Saturday, June 19, 2010

I know you were totally eyeing those scones...

Who wouldn't be?!

Dearest Mrs. A shares her secrets for scone success (adapted from the lovely Tyler Florence): 

Blueberry Scones

2 C all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks (Mrs. A used 8 tablespoons - 1 stick - instead... go girl!)
1 C heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 C fresh blueberries (Mrs. A used frozen blueberries - they don't bleed as much into the batter, so you don't have blue scones. She also made part of her batch with frozen blackberries, and they worked well.)


Lemon Glaze*:

1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 C confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 lemon and its zest, finely grated

1 tbsp unsalted butter 

*If you'll be transporting the scones outside of your home, you may consider using a dusting of powdered sugar, instead of the lemon glaze - it's every bit as delicious... pretty too!



Preheat the oven to 400
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. 
Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. (Mrs. A used her Cuisinart instead.) The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. 
Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream, and fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. (Mrs. A poured the heavy cream in through the top of the Cuisinart while it was running so that the cream mixed in gradually, until it formed a dough ball inside the Cuisinart. Sometimes you may need a little more cream than it calls for.)
Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. (This is why Mrs. A used frozen.)
Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape.

Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. (Mrs. A also sprinkled sugar on top to give them a little more of a crust. Another pretty idea is to use sanding sugar.) 

 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze (or powdered sugar, your preference).
Technically you should make the lemon glaze in a double boiler (i.e. over a pot of simmering water with a heatproof bowl set on top) but it's even simpler to zap it in the microwave.

Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl.

Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high.

Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

What a perfect Saturday morning treat - thanks, Mrs. A!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two of a kind

This past week, Hubby and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary - which seemed to have come a lot faster than I ever imagined!

Though our wedding cake is now gone (remember last year?), we had a great time re-watching our wedding video (obviously, right?), looking at our photo album (thanks Larry and Terri!) and reminiscing about our wedding day...

And some fun memories from the past are some favorites!

 My Grandparents' 60th - we have a lot of catching up to do :)

(if anyone's doing the math, that's 88 years of marriage between my grandparents, my parents, and us - throw in Hubby's family and we're easily over the century mark... 127ish years I believe)

Los Cabos, B.C.S.

El Paso, TX

Santa Fe, NM

Exumas, Bahamas 

Boston/Cambridge, MA

and...falling in love with this little white fluff ball!

Thanks everyone for your love and encouragement!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sounds strange. Tastes divine.

I made this lovely batch for a certain pretty lady's wedding day mani/pedi party (which was a really fun idea, in case you're fresh out of shower themes!). Blueberry scones and coffee cake were the goodies du jour - two delightfully delicious breakfast treats for your next pre-lunch get together.

In addition to the breakfast tacos, fruit platter and mimosas (naturally), a couple of us baked some yummy treats to add to the spread.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake (thank you, Food Network!)


1/4 C sugar
3 packed tbsp brown sugar (I like light best)
1/2 C walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 C unbleached flour (sift your flour - always sift your flour when baking)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of grated nutmeg
3/4 C unsalted butter, plus more for pan (bring to room temp)
1 C sugar
2 lg eggs (bring to room temp)
1 C sour cream (don't get low fat - you'll be sorry)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract (get Molina Mexican vanilla if available)

Kitchen tools:
Stand mixer (hand mixer is fine)
Flour sifter
Square baking dish (9x9 or 8x8 should work. I don't recommend round because you'll end up with fewer presentable pieces of cake - believe me, I learned the hard way)
Mixing bowls

Preheat the oven to 350.

Grease your pan with butter (generously, so you can get your cake out of the pan later).

Prepare the streusel by mixing the sugar, brown sugar, walnuts, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Sift flour and whisk together with baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set it aside.
In your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Next, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated.

Mix the vanilla with the sour cream in a separate bowl.

Begin to add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream until just combined.

for you batter lovers, now is the optimal time to "test" your product :)

Spread half the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with half the streusel.

Spoon the remaining batter on top and spread it out with a spatula.

Scatter the remaining streusel over the top of the batter.

Bake the coffee cake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. I always take mine out right before it is done - you can't forget to account for out-of-oven bake time, which occurs on the cooling rack.

Cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


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