Posts Tagged With: breakfast

Chocolate Chunk Scones with Raspberry Swirl

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7:30am.  The alarm goes off.  “BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP” followed by “bebebeBEEP bebebeBEEP bebebeBEEP bebebebebebeBEEEEEEP” and then the humming of my roommate’s generic iphone guitar strum and then, finally my little dumbphone’s contribution to the matinal symphony: BUZZZZZ…BUZZZZZ…BUZZZZZ….(love meeeee, says the Envy2 LOVE MEEEEEEE).  Banging these devices any number of times, I open my eyes and proceed to poke the top mattress of our bunk bed. “wakey wakeyyy meowww…” poke poke poke.

Roommate is not nearly as amused by the morning cacophony as I am.  I’m greeted with a groan. “Noooooooooo” goes the grumpy cat.

Mornings are rough.

As she finally scrambled down from her perch on high, I began the process of getting up out of bed and making the most exciting decision of the morning: breakfast !

It’s Saturday and I don’t want cereal.  Or a bagel.  Toast is a definite no.  Don’t even think about oatmeal.  Definitely not having yogurt.

I want a real, old-time, well-prepared, rejoice-in-the-fact-it’s-Saturday breakfast. That means baked goods AND, upon examining the dwindling supply of groceries…something creative.  I saw chocolate chunks.  I saw baking goods.  I had some raspberry jam in the fridge.  Put it all together and…scones had to be the answer.  After a little googling, I settled on this recipe from The Joy of Baking, one of my favorite baking websites.  I’ve added some spices and substituted jam for fresh berries (the grand scheme all along, of course), but the recipe is mostly intact and, after having devoured two in rapid succession, provides a delicious breakfast dish.  I paired it with some cheesy grits and a fried egg, but all the loving these scones need is a cup of something warm and an open weekend morning…that doesn’t need to begin as early as mine did.  Happy nibbling !

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (if using salted butter, skip added salt)
6 tbsp butter, cold and chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (more are fine 🙂 )
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
4 tbsp raspberry jam
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

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In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices and stir to incorporate.  I really enjoy cinnamon and nutmeg with flavors like chocolate, but adding these is not obligatory in any fashion.

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Add the cold butter to the flour.  Using a pastry blender (or your hands – either works fine), work the butter into the flour.  This will take a little bit of time, but be patient.  If you are using your hands, make sure you start with really cold butter.  The warmth of your hands will affect how much flour the butter is able to “absorb,” so to speak.  If the butter absorbs too much flour, the consistency of the final product will be slightly off…no real harm done (whew !) but if you want a “true” scone consistency, don’t work that buttah too much, honey.   The final product should have the texture of crumble – if you squish it, it will keep a basic shape, but upon touching it again will crumble into DUST.  POOF !

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To this mixture, add the chocolate chunks.  Give them a good stir to coat them in the crumble combination.  Once coated, make a chasm (that word has such presence…I definitely need a deep voice to deliver it with full force) in the flour mixture.

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In another bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and vanilla.  Whisk well to combine.

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Pour the egg mixture into the hole made in the flour.  Stir with a fork to incorporate, somewhat.  Add the jam and stir until the dough just comes together – the mixture will be thick – that’s okay.  You don’t want to mix it too much or the dough will be chewy and tough.

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Once the batter just holds together, turn it out onto a well-floured surface.   Form the dough into a circle and cut the circle into triangles to place upon a prepared baking sheet.

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Cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Mine are a little more than golden brown BECAUSE my broiler is a little wonky.  If desired, you may dust the scones with powdered sugar and broil them for about 10 seconds to give them a nice crust.  Mine stayed in a touch too long but are none the worse for wear (or taste) !

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Enjoy with a cup of java or tea or simply with your breakfast.  Bon appétit ! 🙂

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Categories: English, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lemon Ginger Scones

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Well, it seems like time has gotten away from me.  Skittered,  Scattered. Slunk.
You know what hasn’t seemed to disappear, however ?
The heat.
The past, oh I don’t know, week or so has been hot and humid in my neck of the woods.  Every morning, walking to work (after the car and train ride, I might add), I am just covered in an unhappy film of dog day perfume: perspiration.  In such oppressive heat and humidity, nobody wants to cook.  In my house, we’ve been creating cold salads, grilling often, and even toasting breakfast outside in an effort to keep the oven dormant and cold.

Yes, I am using the heat as an excuse for my miserable updating skills.  As a result, in celebration of this lovely, cool evening, I’m adding a fabulous morning treat otherwise entitled “Lemon Ginger Scones.”  Around here, we don’t have a lot of entertainment…trees, birds, boats, testing pontoons in a pool…maybe not that last one, but the novelty of going to the General Store for breakfast never seems to wear off.  What to order ?  Scones.  Scones scones scones scones.  And a cappuccino (if you’re me; others prefer americanos).  In any case, it dawned on me that while I will always love the 2 mile trek down the road, making my own scones is also an option.

