Tag Archives: snack

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.


Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones

Berry Scones (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)


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


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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Pumpkin Bran Muffins: Friday’s Fiber

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

Perfect for snacking and/or a breakfast on-the-go, these moist pumpkin bran muffins are full of fiber and have a nice, warm spice to them. They’re not a particularly sweet muffin because the only sugar comes from honey and molasses – so no white sugar! To make these even healthier, in place of all-purpose flour, I used white whole wheat flour. A sprinkling of bran atop the muffins prior to baking makes them look healthy, too. I won’t deny that I’d much rather have a streusel topping, though. The goal here, however, was to make a hearty, nutritious muffin for quick breakfasts…and that was accomplished with these fiber-rich treats.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

As with quick breads, muffin batter should never be overmixed – or else you’ll have tough, heavy mounds to throw at your enemies.

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

(adapted from GreenLiteBites)

  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour (180g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin
  • ¼ cup molasses (84 g)
  • 2 tbsp honey (42g)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup non-fat unflavored yogurt (I used Greek)
  • ¾ cup Oat Bran (45g)
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Double-sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, molasses, honey, egg, egg whites, applesauce and yogurt. Beat until all ingredients are mixed well.

Pour the flour mixture and oat bran into the pumpkin mixture. Combine until just moistened. Do NOT overmix!

Line muffin tins with papers. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle with bran and bake for about 20 minutes. (Yield: approx. 18)

Pumpkin Bran Muffins


Tomorrow is my 26th birthday, and I will be serving my family a homemade dessert of honey-lavender profiteroles and plain cream puffs filled with vanilla pastry cream. I’m using Julia Child’s recipe for Pate a Choux with a lusciously floral ice cream that I made last night using our new KitchenAid ice cream maker bowl; I also prepared the pastry cream to pipe into the shells. I’m very much looking forward to my first attempt at Pate a Choux and will report the results soon.

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Cinnamon Quick Bread

Cinnamon Quick Bread II Rants, Raves, & Rations

Quick breads are somewhat tricky to get “right.”  While they aren’t as finicky as risotto, they do require careful attention to flavor additions and mixing to yield a great product.  So many of these turn out incredibly dry, heavy, and/or bland.  Yes, cinnamon and sugar can cover a multitude of sins, but they can’t make up for a terrible texture.

Quick bread batter can also only take so much mixing abuse before it reaches a point of no return, producing an extremely heavy result.  You cannot beat it into submission!  The trick for these batters (and for muffins) is to mix the dry and wet ingredients until JUST combined.  While lumps are not so acceptable in leggings, they are perfect for quick breads and muffins.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is deliciously moist, sweet, spicy, and EASY.  This loaf is a breeze to make, and it’s likely that you have all of the ingredients on hand if you do much baking at all.  You could make a basic glaze with confectioner’s sugar and milk if you like that sort of addition, but it certainly doesn’t need one.  The crisped cinnamon-sugar top is perfect.

Cinnamon Quick Bread II Rants, Raves, & Rations

Cinnamon Quick Bread


Quick Bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Cinnamon Swirl/Topping:
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add egg, milk, and oil to flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Pour half of the batter into the greased pan and sprinkle with almost the entire 1/3 cup of cinnamon sugar.
Add the remaining batter, and lightly sprinkle with remaining topping.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.

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