baking

Another delicious attempt at scone making

I love scones. I love going to tea houses for afternoon tea and having scones with lemon curd and cream. Sometimes it’s my favorite part of the tea tradition. With your afternoon tea, the tea sandwiches arrive first, then the scones with lemon curd and cream on the side and lastly, the little desserts.

I’ve made a few attempts at making scones in the past. Although they taste delicious, they don’t look how they are supposed to look because I always have difficulty managing the dough. It’s very sticky so instead of being triangles or cute perfect round scones made with a scone cutter I purchased, they end up looking like little muffins or imperfect flat circles. But they are still delicious!

I’ve tried many scone recipes in the past but I think I just found my favorite recipe so far. I found the recipe on wildwildwhisk.com:

https://wildwildwhisk.com/basic-buttermilk-scones/

The scones are so buttery and flaky. The texture, consistency and taste of the scones actually remind me of the scones that we eat when we are in London. Those scones came plain or with raisins.

For this recipe by wildwildwhisk.com, you will need buttermilk as well as cubed cold butter. I think those are the magic ingredients. Start with your dry ingredients which are flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift them into a bowl. Take the cold, cubed butter and work it into the dough with your fingertips until the dough is the size of peas. Next, take the wet ingredients which include buttermilk, vanilla and egg and fold them into the dry ingredients. The next part is the part that I always have difficulty with because of the stickiness of the dough. The dough is supposed to be turned out on a floured surface and shaped into a circle and then cut into triangles. The dough is so sticky that I have so much difficulty. I always end up spooning the dough onto a baking sheet.

I made two sizes of scones. For the bigger scones, I spooned about 2 tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. The dough spread, so the scones ended up as flat, imperfect circles. They might look imperfect but I must admit that they are still oh so delicious. Especially when they are hot and fresh out of the oven. They are so buttery, flaky and taste delicious with coffee or tea.

My flat, imperfect but delicious circle scones with cranberries

I made some plain and some with dried cranberries. For the smaller scones, I spooned some dough into a mini cupcake tin. The scones came out as cute little 2 bite mini scone muffins.

mini scones

To ensure that the scones end up buttery and flaky, make sure that there are still little pieces of butter in the dough. The little pieces of butter melt while baking and create a flaky texture. Turning the dough over itself in the last step also creates layers, making the scones flaky. It’s important not to use too much flour when turning the dough or else the scones will end up dry. In addition, the wet dough creates softer scones.

If you are able to make these scones into triangles, then each triangle is about 270 calories each. Since I couldn’t manage making the triangles, I made 12 round circles and 9 mini scones with this recipe.

Try this recipe for the most delicious scones to eat with your afternoon tea.

Happy baking!

baking

My favorite quarantine banana muffin recipe

If you are like most people, you have made at least one batch of banana bread during quarantine. It seems to be the most popular bread to make during this time. I think I’ve made about 3 or 4 batches of banana muffins so far.

I read somewhere that banana bread became really popular during the Great Depression. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it makes sense. Instead of throwing away over-ripened bananas which would be wasteful, using bananas to make bread is a great way to be resourceful with your ingredients and make the most of what you already have available.

Check out this link for a little history of banana bread: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/comment/338341

I want to share my favorite banana muffin recipe. I like it because the bread turns out moist, not dry. I believe that’s because this recipe uses oil, not butter. You can also mix in any extra ingredients that you like such as walnuts or chocolate chips.

Yummy…

Here is a link to my favorite banana muffin recipe:

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/basic-banana-muffins/

The ingredients include flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ripe bananas, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. It’s best to use ripe bananas. They are sweeter which enhances the flavor of the bread. They are also mushy so they blend into the batter better. If you have an over-ripe banana and you don’t want to make banana bread right away, you can place them in a gallon bag and put them in the freezer until you are ready to bake.

Each banana muffin is around 200 calories (with oil). You can use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil if you want to save calories. However, substituting applesauce for oil will change the texture of the banana bread. I’ve never made this recipe using applesauce and I’m pretty sure the texture won’t be as moist. However, you can also substitute with applesauce using half oil and half applesauce if you want to save calories, but don’t want to sacrifice too much of the texture.

Happy baking!

baking

Why is it called a Peach Cobbler?

One good thing that is coming from being safer at home is that many people are trying out new hobbies or improving their current hobbies. Two of my hobbies are sewing and baking. I noticed that both of those are in high gear right now. Some people are learning how to sew masks, which is inspiring them to learn how to sew their own clothes. Some people are learning how to bake bread for the first time or making a lot of banana bread. I know I’ve made a lot of banana bread in the last 4 months.

One of my goals during this lock-down is to bake something new and different to me. Things that I’ve never baked before. One of those things was carrot cake An Adapted Carrot Cake Recipe by Paula Deen- Quarantine Style. I also want to learn how to bake bread from scratch.

I found some canned peaches in my pantry and figured that this is as good a time as any to learn how to make a peach cobbler. Want to know a secret? I’ve never had peach cobbler ever in my life. I know, I can’t believe it either. And I’m not the type to choose vanilla for ice cream. I mean, my favorite ice cream is one with everything and anything in it! I am willing to try any dessert. So it’s hard to believe that I’ve never had peach cobbler.

Since I’ve never had this dessert before, I decided to start with an easy and simple recipe. One that included canned peaches. I watched a few videos on YouTube and found that they all had the same basic recipe for easy and simple peach cobbler. They all contained a stick of butter (or 1/2 cup of butter), a can of peaches, and one cup each of milk, flour and sugar. Also added were baking soda and salt if baking flour was not used. In each recipe, the first step is to melt the stick of butter in the oven. While doing that, you mix the milk, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Once the butter is melted, you pour the mixture on top of the melted butter. The most important part is not to stir or mix it. Just have the mixture spread out on it’s own. Then pour the can of peaches, syrup and all, on top of the mixture. Again, do not stir or mix. Bake for about 45 minutes (until the top is browned).

That was the most glorious 45 minutes I’ve had since this lockdown. You know why? Because the whole house smelled like BUTTER! O…M…G…

the final product

The middle seemed a little too mushy. Maybe too much syrup? The sides were browned enough so I didn’t want to put it back in the oven. Can I be honest? It tasted ok. It was actually kind of bland. Like, where are the spices? LOL… And really, it was way too butter-y. I wasn’t very impressed.

I watched a few more videos to see if there was something that I missed. All of them basically had the same ingredients until I found one person who shared her grandmother’s recipe. The only difference is that she added a teaspoon of vanilla in her mix and she sprinkled cinnamon on top.

It was too late to add vanilla. So I sprinkled some cinnamon on a new piece and whoa, that made a difference. There’s what was missing. If I ever make this dessert again, I will add the vanilla and cinnamon.

At least I get to check off another dessert off my lock-down bucket list. My next baking project will be the bread made from scratch.

Until then, Happy Baking and Happy 4th of July!

Oh, and the answer to that question. The question my son was asking each time I asked him if he wanted a piece of peach cobbler, Why is it called peach cobbler? Here’s a satisfying answer:

Cobblers originated in the British American coloniesEnglish settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together.[citation needed] The origin of the name cobbler, recorded from 1859, is uncertain: it may be related to the archaic word cobeler, meaning “wooden bowl”.[2]

-Wikipedia.org