Classic Cream Scones

This baking season was a season of some horrific surprises.  Apparently, many of my mom’s homemade recipes that I believed to be her creation from her natural motherly instincts come from the boxes and bags of ingredients.  The horror! The horror!

With the confidence from my upbringing destroyed, I had to bake away the pain (Just kidding, a recipe is a recipe and all that matters is that what you make tastes delicious.  Props to mom for cooking anything for us little brats).  When I want to try something new, I often turn to my cooking holy book: Cook’s Illustrated.  I love their explanations and scientific recipe testing techniques.  I have yet to have one of their recipes fail me.

I have had very few scones in my life, just the occasional Starbucks scone at the airport or some store bought scones as snacks. They were all just okay, but these scones were crumbly, slightly sweet, and tender.  Want to treat yourself to a light tasting breakfast these holidays?  You need to look no further.  And you’ll feel so fancy eating these scones instead of a handful of cereal that your pinky may involuntarily rise into the air.  These are a great gift to bake up for your friends and family.  Or serve it as part of your Christmas breakfast.

CLASSIC CREAM SCONES

Barely Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
INGREDIENTS

10 ounces all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup currants
1 cup heavy cream
Turbinado sugar, for topping*

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a food processor combine flour, sugar  salt, and baking powder.  Process for 5 seconds to mix.  Sprinkle cold butter on top and process until crumb mixture forms.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in currants and then heavy cream.  Stir until soft dough forms.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead into soft ball.  The mixture will be very crumbly still but press into a 9 inch circle.  Cut into 10-12 small pieces   Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.  Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.

Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.  Eat warm or at room temperature with butter or cream cheese.  Store in airtight container (they flavor gets better over time, so try to save some for the next day).

Makes 10-12 scones.

*You can also use normal granulated sugar.

Candy Corn Pancakes

Let me take a wild guess about something.  I bet right now you just may have some extra candy on your hands.  Or, if you’re like me, you are planning to go on a shopping splurge in the upcoming days when all the candy is discounted to make room for turkeys.  I plan on stocking up on candy so I have enough to last me until next October 31st.

Candy corn is a classic October treat.  I love it since it basically tastes like a chewy piece of sugar.  Is there anything better than just eating a sugary treat?  You may be saying “No.  No, there is not”, but here is some news: you can put sugary candy corn in pancakes!  And you can eat them for dinner!!This is a decadent Halloween treat that will help rot your teeth even more. Pancakes dotted with chewy, sweet candy corn and all topped with warm honey or maple syrup is a great incentive to make you want to get out of bed in the morning (or to help you make it through the day so you can eat them for dinner).  You can use any pancake batter you want (even instant, Hungry Jack being my preference).  I used an oatmeal based batter in order to incorporate a little health into these pancakes.  Oatmeal counteracts the candy corn, right?  In this batch I also used a caramel candy corn, which was good, but I think the classic plain candy corn is still the best Halloween treat (followed by pumpkin peeps).

(And if you have some Snickers or other candy bars to use up, check out my Baked Snickers Empanada!)

Happy Halloween!
CANDY CORN PANCAKES
Pancake Batter Adapted from The Sweets Life
INGREDIENTS
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup quick oats
2 eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2-2 cups milk
Nonstick spray
3/4-1 cup candy corn, chopped
Maple syrup or honey, for topping
DIRECTIONS
In a food processor or blender, combine flour, oats, eggs, light brown sugar, salt, baking powder, vailla extract, and milk.  Start with only a portion of the milk, adding more as needed.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a measuring cup with a spout. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  Pour a batch of batter into the pan, allowing time for batter to spread before pouring more.  Sprinkle chopped candy corn on top.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Flip and cook 1 minute.  Remove from pan and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.
Top with warm maple syrup or honey if desired.

Breakfast Pineapple Tortilla

First things first:  Thank the sweet lord it is finally the weekend.  The full schedule of the semester has officially begun, and as a result, cooking is becoming more a chore to try and fit into my schedule.  I was just scraping by making “just okay” meals and was loosing my culinary motivation- until out of sheer random choice, I made this recipe.  I am reinvigorated- loved cooking this and got a lot of work done after eating it.
I am always looking for new recipes to try, and as a result, I don’t remake recipes a lot, even if I really love them.  I ate this pineapple tortilla three nights in a row- I think it’s safe to say I really liked it.
It’s a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients, but the combination is so good.  Salty, sweet, and crunchy.  It’s a good way to start your day at breakfast, take a break at lunch, or satisfy your grumbling stomach as a midday snack.  Putting cheese on fruit may just become my new thing.
I still have some Fontina cheese left, and I’m contemplating buying another pineapple just so I can make this again.
BREAKFAST PINEAPPLE TORTILLA
INGREDIENTS

8 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 ounces Fontina, grated
1/2 cup panko

DIRECTIONS

Preheat broiler.

Brush corn tortillas with 3 tablespoons butter and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Broil until crisped, 8-10 minutes.*  Let cool slightly.

Lower the temperature in the oven to 400°F.

Stir light brown sugar and pineapple together.  Top tortillas with pineapple.  Top with Fontina.  Stir together panko and remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Top tortillas with panko.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Makes 8 tortillas.

*You can also just warm the tortillas in the microwave if you want to eat like a soft taco- just skip the broiler step.

