Pumpkin Scones with Maple Frosting


Pumpkin Scone
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze – sweetenuf.ca

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I love scones and today’s scones are from Sarah Kieffer’s ‘The Vanilla Bean Baking Book‘.  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, afternoon coffee or as a little pick me up anytime I think a well made scone cannot be beat (well, maybe by a perfectly made vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles…)

Pumpkin scones with maple glaze are my new fav and even though this recipe requires a little more labour in the form of folding and rolling and a quick freeze of the dough for 10 minutes before rolling and folding and baking they are worth the extra effort.  The next day they were still light, tender and not the tiniest bit dried out.  With or without the maple glaze they are a hit.

Remember to purchase pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling and make sure the can contains 100% pumpkin not a mix of pumpkin and squash!  I always have a can of pumpkin in my cupboard and any leftover can be frozen, fed to your cat or dog (it’s healthy and they love it) or used to whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins (look under muffins on my blog for a recipe!)

Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops before baking

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted butter, COLD and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Stack 2 cookie sheets and line top one with parchment.

(Having 2 sheets stacks help prevent the bottoms from overbaking before the scone is completely baked.  Works well for cookies too!)

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

Add the cold butter pieces into the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until you have nicely flour coated pea size pieces.  Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times until it comes together, adding a little flour at a time as necessary, if dough is too sticky.  Pat the dough gently into a small square and roll it into a 12-inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds similar to a business letter.  Fold the dough into thirds again, forming a square.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured plate or pan and FREEZE for about 10 minutes.

Return dough to lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch square and fold it business letter style again! Place the dough seam side down and roll into a 12 x 4-inch rectangle.

With a sharp knife or bench scrapper cut the dough into 4 equal rectangles and then each of those rectangles in half to form triangles.  Place scones on prepared sheet 2-inches apart and brush the tops lightly with a bit of heavy cream.

Bake 18-25 minutes checking half way through baking time and rotating pans, until bottoms and tops are golden brown.  Cool slightly and top with some maple glaze.

Maple Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 1 cup icing sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, until smooth.  Drizzle on warm scones.  Enjoy!  Wrap any leftovers well and microwave for a few seconds if desired.

 

Valentine Day Cupcakes (Peanut Butter)


Valentine Day Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes w Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

Chocolate seems to be the flavour of choice for Valentine’s Day but if you’re looking to switch things up this year bake up a batch of PB & J cupcakes.  Peanut butter cupcakes topped with a raspberry icing are a great way to show your love.

The scent alone of these peanut butter cupcakes will have your mouth watering!  You could enjoy one sans the icing as they are wonderfully moist but why anyone would miss an opportunity for raspberry flavoured icing is beyond me.

This delicious and easy to make recipe is from “Salty Sweets” by Christie Matheson.  It bakes up a perfect 12 cupcakes and I’ll bet you already have everything you need at home.  So, don’t waste time as Valentine Day is fast approaching.  Be your own Valentine and bake up a batch just for yourself.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

3/4 creamy peanut butter (not natural)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup whole milk

Method:

In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mix master cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and creamy.  Scrape down bowl.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat together for about 30 seconds.

With mixer on low add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, then remaining milk and last 1/3 of flour, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Don’t overmix.

Divide batter evenly between the 12 cups and bake for about 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove and let cool completely before icing.

Raspberry Icing:

Beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 4 cups icing sugar.  Add in a tablespoon of cream or milk one at a time until you have a firm icing.  Add in 1 tsp of vanilla and mix.  Add in a couple tablespoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam and mix together well.  If icing is too thin add in a few tablespoons more of icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Peanut Butter Cupcake w Raspberry Icing
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

 

 

Hashtag Pie, Oh My! Chocolate Chip Cookies Instead


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweetenufblog – chocolate chip cookies

I was looking for inspiration to fuel a stint of pie making.  I figured a quick search on Instagram, maybe viewing a lemon meringue pie or an apple pie would get my creative baking juices flowing.  Pie is just pie, right?   After all the definition of pie is a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.

#pie…so simple.  But once again I seem to have missed the memo related to searching in today’s tech world.  I was expecting images of colourful scrumptious looking fruit pies with perfectly browned lattice tops or maybe, some fancy pastry cutouts adorning said pies.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as I quickly learned!

