..


Archive for ‘sweet’

August 13th, 2012

dried cherry almond scones

I love cherries – dried or fresh, the tartness with the sweetness makes them a perfect fruit in my opinion.

I discovered dried cherries a few years ago, though I had only every really enjoyed them in my homemade trail mix or just by the handful when traveling. This scone recipe is super simple, it takes about 30 minutes – which is exactly the kind of baking I love: instant gratification baking!

dried cherry almond scones

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 + 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. + 3 Tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 c. dried cherries
  • egg wash 1 egg + 1 tsp water, beaten
  • raw sugar for sprinking
  • sliced almonds for decorating

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in butter pieces and pulse until well incorporated. Pour into medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine 1 egg, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Add cherries; mixture should be sticky.
  4. Turn onto floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times with floured hands, make sure all cherries are well incorporated. Pat out into TWO 1/2" thick circle shapes and use a knife to make 3 diagonal cuts (like cutting a pizza pie) to get 6 triangles out of each circle (this will yield 12 scones total). Brush triangle tops with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar and top with sliced almonds.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until bottom edges appear golden.
  6. Remove and allow to cool 5 minutes before transfering to a cooling rack.

I found this recipe on Food Network’s site, it originally came from Blacksmith Inn in Wisconsin.  I added a little extra whipping cream than the original recipe called for and I used a food processor to bring the dry ingredients together rather than how the original recipe directs.  I also think these would be tasty made with orange zest and cranberries, or even lemon zest and blueberries – there is lots of room for creativity!

The scones turned out great – not overly sweet and the cherries offer just the perfect compliment of tart fruitness that you can enjoy these any time of day…and trust me, I’ve had them at all hours of the day since I made them!

July 1st, 2012

banana cake with cream cheese frosting

As you all might recall, back in 2010 I came across a recipe for the best banana bread ever and since then I’ve been content to stick to it. However I recently decided to make banana cake (which as the hubs pointed out, is really just flat banana bread with icing on top)!

This recipe is different than my other one though, and I think it made a fabulous banana cake. Besides, when does icing not make bread better?

banana cake with cream cheese icing

Ingredients

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (or you could use applesauce)
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 large egg white, at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I always add a little extra)
  • 4 large ripe, bananas
  • 1/4 c. milk (I used fat free, lactose free milk)
  • For frosting
  • 4 oz (half a box) cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray your pan with cooking spray. You can use an 8 inch square pan or a long rectangular pan (the longer the pan, the shorter the cooking time).
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, oil and sugar on medium until smooth. Add eggs & egg white in, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with the milk.
  5. To the butter and sugar mixture, add half of the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Add mashed bananas and mix well. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until flour is incorporated well.
  6. Pour into your pan and bake for 30 minutes (for a long rectangular pan - or 40 for a square pan), or until the batter passes the toothpick test.
  7. Cool cake and then frost.
  8. Frosting:
  9. Beat cream cheese on medium high with vanilla until smooth. Scrape down sides and then add sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, and beat until smooth.
  10. Spread frosting on cooled cake and top with nuts.

May 11th, 2012

cranberry oatmeal cinnamon cookies

Back in December I posted about my white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies that I made for the Food Blogger Cookie Swap, these are similar to those but with a different spin on them!  In lieu of the white chocolate chips I opted to keep it simple, and spice them up with a bit of cinnamon.

cinnamon cranberry oatmeal cookies

Yield: 24-48 cookies, depending on the size of your scoop

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter w/an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  3. Beat until combined and then add in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add in flour until completely mixed.
  4. Stir in oats and cranberries.
  5. Drop rounded scoops onto an ungreased cookie sheet, keeping them about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let sit on cookie sheets for about 1 minute and then transfer to cooling racks until cool.

This is a basic oatmeal cookie recipe (courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens) and you can feel free to add any dried fruit or nuts or spice to make this version your own! Next time I might try dried cherries and walnuts!

December 23rd, 2011

crispy peanut butter butterscotch treats

These treats are an all-time favorite for the hubs and the recipe is from my sweet mother-in-law. I’ve never been a huge fan of butterscotch, but even I sneak a bite or two of these crispy butterscotch treats! They are super simple to make, and they only take about 10 minutes plus cooling time. Sometimes I even add extra peanut butter because…well, you know…we love peanut butter in this house!

crispy peanut butter butterscotch treats

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 squares

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12 oz) butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)

Cooking Directions

  1. Melt butterscotch chips with peanut butter in a heavy sauce pan over low heat; stir until well blended. Remove from heat.
  2. Add crispy rice cereal; stir until well coated with butterscotch mixture.
  3. Press into a buttered 9x9 inch pan. Let stand in a cool place until firm.
  4. Cut into squares and serve.

What I love about basic desserts/treats like these (besides the instant gratification) is that the number of variations on the recipe are endless. For example, if you don’t like butterscotch, you could easily swap out the butterscotch chips for white chocolate chips. Or even chocolate chips! Or, you could go really overboard with the peanut butter (which by the way I’m convinced is not possible in this home) and use peanut butter chips.

See? Possibilities. Endless.

How would you make these? Just like they are? Or would you change it up a bit?