Cake Batter Waffles

Eat your heart out easy bake oven.

I am slowly adjusting to my new home, but I am still missing home and my family a little bit.  Even more so (I jest), I am also missing our family waffle iron.  Waffles are a great option for breakfast or for breakfast for dinner.  And what is even better than waffles?  Waffles that taste like cake.

I whipped  up a batch of these bad boys before I left home.  One whiff of this batter cooking up, and you will be transported back to your childhood days when you would cook mini-cakes with a light bulb.  If you ever are overcome by the feeling of wanting to return to the easy days of childhood, make a batch of these waffles.  With some cake mix and soda, you get some instant happiness.

And waffles that taste like cake for breakfast is a great way to get back in the groove for all you students returning back to your classes and books.

CAKE BATTER WAFFLES
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS

1 box cake mix
3 tablespoons canola oil
14-16 ounces cream soda
Sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your waffle iron.  In a large bowl whisk cake batter, canola oil, and 14 ounces cream soda together.  Fold in sprinkles if desired.  Add more cream soda to adjust consistency.  Pour batter into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve with additional sprinkles, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

Makes approximately 10 4-inch square waffles.

Baked Oatmeal

Throw out your preconceived notions about oatmeal.  This baked oatmeal is the antithesis of the instant oatmeal packets which always turn out mushy, flavorless, and boring.  It uses steel cuts oats, which are very different from traditional oatmeal.  Steel cut oats are chewier, nuttier, and I love them.  Baking them up with some fruits creates a warm, substantial breakfast that gives you the energy to make it through to lunch.  No watery oats here!

The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless once you have the method of baking steel cut oats- I have made many versions of this oatmeal.  My personal favorites have been apple, pear, and peanut butter banana (almost like a dessert oatmeal).  Make this on Sunday morning for breakfast then enjoy the leftovers for the rest of the week.  Or eat it for a heart warming, comforting dinner like I do

PS- Can you see a sassy food blogger reflected in my utensil? How did she get there?

BAKED OATMEAL
INGREDIENTS
1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 apples, chopped*
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For serving: peanut butter, cream cheese, maple syrup
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a baking dish (about 2 quarts).

In a large bowl, combine steel cut oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir in chopped apples. In a large measuring cup, whisk milk, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract together. Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Pour liquid mixture over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until oatmeal is set and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with peanut butter, cream cheese, or maple syrup if desired.

Serves 4.

*For the fruit you can also replace apples with 2 pears, 2 bananas, 2 cups blueberries.  Or you can mix and match with blueberry banana, apple and pear, and more.

Open Face Egg Bagel

Sometimes I feel like eggs are under appreciated and often relegated to breakfast.  Eggs for breakfast are great, but I hear there are some people out there who never eat breakfast.  In fact, the last time I ate breakfast was probably back in college. For a few months back in college, I would eat a bowl of frozen peas for breakfast before heading out to my first class.  For the life of me, I don’t know how I got the idea of having peas for breakfast in the first place, but hey, it’s better than beer and cold pizza, right?

The basic lesson of this post: eggs and peas are good all day long.  This sandwich is perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I tastes light and fresh but leaves you feeling full and won’t leave you bogged down in a food coma after eating.  Plus, bagels are always delicious, so where can you go wrong?

I bet this would be great with a side of peas.

OPEN FACED EGG BAGEL
From Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS
1 egg (preferably a few days old)
1 bagel
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon capers
Salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS
Place egg in a small saucepan.  Cover with water.  Cover pan with lid and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 20 minutes.  Drain water and let egg cool.  Peel off shell.  Slice egg.
Cut bagel in half. Spread cream cheese on both sides.  Top with mushrooms, lettuce, and hard boiled egg. Sprinkle capers over top.  Season with salt and pepper.

Here are some idea for variations:
Mediterranean: Bagel, hummus, cream cheese & dill, cucumber slices, olives, tomato, egg
Southern: Bagel, pimento cheese, bacon, jalapenos, egg
Hot: Toast bagel, fried egg, spinach, Hollandaise sauce

Mini German Pancakes

Have you ever made a pancake and went “Awwww” as you looked at it.  If you haven’t, then you obviously have not made these adorable puffed pancakes.  Sometimes, miniature sized things are just too cute.

Not only are these pancakes adorable, but they are also low maintenance.  They are a perfect addition to your breakfast.  While you cook your eggs, bacon, sausage and other breakfast items, these pancakes take care of themselves as they bake.  Within a half an hour you have adorable, puffy, soft German pancakes.  Make them sweet with syrup and powdered sugar or savory with eggs, chives, and cheese.

MINI GERMAN PANCAKES
Slightly Adapted from Our Best Bites
INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Nonstick cooking spray
Melted butter, for topping

DIRECTIONS

Put mini muffin pans in oven.  Preheat oven and pans to 400°F.  Let pan sit in preheated oven for 5-10 minutes.


In a large bowl, whisk flour, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together.  Working quickly, spray preheated pans with nonstick spray.  Fill each mini muffin tin about 3/4 the way full.  Bake for 14-17 minutes, until pancakes are puffed and golden brown.  Brush with melted butter.  Serve with powdered sugar, fruit jam, and maple syrup for a sweet pancake, or serve with scrambled eggs, chives, and cheddar cheese for a savory pancake. 


Makes 24 mini pancakes. Serves 2-3.