Seems #pie isn’t for pies made with pastry and fruit. It’s for FEET!  Oh yes, lots and lots of bare feet. Big feet and little feet.  Some with wrinkly soles, long toes and polished nails. But sill feet and interestingly enough it seems to be just women’s feet.  I’m pretty sure I’d recognize man feet if I saw them.  Who knew there could be so many interesting ways to photograph feet…wet feet, bottoms of feet, jewelled feet and feet encased in strappy footwear and, well, it goes on and on.

After my inital ‘ick’ it was like a train wreck I couldn’t turn away from. It appears the ‘foot fetish’ people like their feet attached to scantily clad bosoms and behinds.  Maybe the attractiveness of the bare feet increase with the barer the body attached to those feet.  Since I had to stop looking before I saw something I wouldn’t be able to recover from my research into the #pie has come to an end.

This is why today’s recipe is for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I needed a chocolate fix to settle myself down and baking a pie will need to sit on the back burner for a while longer.

Chopped ChocolateThese chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges cookies are full of chocolate.  This recipe from ‘Bake from Scratch’ has been made twice this week in my kitchen and I’m down to my last cookie.  I modified the recipe slightly by using both whole wheat and all-purpose flours, both chocolate chips and chopped chocolate and a little less vanilla.

Using both chips and chopped chocolate makes for the perfect chocolate ratio in every bite.  The chopped chocolate melts and spreads while the chips keep their shape.

Just make sure you have a few at the ready if and when you decide to starting look up hashtags on Instagam!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line 2-3 cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Scrap the bowl halfway through.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla.

With mixer on low, gradually add in  flour mixture and mix only until combined.

Fold in chocolate.  Use large scoop and place cookies on prepared sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake cookies about 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will brown around edges but remain soft in the centre.

If using a medium scoop check cookies after about 9-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Caramel Frosting


 

20180110_191253 (2)
Caramel Frosting topped with Caramel Drizzle – Sweetenufblog.com

First comes Caramel sauce, next comes Caramel Frosting (or icing as we call it here in Canada). Well, actually, first comes the sugar and water boiled to a beautiful amber colour and then comes the cream, etc. but believe me you will not be disappointed in this sweet smooth icing and the extra effort to make the caramel from scratch is well worth the time.

Satiny, sweet and full of mellow flavour this sauce is Nirvana!!  Set a little aside  to drizzle over top whatever you currently have in the works or tuck it away for your next ice cream attack.  A big spoonful when your craving something sweet or maybe a little drizzle into your coffee or on top of some fruit.  I figure whatever you choose to snack on with Caramel Sauce or even Caramel Icing in the privacy of your own kitchen is your business.  Who am I to judge!! You might just make the Caramel sauce again and again even if you don’t need any more icing.

Caramel Frosting (Bake From Scratch Cake Issue 2016)

Makes about 5 cups.

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup whipping cream (35% cream), warmed slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 cups icing sugar

Method:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Stop stirring and leave the mixture to cook until it is amber in colour.  (Very important to make sure your sugar mixture turns a nice deep amber colour.)  If any sugar crystals form on the side of the saucepan use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides.  Remove from heat.

Add in the cold cubed butter and stir with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will foam up.  Gradually add the cream, vanilla and salt.  Stir until mixture is smooth.

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to cool for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Once cool set aside 1/3 cup of the caramel to drizzle on top of your iced cake or cupcakes.

Caramel Icing Sweetenufblog

Place cooled caramel in a mixing bowl and add softened butter.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Add in icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.

Use immediately as icing will harden.

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies


 

Flourless PB Cookies with Twix Bites and Peanuts
Flourless PB Cookies with Twix Bites and Honey Roasted Peanuts – sweetenufblog.com

 

I’ve always made my pb cookies with flour (See recent post for Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies).  I came across this recipe in my pile of ‘I should try these recipes’ (doesn’t everyone have one of these piles or drawers or binders….) and gave them a whirl.

With only 7 ingredients and one bowl these cookies come together so quickly you will be amazed.

