Diabetic coma and Scones Galore!

I got a little Costco-happy… with the wedding project, all the fondant that I’ll be making, butter cream, and icings… let’s just say, I had to get some extra help to haul this purchase up 3 flights of stairs:

Indeed. 5 lbs regular sugar, 25 lbs flour, and 50 lbs of confectioners sugar…

It’s obsessive. But also marking a serious step forward in my commitment to baking.

Next up: Scones for a Bridal Shower. The theme was “tea and tarts..” What better than a variety of scones?! Yum. My first time making scones! They went over pretty well for two recipes that I adapted, so I’ll post those here.

I had a request for Pumpkin Scones, and I do love the pumpkin. I heard on the radio that there might be a shortage of canned pumpkin this year because the weather was so brutal that pumpkin growers had a hard time making their quotas. So I shouldn’t feel bad about indulging right now, if pumpkin is going to be hard to come by next year! I adapted the recipe below from Pinch my Salt, just changing some ingredients. Her method is the same (I just paraphrased a bit.)

Mini Pumpkin Chip Scones

  • 1 C. all purpose flour
  • 1 C. cake flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C. cinnamon chips
  • 1/3 C. pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 C. sour cream
  • 6 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Get out a baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Cut the butter into small pieces, put it in a small bowl and put it back in the fridge. In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, salt, and spice. Whisk together well. Place bowl in freezer.

2. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together well. Put this bowl in freezer. Take the other bowl back out. Get the butter pieces out of the fridge and dump them into the bowl with the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cinnamon chips.

3. Get the liquid mixture out of the freezer and pour into the flour mixture all at once. Stir with a spatula until just moistened. Turn the mixture out onto the counter and push the pile together with your hands. Knead it just a couple of times until it comes together, but don’t knead it too much or the dough will get too sticky and you’ll lose the flaky pastry layers.

4. Pat the dough out into a rough rectangle, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. (My picture is a circle because I messed up first)… Cut into 8 rectangular pieces. Cut each of these in half on the diagonal forming two triangle pieces. Place pieces on the baking sheet so that they are not touching. Bake scones for about 9 minutes at 425 degrees. They should be light brown on the bottom; the tops will darken as they cool.

(Pre-bake):

Post-bake:

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 TBLS milk (I used 1% at least. Don’t go skim)
  • 1-2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 C. powdered sugar
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • Squirt of Honey
  1. Put milk and cream cheese in a small bowl. Microwave for 10-20 sec., or until cream cheese can be whisked with milk into a smooth mixture.
  2. Gradually whisk in the cup of powdered sugar (sifted probably leaves less lumps, but I was lazy.)
  3. Add cinnamon and honey to taste.
  4. Spoon into a piping bag or Ziploc bag, cut the tip, and make pretty designs. Or if lazy, drizzle with your whisk or spoon.

With Frosting:

Tasty, flaky, bursting of spice and pumpkin, I love these mini scones. They aren’t too sweet and perfect with tea or coffee.

Chocolate-Chip and/or Cranberry-Orange Scones

(This recipe forms the base dough, then you can add whatever flavor you like)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. (I rubbed it in with my fingers)  Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened.
  4. At this point I divided the dough into two bowls. To one bowl I added half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. To the other bowl I added 1.5 tsp grated orange rind, the juice of half of an orange and ½ cup of craisens.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut into rectangles/squares (roughly 2 in. x 3 in.) and then cut on the diagonal to make small triangle scones. Place 2 in apart on baking sheet.
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

Orange Glaze (for Cranberry-orange scones)

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 orange
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • Same method as above

Cranberry-orange dough rolled out:

A sampler of the three scones:

Finally- set out at the Bridal shower! Cranberry up top, chocolate on bottom:

and Pumpkin on top:

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Fuzzy cupcakes

Texture is such an important component to the eating experience. A cupcake with a well balanced, delicate flavor would be ruined if it had the texture of dried cement. I noticed in my last post I tend to be very picky about “dry” cupcakes. Coincidentally enough, I came across a blurb about something called “the Duncan Hines Conundrum” (love that word, conundrum) in a cake book. (“Wedding Cakes you can Make, by Dede Wilson). It basically explains how America has come to love exceptionally high levels of moisture in their cakes, as opposed to how cakes used to be in the old day (I’m guessing much drier than now) due to the fact that box cake mixes contain a lot of artificial preservatives and chemicals that keep the cake super moist. This poses a lot of problems for home bakers, especially in terms of cakes that are worked on for days before being eaten, because they start out less moist and lose moisture over time. Her solution was moistening syrup.

 Anyways, just wanted to share that tidbit of knowledge, while on the topic of texture. My question now is: What about fuzzy cupcake?

fuzzy cupcake

This is a cupcake card that I just received for my birthday a few weeks ago. I thought it was so cute (the pink part is fuzzy!) and had to hang it up. I painted a square frame green and popped it on there for instant wall decor. I’m working on expanding the wall o’ cupcake.

I can’t leave without tying in a real baked good either! These are mini lemon cupcakes with lemon glaze and white-chocolate raspberry ganache. Someone had given me fresh lemons grown locally and I’m not a fan of lemonade.

pink_army

I didn’t originally intend on making the glaze, but ended up using it for a few reasons:

  1. Not enough lemon flavor, for sure. Without using lemon extract, I think the juice and zest just isn’t enough.
  2. Texture! or, moisture. These little guys came out a bit bouncy; less cakelike.
  3. I had an extra lemon half.

Having been inspired by chockylit’s amazing cupcake blog, the cupcake bakeshop, particulary her fabulous recipe for chocolate -strawberry ganache, I thought I’d try a white chocolate-raspberry ganache for a twist. Not sure if I really liked it as much as I liked the idea of it… I fail to remember how strong of a flavor white chocolate has. I think if I were to re-do it, I’d stick with strictly a raspberry buttercream.

Because the cupcake wasn’t fantastic, I won’t bother to put the recipe up. The lemon glaze was tasty, although sticky after sitting in the fridge overnight. I just whisked 1/4 cup of lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to the consistency of syrup.

For the ganache, I borrowed chockylit’s recipe (reprinted with different flavors below) 

  • 4.5 ounces white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries

Though ganache is made by boiling the cream, I sometimes cheat and use the microwave. So, I heated the cream for a minute or so and poured it over the white chocolate. Let that stand for a minute to heat up the chocolate and start the melting process. Whisk in the salt and vanilla. Add in frozen raspberries and stir to combine. Refrigerate until cool.

To make it fluffy and frosting-like, I used the whisk attachment on the Kitchenaid to aerate it for piping (like buttercream). It changes into a nice light pink color as the volume doubles.

To use the glaze, poke holes in the top of the cupcakes and dunk them (easier than spooning glaze over). Pipe on a swirl of ganache and voila!