Therefore, when my mom showed up with a bag of candied ginger, we were off to the races.  These scones are aromatic and spicy with an almost-authentic texture thanks to the use of plain yogurt.  You cannot make these without real, candied ginger.  It will not taste the same.  Go on, take a risk and purchase this odd ingredient because its presence adds fabulous bursts of flavor in every bite of scone.  It also pairs fantastically with coffee, a fried egg, and perhaps some cheesy grits.

Ingredients :

2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest + the juice of a lemon
1/2 tsp lemon extract (if you are lemon fans)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen and chopped
4 1/2 oz candied ginger (about 2/3 cup), chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, sugar and barking powder.  Pulse on low to incorporate.  If you don’t have a food processing machine, it’s okay – just use a spoon to mix together these three ingredients.

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Add the lemon zest, butter, lemon juice and extract.  Pulse on and off, until the mixture is pale yellow and crumbly – you should be able to press it between your fingers and it will make a loose ball. If  you are without a mixer, just knead the butter in with your hands – the heat from your fingers will render the butter easier to work with, but be sure to begin with VERY COLD BUTTER.  If it warms up too much, it will change the texture of the scone and the consistency of the batter.

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Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the ginger.  In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and the cream, stirring to make a smooth mixture.  Make a well in the ingredients; pour the dairy into the flour combo and stir with a spoon or your hands – whatever you prefer.  I like to get messy in the kitchen, so I’ll use my natural appendages to mix, but don’t hesitate to use a little tool here and there.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll out until it’s about 3/4 of an inch thick.  Cut into rounds – just as I did for the strawberry shortcakes, I used a glass to make nice circles to great effect.  Place into a greased baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart from each other.

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Brush the tops with cream, drizzle with some raw sugar if you so desire, and bake for about 14 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

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Devour with a hot cup of coffee and a beautiful summer morning.  Bon appétit !

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Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cinnamon Rolls

In an effort not to consume too many sweets, my roommates and I seem to have decided not to stock sugary goodies in our kitchen.  In theory, this is a splendid arrangement – if there are no naughty foods, we cannot eat naughty foods. Right ?

WRONG !

I simply love sugar too much to let that happen (probably to everyone’s chagrin) and therefore in a moment of weakness, whipped up some cinnamon rolls for a Friday morning breakfast (and a Saturday…and a Sunday…you get the idea).  I love these rolls because they do not require yeast and therefore a very simple to concoct.  Traditionally, these pair well with a sweet glaze made from mascarpone cheese and a little powdered sugar…but I’m not really THAT fancy (yet) here in my little apartment so I skipped that part.  Also noteworthy – the recipe calls for brown sugar but, again, I didn’t have any and therefore used turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw – thank you Trader Joe’s !).  It turned out JUST FINE 🙂

Filling :

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (or about 1 cup of raw sugar)
1/2 cup pecans (if available)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 stick butter, melted

This is the easiest part – combine all dry ingredients.  Set aside.

Dough :

3 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or regular milk)
8 tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425F and butter an oven pan.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, making a little moat in the middle.  I don’t know why you must make this little indentation, but my mother told me to do so when I was very small and I guess I never questioned her judgement until now…hmm….

In any case, heat the milk slightly so that it is warm to the touch.  Pour the melted butter into the milk and stir.

Pour this buttermilk mixture into the moat and stir with a spoon.

Add flour to the dough until it is easy to knead.  I recommend turning the dough out onto a floured surface and kneading a little bit – once you can fairly easily work with the dough – it has taken enough flour.  Three cups should be enough, however.

When ready, begin to stretch the dough across a FLOURED countertop.  I did mine right in the pan I was going to cook it in as I used a jellyroll pan.  I also have limited counterspace…so this was my solution.

Once you’ve stretched it out to a large rectangle size, pour half the melted butter on top of the dough.  Cover with an even coating of the sugar and spice mixture.  Finish with a final butter bath.  Mmm.  Butter.

Starting at the edges, begin to roll the dough from the bottom up, being careful not to press too hard as if you do so, the filling will eek out the edges of the roll.  No fun.

Once you’ve rolled it all the way up, pinch the sides a little to seal them up a bit and take out a long, serrated knife.

Cut the roll into sections, making a quick cut through the dough.  I like to pull the knife towards me in a speedy, downward swoop !  However, I didn’t have a serrated knife…so mine were a little lumpy BUT they tasted great just the same.

Place these closely together on a large pan (I like the jelly roll pan but using a cake pan or a square brownie pan works great as well !) and place in the oven.  Cook until the roll is just starting to brown, probably about 25 minutes.

Pour yourself a cuppa joe (or a spot of tea) and enjoy !

Bon appétit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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