  Roll it out and lightly flour if needed.  Make your second cut and place those on the cookie sheet.  If you are like me and want to use all the dough possible, go ahead and do a third cut (those are usually my 'tasting biscuits' because they don't end up as pretty as the first & second cuts).  The biscuits in the top row in the photo below are the second & third cuts:

After all the biscuits are on your cookie sheet, brush the tops with those 2 Tablespoons of half and half or cream (this helps to make a nice, creamy crust on top).  Then, place your biscuits on the middle rack in your oven, turn the temp down to 425 and bake for 12-13 minutes until you get the color you want.  The temp drop helps the biscuits puff up.  

After they've finished baking, take them out, and immediately place them on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.  Then... enjoy!   

Yum!  I hope you love these as much as we do! :)