Category Archives: breakfast

apple scones

It’s officially Fall, and it’s my favorite time of year. But everyones says this, so that’s old news. But anyways, it’s that time of year where we have bags and bags of apples fresh from the orchard just waiting to be baked or eaten. I have in mind a lot of recipes that I want to try, so hopefully I stay on track and have some more apple posts coming soon. Have you ever looked at FoodGawker.com? I could spend hours and hours on that site. Type in any ingredient in the search bar and you will lose track of time I’m sure. Well that’s where I’ve found my list of apple things to bake. But this scone recipe was actually just something I adapted from some of my other scones recipes, because if you don’t already know this, I do love me some scones. My mornings are always happier when I can eat one with my coffee. And they are so quick to make too. I do believe these apple ones make for a nice welcome into the Autumn season.

ingredients:

  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. wheat flour
  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 6 tbsp. cold butter (roughly cubed)
  • 1 apple (peeled and roughly cubed)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg

directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no big chunks of butter remain. Gently stir in the apple pieces. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and egg. Combine wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Form the dough into a ball. If it’s too sticky, slowly add a bit more flour so you can handle it. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick disc ( I pat my dough right out onto the parchment paper on the baking sheet because it’s one less thing to clean up). Use a knife to slice the dough into 6 equal triangle pieces. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. After mine cooled a bit, I brushed a glaze of powdered sugar, cinnamon and a little bit of milk on the tops to sweeten them up slightly. You can add any sort of frosting or glaze you like really, or just eat them plain.

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homemade nutella

Today my blog is 1 year old! This also happens to be the same week as my own birthday, so instead of making two cakes this week (which I strongly considered) I wanted to make something I’ve been thinking about for a long time- homemade nutella. I also just got a brand new hot pink food processor this week (thanks credit card rewards!) and finally could make this dream of mine come true. I never really liked Nutella, but after I lived in Germany for two years I was smitten and I nearly forgot about my original spread of choice- peanut butter. That’s mostly because peanut butter isn’t so popular there and Nutella was cheaper and more abundant. I don’t really know why it took me so long to realize that Nutella is the gateway into eating chocolate for breakfast. Well now that I live back in the states, peanut butter is easier to come by and Nutella not so much. I am back in love with peanut butter for sure by now, but I still think of Nutella often. This homemade kind has a grainer texture than the packaged stuff, and I can’t really make up my mind which I like better, but I do believe it was a good choice for breaking in my new kitchen gadget.

based on this recipe from one of my favorite blogs

makes enough for 1 small jar

ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. bittersweet chocolate (or whatever you like)
  • 2/3 c. hazelnuts
  • 1/3 c. almonds
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar (use maybe 1/2 cup if you are using milk chocolate)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp. canola oil (add one at a time)
  • 1/4 tsp. honey

directions:

Roast nuts on a cookie sheet at 400° F for 7-8 minutes. Watch carefully because they will burn very quickly! Let cool, then remove skins, as far as possible. This part was tricky, so if anyone knows an easy way to do this, please let me know. Next time I may try to buy the nuts without skins so I can skip this task. (P.S buy the nuts in the bulk section at the store to save money!). Melt chocolate in the microwave in a bowl, and then set aside. In a food processor, grind almonds and hazelnuts together until it becomes smeary when the fats are released. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt and blend again. Add melted chocolate and blend again. Blend well. Then add canola oil, one teaspoon at a time. The batch I made only needed one teaspoon, but if yours seems a little too thick, go ahead and add two. Make sure to blend well after each addition. Fill nutella into jars or other resealable container. Can be stored on the counter or in the fridge, for 1-2 weeks.

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, recipes, unbaked

blueberry scones

i know, i know, it’s another scone recipe. i just can’t help it! a). i had leftover blueberries from homemade poptarts and b). i have a very profound love of carbs and breakfast pastries. one good thing about making so many scones is that i get to test very many recipes, and hopefully someday will be a scone expert. or maybe someday if i can dream big, i will have my very own cookbook full of scones.

with a cream cheese glaze. makes about 8 scones.

ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp cold butter, one stick, cubed
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
glaze:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tbsp. milk, plus extra if needed
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

directions:

preheat oven to 400°. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. in a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. cube the butter, and then cut into the flour mixture using two butter knives or a pastry dough cutter. the mixture should look coarse, but the butter pieces should be no bigger than pea-sized. stir in blueberries. in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. drizzle this over the flour mixture, and use a fork to stir lightly until dough comes together, leaving a small amount of flour at the bottom of the bowl. use your hands to turn the dough over a few times in the bowl, gathering most of the excess flour. it’s okay if you squish some of the blueberries. i definitely did and maybe it’s a little messy, but it makes for such a pretty color. pull apart pieces of dough that are slightly smaller than a baseball in size. form into a rough ball shape, and then pat down the tops slightly to make them into discs. place on baking sheet. repeat with the rest of the dough. it should divide into enough for 8 scones. bake for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden. to make the glaze, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. add in milk and vanilla extract. it should be pourable but not totally liquidy. you can use a traditional pastry bag to drizzle the icing over the scones, but i just poured it into a ziploc bag and trimmed off a corner before doing some pretty zig zags. 

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zucchini muffins

so these are an extension of an earlier post where i made a small zucchini cake. i had bought a zucchini to use as a topping for pizza, and had lots of leftovers as always. and like i said before, i really like baking new things when i’m forced to use up various ingredients. these sort of turned into breakfast muffins too because i happened to have a lot of other breakfast-y ingredients to be used up, like cranberries, raisins, and coconuts. any ingredients similar to these that you have can easily be added, so feel free to raid your pantry.

makes 10 muffins

ingredients:

  • 1 c. wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut

directions: 

preheat oven to 350° F. place cupcake liners in muffin pan. in a large bowl, beat the egg with a whisk. mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini. stir in the lemon juice. in another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. stir this into the egg mixture. gently stir in the raisins, cranberries, and coconut. pour into muffin cups. bake for about 15-17 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown and the tops spring back when touched.

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, muffin, recipes, vegetable

blueberry poptarts

since i fell in love with baking, i try to avoid store-bought baked things, like cakes and cookies and poptarts. i feel like i’m cheating on the homemade kind. making homemade poptarts is not that hard, and they are somehow comforting to me. the poptarts i see in stores these days are pretty crazy with all of the flavors they have created. i don’t think they even count as breakfast food like they used to. but there is one kind that remains a weakness of mine, and that is the frosted cherry flavor. a) they are pink and sparkly. b) the artificial cherry flavor is a flavor like no other.

my favorite recipe for homemade poptarts is on smitten kitchen. i’ve made them before with the cinnamon-sugar filling, and those are real good. but this time i experimented with homemade blueberry filling and gave them as a valentine’s day gift to my mom. she too has a weakness for blueberry poptarts.

poptart recipe adapted from smitten kitchen, filling recipe adapted from moderate oven

pastry ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 2-3 extra tbsp. of milk for brushing
filling ingredients:
  • 2 ½ c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
directions:

make the filling: 

combine the sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.  wash and drain the blueberries and add them to the bowl, tossing well to combine them with the sugar and cornstarch.  set the bowl aside for 30 minutes, letting the berries stew in the sugar mixture.  gently stir in the lemon juice.

transfer the berries to a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken. this took me less than 10 minutes, but it could depend on your oven. make sure to not let the berries burn on the bottom of the pan.  remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.  filling can also be refrigerated.

make the pastries:

whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. cut in the butter, until the mixture is course and crumbly. the mixture should hold together if you squeeze it. whisk the egg and 2 tablespoons of milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything comes together. form the dough into a ball shape with your hands. at this point, you can wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for up to two days.if the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick. trim to about a 9″ x 12″size rectangle. set trimmings aside. cut into 3″x4″ rectangles. i was a bit rough with my measurements, so i had 5 large poptarts and 2 mini ones (14 single rectangles in all). place half of the cut rectangles on a greased baking sheet. brush the rest of the milk across the entire surface of those rectangles on the baking sheet. these will be the insides of the tart, and the milk will help seal the top pieces down. place a heaping spoonful of the blueberry filling in the center of those rectangles, keeping at least a half an inch border on all sides. place the remaining  other halves of dough onto these rectangles. first, use your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. press the tines of a fork all around the edges of the rectangles. prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork, which will allow the steam to escape. refrigerate the tarts for about 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. then after a half hour, remove the tarts from the fridge, and then bake for about 20-23 minutes, until they are a light golden brown. remove from oven and cool in pan.

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valentine scones

happy valentine’s day! i love this day purely because everything is pink and pretty and chocolatey and sweet. i would be happy if every day could be decorated with polka dot hearts, pretty flowers, and red and pink candy. this recipe is partially devoted to my valentine’s day from last year, where i enjoyed real english scones and tea in london with my friend. read about that story here. that memory in my mind is so rosy and cozy. first of all, i love london. it’s one of my most favorite cities in the world, and everything british makes me so happy. and second of all, having rose tea and authentic scones in a tiny little tea shop we found by accident while wandering near butler’s wharf after visiting the tower of london is just going to be hard to beat in future valentine’s days i think. just thinking about it now makes me want to go back! since that day, i’ve loved scones. and as you have probably seen, there are a couple of scone recipes on this blog, including a cranberry walnut scone which might be similar to this valentine scone. because i make them so much, i usually say in each post how much i’m convinced that that recipe is the one. and then i go on and come across another recipe, and blah blah i’m convinced all over again. so if you will, humor me and go along with whatever scone i’m infatuated with at the moment. i can almost guarantee there will be bigger and better to come.

by the way, these are cranberry scones. along with being referenced to english scones i had on another valentine’s day, they are festively red and white. the recipe is adapted from a really great cookbook that i highly recommend, flour.

makes 8 scones

ingredients:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 c. cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. cold creme fraiche
  • 1 cold egg
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. extra granulated sugar for sprinkling

directions:

preheat oven to 350°F. in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, and cranberries. cut in the butter using two knives or a pastry cutter (i got one for christmas and was really excited to use it finally!), until the butter pieces are no bigger than pea-sized. in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, creme fraiche, and whole egg until thoroughly mixed. slowly pour this buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and stir just until the dough comes together. there might be some loose flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl. use your hands to gather the dough into a round shape, and turn it over a few times to pick up the loose flour on the bottom of the bowl. turn it over in your hands a few more times to make sure the loose flour is mixed in. you want to make sure that you handle the dough as little as possible. you can see in the pictures that there are big cracks and layers visible in the dough before it’s baked, and that is good. this is what becomes flaky in the oven!place parchment paper on a baking sheet, or lightly grease the sheet. pull apart large balls of dough, about 2-3 inches in diameter, and place on baking sheet. press down slightly on the tops to flatten the dough balls into disc shapes. make sure they are at least an inch apart because they will expand a little while baking. brush the egg yolk over the tops of each scone, and then dust with the extra granulated sugar. bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops and edges are golden brown. cool on a wire rack. 

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grandpa’s banana bread

this recipe has been in my family for awhile. it’s originally written in my grandma’s old cookbook, but for my whole life it has been my grandpa’s recipe. he always made it perfectly, and for the rest of us it’s been near impossible to recreate it the way he did. he passed away about a month and a half ago sadly, and baking this yesterday happend to be really good for the heart. the whole house filled with the smell of banana bread and reminded me so much of him. and although it’s not as good as when he made it, my mom and i thought he’d say it was good enough.

below is the exact same recipe my family has had for some 50 years, so i don’t know where it came from. most likely it’s from an old cookbook or magazine from the 1950’s. it’s written originally as quick bread, because it falls into that category of sweet things that aren’t cake but not yeasty bread. it’s really quite simple. but i think it’s one of the best comfort foods i know.

makes 1 loaf. we doubled everything to make 2 loaves.

ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed chopped
  • walnuts (optional)

directions:

preheat oven to 325° F. blend together shortening, salt, and sugar in large bowl. add eggs, flour, baking soda, bananas, and nuts (if you are using them). butter and flour or grease with some butter spray a loaf pan. pour batter into pan, and then bake for 40 minutes. after 40 minutes, insert a toothpick in the center. if it comes out clean, it’s done! if not, keep baking at same temperature, checking with a toothpick every 10 minutes. if you noticed the edges burning, reduce heat to 300° F. continue baking and check with a toothpick every 10 minutes or so.

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