Sunday Scone Day

I’ve had scones on the brain for about two weeks now – I know, the things I fill my head with! Scones can be quite tricky if you ask me. I feel like the butter needs to be just cold enough and there’s this fine line of too sweet or just not sweet enough and often most are too dry. Oh and then there’s the whole world of savory scones…..ahhh, so many decisions.

I have been the most indecisive person lately and doesn’t shock me that would transfer over to my baking. I honestly could not get either one of these scone recipes out of my head so what did I do….I made them both ๐Ÿ™‚

I followed each of these recipes pretty much to a tee except for the extras (blueberries / sausage / cheese). The savory one was pure perfection but the sweet one, not.so.much. Maybe it was because I used thawed blueberries but this dough was freakin wet. Like so unmanageable no matter how much additional flour I added. I finally just made do and gentle (oddly) arranged them on the baking sheet. Not my best work but the taste was definitely great!

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Blueberry Scones (adapted from theseย )

2 cups of Whole Wheat flour
1/2 cups of brown sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
8 tablespoons of real butter, frozen so it’s easier to grate
1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 package of blueberries (you could also use one bag of defrosted blueberries like I did but probably not recommended:))

Oven Preheat: 400 degrees

Okay, to start off you’ll want to whisk together the following – flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Next it’s time to grate the butter – I grated it on a separate plate before tossing in with the flour mixture. I invested in a pastry cutter specifically for this recipe and boy was I glad, it just makes combining the butter and flour mixture a bit easier. Once this mixture becomes coarse and the butter is somewhat combined (no large pieces are noticeable) set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg and vanilla. Once that’s combined, drizzle over the flour/butter mixture. Mix together until everything is well combined (no crumbs at the bottom). Fold in the ย blueberries.

This is where things got dicey for me – the mixture was just WAY too wet. Like so crazy wet. I continued to add flour until I was able to press the dough into an 8″ ish disc. Unlike the recipe, I cut the disc into 8 triangles and separated them. Reflecting back, I would have kept them together.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

ENJOY!

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Sausage and Cheese Scones (adapted from this recipe)

3 1/4 cups of flour (reg or wheat, whichever you prefer)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
3 tablespoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Seasoning mixture (mine has garlic powder, seasoning salt, thyme, dry mustard)
5 chicken sausages – sliced and diced. I used the organic brand from Target
1 block of cheese (of course, your choice) sliced and diced
3/4 cups of cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup of buttermilk or heavy cream
melted butter to slather over the top of the scones before baking

Oven Preheat: 425 degrees

To start, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and seasoning mixture. I can’t give an accurate measurement for the seasoning mix as I just guesstimated it but I would compare it to seasoning dinner rolls, it that makes any sense at all (probably not so if you want more guidance, leave me a comment!)

Add in the cold butter to the flour mixture and using the pastry cutter, combined the two until well incorporated. Add in the buttermilk and stir with a large spoon – once the dough starts to come together, add in the diced sausage and cheese.

Roll out dough into a 1″ disc. Using any device you have (I used a stemless wine glass) cut circles out of the dough and place on a well greased cookie sheet (or use these amazing silicon baking liners).

Finally brush with melted butter and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the tops are slightly golden).

I like to serve this with honey butter because well, there’s never too much butter ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!

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Look at that cheese – INSANE!

 

 

 

 

Savory Steel Cut Oats

Is it strange that my taste buds change just like the seasons? I swear, during those hot summer days in Chicago, all I want for breakfast is something refreshing and light but as soon as the wind changes, it’s on to warm comfy dishes.

Oatmeal has been one of those dishes that I could take or leave – I loved the smell of it but could never get through an entire bowl. That was until I discovered how good it was with some very simple ingredients, salt / pepper, EVOO and honey – changed my opinion about oatmeal entirely!

There’s many versions of this savory oat dish I’ve tried but the following combo is by far my favorite – I hope you give it a try!


Savory Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats (I like TJ’s brand)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Good honey (my fave brand is also TJ’s,shocking I know)
Salt / Pepper
Avocado
Crispy Bacon

This is as simple as it’s going to get folks – make oats following the directions on the packaging. Once they’re done, mix in a few swirls of EVOO in addition to salt/pepper to taste.

Slice up 1/2 an avocado and put on top, followed by some of that crispy bacon (crumbled is preferred).

Lastly you’ll want to drizzle the whole thing with honey – It’s fantastic, trust me.

This pic doesn’t do it justice as it was taken on my iPhone so no judging!

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Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies

I came across this recipe about 5 years ago and took a picture of it! Didn’t bookmark it or save the link so I have no idea where it came from ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have made these brownies so many times and honestly sometimes still get surprised by how much people love them.

I usually only like to make them for a special occasion where I’m taking the majority of the batch somewhere else besides my house, ha. I kid you not, I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night and “sleep eat” one of these brownies! The combination of the sea salt and deep dark chocolate taste is just insane, and really addicting ๐Ÿ™‚

One pointer I have is don’t skimp on getting good dark chocolate, it will make them even that much better!

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Salted Dark Chocolate Brownies

1 1/2 stick of butter
4 ounces of finely chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup of dark chocolate cocoa
2 cups of brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or extract)
1 cup of whole wheat flour
Some really good sea salt flakes

Oven Preset – 350 degrees
Really good greased 9-inch square glass pan

In a large saucepan, melt together the butter with the finely chopped dark chocolate. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and start to incorporate the following ingredients one at a time, cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. It’s important to do these one at a time so that nothing starts to “cook” (specifically the eggs ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Once all ingredients are mixed well, pour batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake brownies for about 35 minutes until the edges are down and the middle still is a bit gooey. Let cool completely before cutting into squares (this is MOST important for the middle – I actually will wait to slice them until the next day or at least 3 hours after baking).

If I’m bringing these to a party (like the batch below) I will sprinkle with additional sea salt once they are settle into a carrying tin. You can never have too much sea salt!

Enjoy!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Gluten Free!)

I feel like 2014 (and lets face it, the tail end of 2013) was ALL about Gluten Free. I don’t think you can turn a corner in the grocery store these days and not see them advertising “new” gluten free products or old products that were gluten free before but now have it screaming on the front packaging “look at me, I’m gluten free”!

The facts are, I know quite a few people who are really affected by gluten and since seeing a doctor and altering their diets, are feeling amazing!

In my world, I don’t necessarily think I have a severe allergy to gluten but I can tell you something, when I’m cutting out the breads, pastas, beer and pretty much all the good stuff that has gluten in it, I physically feel much better ๐Ÿ™‚ While I can’t live my life without gluten because sometimes I’m okay with feeling sluggish after a big bowl of pasta, I LOVE to experiment with gluten free baking.

I’ve made this bread a few times now and honestly, it’s doesn’t even make me miss the gluten-ness version ๐Ÿ™‚ SO YUMMY and SO MOIST!!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Gluten Free)

4 riped bananas mush
1 stick of browned butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla (or vanilla paste, my fave)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/2 cup of gluten free flour
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Oven Preset – 375 degrees.
Grease up a loaf pan, set aside.

Okay now on to the good stuff, you’ll want to mix together the mashed bananas with the browned butter (cooled a little) first. Then mix in the egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Once that’s all combined, add in the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Then goes in the flour (about 1/4 at a time) and following the walnuts and cc chips. You’ll just want to mix until all ingredients are combined, do not over mix.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until the center is just done.

I always like to serve my breads with some delicious honey butter which I whip up right at home.

1/2 stick of some really good (real) butter softened
1 heaping tablespoon of honey (I usually use raw organic from TJ’s, so good!)

Mix well, slather on a slice of warm bread and ENJOY!!


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