Tag Archives: brunch

Berry Scones

Slightly sweet.  Moist.  Rich with cream and butter.  Scones are so versatile and scrumptious.  I enjoy them with all sorts of additions – blueberries, raspberries, cinnamon chips.  They can be lightly glazed or like mine, which have a delightfully crunchy sprinkling of turbinado sugar.

Berry Scones

I’ve done a bit of baking in the past week for Memorial Day and weekend breakfasts, and while I’ve enjoyed the brown sugar pound cake and buttermilk biscuits, I must say these scones came out on top.  My husband (we’ll refer to him as Mr. D) and I had some nice, simple scones at the bed & breakfast we stayed at on our Savannah honeymoon; this tweaked Ina Garten recipe blows them out of the water.  Theirs were a bit dry and just didn’t have the flaky, rich texture of these.

Ina’s original recipe is for “cranberry-orange” scones, but I didn’t have any citrus fruit on hand, so I made them with dried mixed berries (a trio of cranberries, cherries, and blueberries).  Her basic recipe is going to be my go-to from now on because it’s so easy and perfect.  I did cut it in half, as her dishes often yield large amounts.

Scones are wonderful for breakfast, brunch, or a snack, and they can be savory or sweet.  I’ve enjoyed cheddar-dill scones and versions with salty bacon.  I look forward to using this recipe with savory ingredients, too.

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Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 cup dried fruit

*1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash

*Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on the egg-washed tops before baking

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/8 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the eggs and heavy cream and with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy. Combine the dried fruit bits and 1/8 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick circle (or just pat it out with your hands). You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges and place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes.

Berry Scones

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

One of the first recipes I made without the help of my mom was a simple cinnamon coffee cake in my sixth grade “Life Skills” class.  It was a basic, single-layer 8×8 cake with a swirl of brown sugar and cinnamon, made with just a few ingredients.  Uncomplicated yet satisfying.  I’m not a big fan of most cake icings, so coffee cakes are especially appealing.  I’ll take a crumbly cinnamon streusel over buttercream icing any day.

This recipe requires a few more ingredients and steps than the cake I made as an 11-year-old, but the results make the additional effort completely worth it.  It’s rich, moist, and spicy, and would be a perfect addition to breakfast or brunch.  If I drank coffee, I’m sure this would be an excellent partner.  Instead of a regular square baking dish or round cake pan, I used a well-greased 10-inch springform pan that released the cake nicely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves are incorporated into the cake batter, and rich, sweet, vanilla cream cheese separates the layers.  The coffee cake is topped with a crusty crown of cinnamon streusel; chopped nuts would also be a nice addition to the topping.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each: ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Filling:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat cream cheese with the egg yolk for one minute, and then mix in sugar and vanilla.  Pour the filling over half of the coffee cake.  Spoon the other half of the coffee cake batter over the top.

Streusel:

1/4 cup of  brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1Tbs.  cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and use your fingers to cut the butter into the topping mixture until it resembles crumbles. Sprinkle over top of the cake before baking.

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggs and sour cream and beat for another 3 minutes.  Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder, salt, spices) and slowly add to the creamed mixture.  Mix on LOW until just combined.
Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the greased pan.
Pour the cream cheese filling over the batter.
Add the remaining half of the cake batter.
Top with the cinnamon streusel mixture.
Bake for 52-55 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack before removing the outer ring of the pan.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
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