Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strawberries & Cream Scones

For a while I have been wanting to make Strawberries and Cream Scones. I found this great recipe from King Arthur Flour. They turned out nice and moist and all nice and strawberry-y. Can't wait to try these with strawberry jam!!

Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) diced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup (2 ounces) half and half or light cream
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Mellow Pastry Blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup (3 3/8 ounces) diced fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, or a full-size or mini-scone pan.

To make the scones: In a blender or food processor, process 1/2 cup of the strawberries with the half and half or cream until the mixture is smooth. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in the butter, using your fingertips, a fork or a pastry blender.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the strawberry/half and half mixture, the egg, and the vanilla extract. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the 2/3 cup diced strawberries and stir just until everything is well-combined. This is a wet, sticky dough, good for drop scones.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets; each scone should be about the size of a golf ball. A tablespoon cookie scoop is exactly the right size for this task. Or divide the dough among the compartments of the scone pan of your choice. Bake the scones until they're golden brown, 15 to 16 minutes (on a baking sheet or in a mini-scone pan), or 18 to 20 minutes (in a standard scone pan). Remove the scones from the oven when they're beginning to brown around the edges. Break one open, just to be sure; they should be moist, but not gummy, at the center.

To make the topping: As soon as you remove the scones from the oven, make the topping. Combine the sugar and water in a very small (e.g., 1/4- to 1/3-cup size) microwave-safe bowl, stirring until the sugar is moistened. Heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, until the mixture is bubbly. Carefully remove from the microwave (sugar syrup is very hot), and stir in the vanilla. Stir until the mixture smoothes out. Drizzle or brush the topping over the hot scones. Yield: 8 to 18 scones, depending on your choice of pan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Double Chocolate Biscotti

The other night I decided to make double chocolate biscotti. I found the recipe in my beloved Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I found this variation of the recipe on The difference: I used chips instead of chunks of chocolate and no drizzle.

Anyways, these turned out pretty good! Ryan loves it when I make biscotti. So does he grandparents who I made it for. In fact, they were such a hit I made these same ones for some friends. Only I took out the white chocolate and added peanut butter chips, even better in my opinion!

Below is the recipe. I will def. make these ones again. A side note, they may need more than 7-8 minutes baking to crisp up, I did it about 10 minutes and they were not quite crispy enough.

Double Chocolate Biscotti


* 1/3 cup butter
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 eggs
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 ounces white baking bar, coarsely chopped
* 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
* 2 tablespoons shortening (optional)
* 2 ounces semisweet chocolate or white baking bar, coarsely chopped (optional)


1. Grease a large cookie sheet; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder; beat until combined. Beat in eggs. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour. Stir in the 4 ounces white baking bar and the 3 ounces semisweet chocolate.

2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls 4 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet; flatten rolls slightly to 2 inches wide.

3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 hour. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay slice, one cut side down, on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake slices in a 325 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Turn slices over and bake 7 to 9 minutes more or until slices are dry and crisp. (Do not overbake.) Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

5. If desired, in a heavy small saucepan combine the shortening and the 2 ounces semisweet chocolate or white baking bar. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over tops of biscotti. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week. Makes 32 biscotti.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake

This fall I found this recipe in my Real Simple magazine. I had to make it. I did. We had some family over for dinner and I think the cheesecake was the star. My Uncle is not a big fan of cheesecake, but he loved this. In fact, he asked me to make it for him two weeks later as a birthday gift. It is delicious. By far my new favorite cheesecake recipe.

Here is the recipe:
Gingersnap Cherry Cheesecake
Serves 12| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 5hr 00m

* 3 cups ground gingersnap cookies
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* 3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups sour cream
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup cherry preserves


1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

*Photo from