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Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry scones with lemon glaze - The ultimate summer scone

I have been in a baking frenzy this past week.  I can't get enough of it.  I believe I have made two batches of my favorite chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies since last Monday.  Usually I have pretty good self-control when we have homemade cookies in the house.  Not the case lately.  Too many cookies on Sunday led to a highly unproductive day.

The cookies are now gone.  Thank God for that.  Tonight I decided to make strawberry scones with a lemon glaze.  What I love about scones is that there are so many creative combinations of flavors you can add.  I recently had an outstanding strawberry peach scone.  Another memorable scone is the blueberry scone with maple glaze at Bread & Chocolate.  It tastes like a blueberry pancake with maple syrup, but better!

I modified PW's maple pecan scone from her cookbook.  I am proud to say that I am promptly blogging about these.  I am waiting for the scones to cool as I type!  Which also means that I have yet to try them. Though I can say that they smell and look quite heavenly.  I will keep you posted on how they taste!

Before I begin, you'll have to forgive my less-than-quality photographs.  I am roughin' it with my iPhone cam - can't find my digital camera charger anywhere!

Strawberry Scones with Lemon Glaze, modified from PW's maple pecan scones

For the scones:

3 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C sugar
5 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 sticks cold butter
3/4 C strawberries, cut in to small pieces
Lemon zest from one lemon
1 large egg
3/4 C heavy whipping cream

For the glaze:

2 C powdered sugar
2 T whole milk
2 T melted butter
1 t lemon extract

Preheat the oven to 350.

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

Cut the cold butter in to small pieces, and add to the flour.  Cut the butter in to the flour mixture; meaning, sort of mash the butter cubes in to the flour mixture, for lack of a better explanation.  I usually have to get a little creative.  Last time I used a potato masher.  This time it was even less glamourous - I used beaters manually.  But it worked!  Cut the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs, like wet sand.

Next add your strawberries and lemon zest.  Mix throughout.

Whisk the egg and heavy whipping cream, and add to the dry mixture.  Fold the wet mixture in to the dry one until just combined.

Time to get your hands a little dirty.  Knead the dough slightly, but not too much!  Just to get the major clumps mixed in.

Place half of the dough on to a cutting board.  Form a disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches thick.  Cut the disk in to six equal parts as if you are cutting a pizza.  Place each piece on to a greased baking sheet.  Repeat with the second half of the dough.

I would suggest baking in two batches.  I tried to put all twelve scones on to one baking sheet, and the baked in to each other, as you can see.

Bake for about 20 minutes until lightly golden.

Let cool completely.

For the glaze, mix all ingredients until smooth.  Add milk as needed so that the glaze will drizzle evenly on to the scones.  Once the scones are cool, drizzle on a dollop of glaze.  Let glaze harden.

Voila.  Your ultimate summer scone.

What a perfect treat for a warm summer morning!  Pair with a little iced coffee or iced tea and you're bound to have a spectacular day!



Saturday, August 6, 2011

The very best Rhubarb Bread. Ever.

Last weekend I biked to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market and picked up some fresh, local rhubarb to bake with.  Well, the work week flew by, and when Friday rolled around I still hadn't made a delicious rhubarb treat.  I left for the cabin after work on Friday with my fresh rhubarb in tote.  There is nowhere better to bake than amidst the peace and quiet (well maybe not in my family - but at least I'm out of the hustle bustle of the city) up North.

Usually when I arrive at the cabin my first line of business is always to bake.  Perhaps it's just because there is so much more space to do so than in my teeny tiny kitchen at home, which, by the way, only seems to shrink in size by the day.  Only three more weeks in that tiny kitchen and I'll be moving on to a bigger and better space!

Anyway, I found a fantastic rhubarb bread recipe from Taste of Home.  Lately I've been having a hard time finding great bread recipes, but I have finally found a recipe that is most definitely "Bordertown-worthy," if I do say so myself.

Rhubarb Bread, modified from Taste of Home

1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C canola oil
1 egg
3/4 C skim milk
1/4 C half & half
1 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 C chopped, fresh rhubarb
1/2 C pecans


1/2 C sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 T cold butter

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray two loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

First prepare your buttermilk.  In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine skim milk, half & half, and lemon juice.  Stir and let stand for at least five minutes.

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, oil, and egg.

Mix until well-combined and smooth.  Stir in your vanilla and buttermilk mixture.  Next, add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture - flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix until well-combined and smooth.

Fold your rhubarb pieces and pecans in to the batter.

Pour half of the batter in to one of the loaf pans and the rest in to the other loaf pan.

Don't forget to make to streusel (I almost forgot)!  Combine the three ingredients used for the topping in a medium bowl.

Using your hands, work the butter through the sugar and cinnamon until it resembles wet sand.

Side note:  Every time I have someone take an action shot, I cringe at the sight of my hands - they always look like my grandma's.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I'm too young for that!!! 

Back to the matter at hand, spread the streusel mixture so that it covers the surface of both loaves.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Voila.  Beautiful.

One whole loaf was gone by morning.