Yum
Add-ins for Flourless PB Cookies

All 2 dozen cookies were only a memory within about 24 hours so I’d have to say they were a hit!  I added in honey-roasted peanuts but roasted salted peanuts or plain salted peanuts would be fine.  I also chopped up Twix bites instead of using chocolate chips since I had a bag in my cupboard so don’t be afraid to sub in white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips or any combination you prefer.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24 cookies.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line 2 baking sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts

Method:

Beat peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and salt until well combined.  Mix in chocolate and peanuts.

Moisten your hands and roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into balls and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Flatten slightly and bake 12-15 minutes until puffed and lightly browned around edges.

TIP:  Check cookies after about 10 minutes.  I find pb cookies often bake up quickly and every oven is different!!

Chocolate Scones


Chocolate Chip Scones
Tender Chocolate Chip Scones

I’m bringing in 2018 with light tender chocolate chip scones.  These scones come together quickly, in a matter of minutes, and bake up in about 25 minutes.  So turn your oven on and get to work (well its not really any work at all).  I brushed the top of these with cream instead of the egg and sprinkled a little sugar on the tops before baking.

Baking tip:  Use 2 baking sheets so your scones won’t brown too quickly on the bottom before the top is fully baked!

You can easily switch these up by omitting the chocolate or adding in a cup of craisins.  Any way you make these scones from ‘Fine Cooking’ they are fabulous, simple to make and a sure hit!  No more coffee shop scones for you once you try these lovelies!

Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Scones

Preheat oven to 400F.  Parchment line a baking sheet and set aside.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 cup chocolate (I used dark and white chocolate chips)

For Topping Scones:

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1-2 teaspoons brown or granulate sugar

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas.

In a small bowl (I used the measuring cup I poured my cream into) stir the cream and egg yolks just to mix.

Add the cream/yolks to the dry mixture and stir with a fork until mixture begins to combine then use your hands to gently knead the mixture together until all the dry ingredients are absorbed into the dough and you can gather it into a moist, shaggy ball.

DON’T OVERKNEAD!!!  This dough is sturdy but overmixing will toughen your finished product.

Prebaked Choc Chip Scones
Oven ready Scones

Set the rough ball of dough in the middle of the prepared sheet and pat it gently into a round about 1-inch thick.  With a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 wedges and brush it lightly with cream and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake about 18-22 minutes.  Let the scones cool slightly.

Wrap leftovers well and don’t forget to warm gently before enjoying again!!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies


Peanut Butte Crinkle Cookies
Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies w Chocolate and Honey Roasted Peanuts

Peanut butter cookies are always a hit and these are no exception.  With the holidays upon us this recipe would be a great addition to your cookie tray for the peanut butter lover in your family.

From ‘littleepicurean’ Maryanne Cabrerea’s recipe (Holiday Cookies 2017 Bake From Scratch) the only switch up I made was to add in dark chocolate chips and honey-roasted peanuts to the batter, omitting rolling the cookies in the 2 sugars and the dipping step as well.  I also used a fork lightly dipped in flour to slightly flatten my cookies for the signature ‘peanut butter’ look.  In my house the cookie half dipped in the chocolate would be consumed and the ‘bare’ cookie would be left on the tray.  When no one was looking of course!

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies
Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies!

Give it a try either way but make sure to bake these up sometime soon!

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 large egg

1/2teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2cups all-ppurpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup icing sugar

8 ounces dark chocolate (72% cocoa), chopped

1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts

Method:

In large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, brown sugar and peanut butter until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl and beating for 3-4 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, baking powder and salt.

With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until just combined.

Place the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar in small bowls.  Use a medium scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon size) scoop out dough and roll first in granulated sugar then in confectioners sugar and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared trays.

Bake until edges are set and cookies are cracked on top.  Let cool completely.

Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second intervals stirring after each until melted and smooth.  Let cool slightly for about 3-5 minutes.  Dip half of each cookie in chocolate and lay on parchment lined pan.  Sprinkle with chopped honey-roasted peanuts.  Repeat until all cookies are dipped and garnished.  Cookies will set up in approximately 10 minutes.

Now sit down and relax and let the holidays begin!

Fist Full of Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies
Fist Full of Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies