Monday, November 29, 2010

Walnut-raisin sour cream scones

I make almost all my scones using sour cream, but I'll call these sour cream scones anyway. You can substitute the honey with 1/4 cup packed brown sugar for a sweeter scone. This will create more of a dough that can be rolled and cut, as it reduces the liquid.

1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup plumped raisins, dredged in cinnamon and sugar

2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix dry ingredients; add butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. (I used frozen, grated butter this morning). To plump the raisins, put them in a microwaveable container and zap on medium for 5 minutes, then drain. (If you don't plump them, they dry out during baking.) Add the raisins and walnuts. Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into dry mixture until dough forms (will be somewhat sticky). Form into 2 1/2 balls and flatten slightly on the parchment.

Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Based on apricot sour cream scones from Epicurious.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet tooth

I still have scones left over from last week. So I thought I'd try some brownies instead.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup maple syrup
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. While cooling beat eggs, syrup, and vanilla, then add it to the butter and beat until creamy. Beat in the cocoa, then add and beat in the flour and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Brownies are done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to overcook.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Never throw anything away

The ice rink where I work has the most wonderful concessionaire. A skating mom herself, she transformed the concession stand from garbage-central to an honest-to-goodness healthy cafe; she makes everything from espresso brownies to salmon burgers with a hot plate, panini grill, and toaster oven.

Like all fast-food stands, she's got "meal deals," but hers are a sandwich, Italian soda (your choice of flavors), a homemade cookie, and a piece of fruit. Last week I grabbed a banana which I never ate. By the time I remembered it, it was, well let's call it "overripe."

Did I mention never throw anything away? I roasted the apple peels (from the home made applesauce), some garlic cloves, and the last of the summer's tomatoes in a 300F oven for 60 minutes, then simmered it all in apple cider for 30 minutes. Run through a food mill, then smooth with an immersible blender. Tomato-apple soup. Recipe on Mahlzeit.

Apple banana scones

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (for October unprocessed, use all unbleached wheat flour)
1 cup unbleached wheat or whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 T cane sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits (or grate frozen butter. Make sure the grater is also frozen)
¾ cup walnuts, crushed

3T light corn syrup
1 large egg plus one egg yolk
1 overripe banana, mashed
2/3 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

Preheat oven to 400F (375 if you have a baking stone in your oven) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Adjust a baking rack to the middle position.

Beat together the liquid ingredients and set aside. You can leave out the corn syrup; your scones will just be a little less sweet. If you leave it out, replace the liquid (more apple sauce or sour cream works fine).

Mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, knife or your hands until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir the nuts into the flour mixture. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Dough will be very sticky.

For drop scones, place in tablespoon scoops onto a parchment-covered baking sheet about 1 inch apart on and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer the scones to a cooling rack and let them cool slightly before serving.