Tag Archives: Baking

Cherry Cheese Scones



A rare occurrence, but Kim and I followed this recipe exactly, and guess what? They turned out amazing! Many times, when we’re just cooking for the two of us, we skimp on or swap ingredients, to make it healthier, and the dishes (usually) turn out tasting good, but nothing to rave about. THESE are rave-worthy!

Kim was craving the scones we had while in London, specifically the ones from our hostel cafe, which were fantastically buttery and rich. (with clotted cream and jam!) So she insisted we follow the recipe to see how close our Joy of Cooking got to English scones.

The English, historically and/or traditionally, have something called Afternoon Tea or High Tea (or just Tea, actually) that is served with little biscuits, scones and light sandwiches. We wanted to have a traditional “Afternoon Tea” while there, but they’re quite expensive – cheapest was £19 per person!

Kim had these juicy dried cherries – they were halfway between normal cherries and dried cherries. I’ve never seen that before, but I’m glad I’ve been introduced to them – they’re delicious! Very sweet on their own, but delicious.

Kim and I LOVE to mix sweet and savory, so of course we opted to make cherry cheese scones, so we swapped out the blueberries from the Joy of cooking recipe and added the cherries and cheese, hoping the consistency wasn’t changed too much by the cheese, and nixed the streusel topping. (Okay, I lied, I guess we did change the recipe…) Oh, and we forgot the vanilla extract too, but I think that worked in our favor, with the cheesiness.

Cherry Cheese Scones (altered from this recipe in Joy of Cooking cookbook.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend with flour mixture until it’s crumbly. You can do this with a pastry cutter, grinder, or with your hands (my favorite way!) But we ground in in a grinder this time.

In a second bowl beat the egg, then add the cream. Add to flour mixture and stir/blend until dough comes together. Don’t overmix the cough, or your scones will be tough.

Spray the pan and transfer dough to pan. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times and mold into a flat round shape and cut into eighths, and separate the triangular pieces so each side bakes with a crusty exterior.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. I’d check after 15 minutes though, to see how they’re doing. Scones are best eaten fresh, but they were alright the next day too.

What we thought: DELICIOUS! I raved about them to everyone. I already remade them for co-workers and will make them next week when my friends and I have our own little afternoon tea! Cheers!

I know what a scone is, but what is clotted cream, cumpets, or lemon curd???
A brief history of the scone.
Wait, the English don’t pronounce it scone as in cone?

UPDATE: And speak of the devil (scones), a new YouTube food channel, Sorted, I started watching, literally yesterday, posted scones today! And they look so good, I think I might just have to make them tonight, for dessert!

-Beth


Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel


Even I’m surprised that the last three entries of this blog are sweet potato recipes! But what can you do? Sweet potatoes are an amazing food, so why stop eating them? This most recent recipe, the strudel, is from a book I bought at borders for only a few dollars. But I probably would have spent more on it. It’s called Savory Baking. I love baked goods. I love the texture of quick breads, I love the variety of recipes, I love eating them with peanut butter and yogurt. I love pulling them out of the oven a couple minutes before the timer is set to go off. I love not waiting for the food to cool and burning my tongue, I love pastries, I love eating the batter. I just love it all.

But, sometimes, I don’t feel like eating cake and sweet muffins all the time. Because it’s not healthy, but also I just don’t feel like eating something sweet every time I feel like baking. That’s exactly the purpose of this book! I picked it up and immediately wanted to buy it, but then I opened the book to the Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel I knew I was doomed. BOTH my favorite fall-time foods in ONE RECIPE and then WRAPPED IN PASTRY DOUGH. Can it get better? Maybe, but it’s so close to perfection why bother trying? I made it the other day and here’s the recipe.

Sweet Potato Cranberry Strudel

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins (calls for golden, but I used the more common darker kind)
1 medium sweet potato
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I only used 1/2 cup, which I thought was too much in the end)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) phyllo pasty, thawed
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces and finely chopped (I believe I used closer to a half cup, but perhaps I just over did it)
coarse sea salt

Put the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour hot water over them, set aside to plump for 10 minutes, then drain.

Put the chopped sweet potato in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and cook on high heat until fork-tender. Do the same with carrots (which might take longer). Drain the potatoes and carrots.

Put butter in small saucepan over high heat until it turns at golden-brown color, then pour butter into a small dish and set aside.

Smash together the potatoes and carrots with 6 tablespoons of butter (I think few tablespoons would have tasted better, but that’s just me), and blend in the dried fruit. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Unroll the phyllo dough. While working, you might want to place a slightly damp towel over the yet-unused dough so it doesn’t dry out. Place a layer of dough onto your work baking sheet/work surface, brush butter over it, and sprinkle with your chopped toasted pecans and a little sea salt. Do 7 layers of this. On the last layer, spread the potato and carrot mixture on one of the long edges of the dough. Pack it tightly and roll it closed. Brush with butter and sprinkle with pecans and sea salt.

Place in oven for 25 minutes. When done, cut slowly with a serrated knife with sawing motions, or else your pastry will most definitely flake (still tastes the same, though)

I didn’t even put the proper amount of butter in. I just couldn’t do it. It’s so much butter. SO MUCH. It’s fine if I was only planning on eating a little bit, but I was planning on eating a lot of it, and I didn’t want that much butter. Phyllo dough usually calls for brushed butter in between each layer, so that it’s browned and delicious once baked. I was worried skimping on the butter would create poor results. Some parts of the dough were falling apart when I took it out of the oven, and I think it’s due to the fewer tablespoons of butter slathered in between the phyllo dough layers. But i wasn’t really complaining.

I couldn’t wait for it to come out of the oven, and after hurrying through photographing it (got a lot of blurry photos, unfortunately. Unprofessional? Maybe. Hungry? Very.). I sliced up a peice and ate into it. My first thought was that it was far too buttery than was necessary. I don’t need that much butter. I love butter to enhance foods, but when I’m eating something and I taste “butter” and not “pastry dough”, something is wrong. However, besides that, this recipe was absolutly delicious! I just couldn’t get enough of it! I ate a quarter of it before I felt sick (from the butter). The sweet potato was perfect and the cranberry and raisins added amazing and subtle sweetness. I want to make this again, but perhaps with something besides butter in between the dough. Maybe egg yolk or watered down sweet potato puree? Or if that doesn’t work, I could use a thicker dough to eliminate the need for all the layer of butter. I also might try it with seasonings. I’m surprised it didn’t have any! It was delcious as it, though.

This recipe is great for a holiday party or family gathering. I think everybody will love it.


Baked Eggs


Baked Egg

Baked Egg from Epicurean Bliss blog!

So, I don’t know about you, but I’d never thought to bake an egg before. Like, in a cupcake pan. It’s brilliant! It’s genius! I discovered this idea yesterday and was totally planning to do it this morning, but I didn’t feel like an egg this morning (I went for my usual yogurt, pumpkin puree, banana, protein powder cinnamon and pecan ensemble [with a squirt of honey and a small spoonful of peanut flour])

But I urge you, visit this website Epicurean Bliss and at least look at how amazing this baked egg looks. It’s got sauteed veggies on the bottom of the cupcake pan, with the egg on top, and cheese sprinkled on top! But, like the blogger, Christine, says, a baked egg is a blank canvas for a variety of flavors – do what you want with it!

The blogger says it’s great on an English muffin. I think, instead, I’ll bake it over a biscuit! Oooh, I’m going to have a great breakfast this Saturday morning!

I’ll update with my results!

-Beth