pumpkin scones2

Pumpkin Scones

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Exclamation Mark!  Why? because of pumpkin season, and that means pumpkin baked goods, among other pumpkiny things… and one of my favourite pumpkiny things: Pumpkin Scones.

pumpkin scones

Thank you to google for helping me stumble upon this Starbucks pumpkin scone copycat recipe from Cooking Classy and adjusted the recipe slightly.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 40 min    YIELD: 12
Ingredients:

Scones:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter or shortening
  • 3 tbsp milk + 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp pumpkin purée

Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp (or as needed) milk

Pumpkin Spice Icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • milk just as needed
 Directions:
  1. For Scones: preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor pulse together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well blended (if you don’t have a food processor you can whisk by hand in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry cutter). Add butter and pulse mixture several times to cut butter into mixture (large pieces of butter should no longer be visible). Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and create a well in centre.
  2. In a bowl whisk together chilled pumpkin purée, buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and honey. Pour mixture into well in flour/butter mixture. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then knead in bowl (or on work surface) by hand several times to bring mixture together. Dust a work surface with flour then invert dough onto surface. Pat and shape dough into an even 8-inch round. Using a large knife, slice into 8 equal wedges (dust knife with flour as needed while cutting, it will be fairly sticky).
  3. Transfer scones to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tbsp half and half then bake in preheated oven 13 – 15 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes (no longer) before spreading with glaze.
    1. In small bowl, combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least ~15 minutes before using.  Use right away on pizza or as desired, keep refrigerated for 2-3 days, or (what I like to do) make a bigger batch of it then portion it out and freeze it for future use.

    2. For glaze: In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and half and half, adding more half and half as needed to reach desired consistency (it should be fairly thick not runny). Spoon and spread mixture scones to evenly coat tops (use all of it). Let glaze set at room temperature.
    3. For pumpkin spice icing: In a mixing bowl (I just used the one from the glaze above without cleaning out) whisk together powdered sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and half and half. Transfer mixture to a small Ziploc bag, seal bag, cut a small tip from corner and drizzle mixture over tops of scones. Allow icing to set. Best served day prepared.

    Gingerbread Men

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    It’s starting to feel like Christmas!  We managed to get our tree up today, and with that comes gingerbread cookie season…(photos to come soon).

    This recipe comes from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook (a classic from 1980).  This cookbook reminds me of my grandma, and baking these cookies at her house when I was younger… so much that the book automatically opens to this page because of how well used this recipe is.

    PREP TIME: 2 min   COOK TIME: 8 min   TOTAL TIME: 10 min   YIELD: 24-36
    Ingredients:
    • 2 1/4 cups All purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup White sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (I use non-hydrogenated margarine)
    • 1/2 cup Light molasses
    • 1 Egg
    • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp Baking powder
    • 1 tsp Ground ginger
    • 1 tsp Ground cloves
    • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    Directions:
    1. Mix sugar, margarine, molasses, and egg together.
    2. Mix remaining ingredients together well, then add margarine mixture until well blended.
    3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    4. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
    5. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll chilled dough 1/8″ thick (crispier cookies) or 1/4″ thick (softer cookies).  With cookie cutters, cut out men (or any other shapes that you might like).
    6. Don’t have a gingerbread man cookie cutter?  Make one easily enough by tracing the gingerbread man shape onto a piece of paper, cutting it out to use as a stencil, and just cut gingerbread dough around using a small knife.
    7. With pancake turner, place cookies 1/2″ apart on cookie sheets.
    8. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes in preheated oven, remove and cool cookies on rack before decorating.  Overcooked gingerbread cookies will be crunchier/dryer (we prefer them soft/chewy around our house).
    9. Decorate (cooled) cookies with Ornamental Cookie Frosting.
    blueberrymuffins

    Blueberry Bran Muffins

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    It’s getting to be that time of year.  The time when fresh blueberries are plentiful and stinkin’ cheap in the grocery stores (compared to the rest of the year anyway).

    And also, sadly, the time of year when it starts to cool off enough in the evenings that the idea of baking and using the oven isn’t completely unbearable.  I found this recipe  for Bran Muffins at the Joy of Baking blog and made some small adjustments, including adding some berries.  Definitely a keeper.

    PREP TIME: 15 min   COOK TIME: 20 min   TOTAL TIME: 35 min   YIELD: 16
    Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
    • 1/3 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
    • 1 cup brown sugar, unpacked
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tbsp cooking molasses
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 3/4 cup butter milk (or just add 1 tbsp vinegar to regular milk)
    • 2 cups blueberries (fresh! or if frozen, don’t thaw them)
    Directions:
    1. Measure wheat bran and stir in the boiling water. Set aside.
    2. Combine the margarine with the brown sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the vanilla and molasses and beat until well blended. Add the wheat bran and beat until combined.
    3. Whisk together dry ingredients in separate bowl.
    4. Mix milk and buttermilk together.  Add dry ingredients and milks gradually to the bran mixture by alternating between the two, combining well after each addition.  Cover, and refrigerate batter for a few hours (or overnight).  {I, personally, skipped this step because I was impatient and thankfully my muffins didn’t explode… however I can see the value in waiting to allow the texture of the bran and oats to soften.}
    5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tin or tin lined with paper liners.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
    zucchinishred

    What To Do With Zucchini

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    I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’m also still trying to figure out quite how I ended up with 3 massive zucchinis, seemingly overnight.  Toby (to the left) assists for scaling purposes.

    So in the mean time, while I research new ways to use zucchini, I decided to shred and freeze these 3 beasts.

    Firstly, break out the food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor?  Go and get one.  Because shredding this quantity by hand would be quite the work out.  Then chop it up in manageable sizes, and shred away.

    Then empty the food processor into a colander lined with cheese cloth.  This will allow a lot of the juice to drain off before freezing.  Squeeze out that cheese cloth, and voila!  zucchini shreds.  I was quite shocked at the amount of zucchini juice that came from these, it was around 7 cups!

    Lastly, measure convenient portion sizes (I used 2 cups), and put into sandwich bags.  Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags, and label/pack in a larger freezer bag.

    Now to figure out what to use these for…

    chocchip

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    This is and has been my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies since, well, really I started baking for myself at all;  I consider this one tried, tested and proven.

    Cookie perfection in this case, to me means not overcooked, slightly chewy chocolately goodness, mmmmmmmmm…  The key to that in this case is not to overbake.

    PREP TIME: 15 min    COOK TIME: 8 min   TOTAL TIME: 23 min    YIELD: 18
    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, NOT melted (or substitute butter, softened)
    • 1 cup semi-packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF
    2. Beat margarine, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until light and fluffy.
    3. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda (by hand) until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
    4. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
    5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just lightly browned. Transfer to cooling rack.