Lemon Blueberry Scones

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Although I can eat a scone anytime of the year now that temperatures are dropping and there is actually a few flakes of snow on the hood of my car, they seem to be calling my name on a more frequent basis.

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Lemon Blueberry Scones

If you are still purchasing your scones at the local shop stop immediately and give these Lemon Blueberry Scones a try.  One bowl baking at it’s best and no ‘knead’ to be intimidated.  Worried you’ll eat the whole batch yourself?  Which is a definite possiblilty as a warm from the oven scone is swoon worthy.  Pack your cooled scones into a ziplock bag (or maybe 2 for extra protection), freeze and thaw as desired.  Once thawed, a few seconds in the microwave to warm slightly will give you the ‘hug’ you need to start your day, or finish your day, or brighten your afternoon.  Heck, heat up 2 and share with someone!

If your new to baking remember for scones you need COLD butter and when zesting make sure to only use the outer peel not the white part underneath the skin of the lemon.  The pith is the bitter white just under the thicker skin so go lightly!  Don’t worry if you have a little more or less of the zest, whatever you have will work fine.

 

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Lemon Blueberry Scones

Most important, make sure your baking powder is fresh, fresh, fresh.  If it has been open and sitting in your cupboard for over 6 months toss and purchase the smallest container you can.  Baking soda and powder lose their magic powers so don’t buy the giant Costco container if you will not be using it up in several months!!

Fresh or frozen blueberries work in this recipe and I recommend using the small wild blueberries for the best taste.  If using frozen berries you may need to bake a minute or two longer but remember to check half way through the baking time to see how quickly they are baking.

For an extra touch you can mix a little lemon juice with some icing sugar and lightly drizzle your cooled scones!

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Makes approx. 8

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup cold butter

1 egg

1/4 cup whipping cream or 18% cream

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Method:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and zest.

Using a grater (I use a box grater and the larger holes) grate the cold butter on top of the flour mixture.  With your hands lightly toss the flour over the butter until lightly coated.

Stir in the egg and cream and then the blueberries (mixture may look messy) until you have everything combined.

Onto a lightly floured surface turn out dough.  At this this point you might have to gather some bits together so don’t panic.  Either pat out or roll out your dough into a large circle about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Place on prepared baking sheet.

(I find when using the frozen berries my mixture is easier to pat out but with fresh berries easier to lightly roll out.)

Using a pastry cutter or knife cut dough into 8 pieces and separate slightly.

Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with some granulated or coarse sugar.

Bake 15 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and cool slighly before eating.

 

 

Orange Chocolate Scones

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These Orange Chocolate Scones are the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea accompaniment for this Easter weekend or any weekend for that matter.

I made these light and flaky scones one weekend and the following weekend packed up the ingredients to whip them up while out of town on a ‘girls’ weekend.  They come together quickly and the dark chocolate and orange are a wonderful flavour combination.

This is one of the many wonderful recipes from The Vanilla Bean Baking book.

If you do decide to bake them fresh when away from home combine the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag and combine the wet ingredients in a plastic container. Wrap your butter separately as well as your chocolate.  The scones will come together before your oven even preheats!

Orange Chocolate Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small pieces

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces or use chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice, vanilla and egg.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter in.  Pieces should be the size of peas.

Add the wet ingredients and fold in until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead (adding flour as necessary) until it comes together.  Pat dough into a square and then roll it out to a 12-inch square.  Now fold it together in thirds (it will resemble a letter) and then fold into thirds again, add flour as necessary to  prevent sticking.  Put on a floured plate and freeze for about 10 minutes.

Put dough on floured surface and roll out to 12-inch square and fold into thirds again.  Now roll into a 12 x 4-inch square and with a sharp knife cut it into 4 rectangles and cut the rectangles on an angel to form triangles.

If desired, brush to tops with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.

Vanilla Bean Baking Book Tip-use 2 baking sheets to protect the bottom of the scones from browning too quickly.

Sweetenuf tip-instead of cutting your butter into small pieces grate your cold butter into the dry ingredients and them combine with your fingers…quick, quick, quick!20170325_114538

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins – Fall Already?!?

Although I have been fighting it tooth and nail and cannot understand the fascination with wearing booties instead of sandals and long pants instead of shorts, today with the overcast skies I too have pulled out the pumpkin.

It seems pumpkin in any form signifies the passing of summer.  No matter it is humid as all get out today and Fall has not officially begun, pumpkin reigns supreme. Lattes, biscotti and muffins, especially the SPL or is it PSL (you know, Starbucks!)…pumpkin and the spices accompanying it are aromatic and flavourful and popular.

 

Today’s moist, simple, delicious muffin is my contribution to the pumpkin craze. This Sour Cream Pumpkin Delight, well Muffin really, is superb!  The addition of sour cream, pumpkin and spices makes these muffins a recipe you’ll go back to again and again.

Just a reminder to be sure to check the ingredient label on your can of pumpkin to make sure it is 100% pumpkin.  Some brands say ‘Pumpkin’ but have a combination of squash and pumpkin puree.  Also, you want pure pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling.

Freeze any leftover pumpkin in a ziploc bag for when you whip up one of my other recipes, like pumpkin biscotti!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins

(Adapted from Pumpkin Spice Handbook 2015)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or spray with Pam.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (you could use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup sour cream

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in the eggs one at a time and mix in until combined.  Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add in vanilla and stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and using a wooden spoon mix until partially combined.  Add in the pumpkin and sour cream and continue to mix just until no traces of flour are visible.

(You could add in some chopped toasted nuts or pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.)

Fill prepared tins 3/4 full and bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Tops should spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick should come out clean when inserted in centre.  Cool slightly and enjoy!

Too ensure even baking turn your tin around about 12-15 minutes into your baking time.

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