Scones

Recipe #3 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection is SCONES! I will eat any scone from plain to savory to sweet (sweet will always be the favorite, of course). The secret with scone dough is to handle it as little as possible to keep those littles bits of butter nice and cold until they hit the oven. This is a basic recipe and you can choose your mix-ins and flavoring, this time I used 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and vanilla. Next time I might use raisins, pecans, and maple, oh, that sounds amazing!

Scones 1

Scones2 Scones3 Scones 4

Dough
2¾ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1-2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavor chips, nuts, or combination
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/2 – 2/3 cup half-and-half or milk

Topping
2 tsp milk or half-and-half
2 Tbl sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter just until mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you’re using them. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half-and-half or milk. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until all is moistened and holds together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat; if you don’t have either, just use pan without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. Put dough onto floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull wedges away from center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.

For best texture and highest rise, place pan of scones in freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills fat, which will make scones a bit flakier. While scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.

Bake scones in upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown. Remove scones from oven, and cool briefly on pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.

When scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake

This cake makes a statement!

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cake:
1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbl caramel ice cream topping

Milk Chocolate Drizzle & Toppings:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 Tbl shortening
caramel ice cream topping
pecans, chopped
mini chocolate chips
toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl with electric mixer, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into a well sprayed bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake in pan at least 15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to cool completely. Transfer to serving plate.

In a bowl with electric mixer, whip cream cheese. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add caramel and mix well. Spoon into pastry bag with large tip and pipe back and forth around (completely cooled) cake. In small bowl, microwave milk chocolate chips and shortening until just tempered, just melted enough to drizzle (hot or too warm on the cream cheese caramel frosting would melt frosting). Drizzle the caramel topping all around the cake. Sprinkle with pecans, mini chocolate chips and toffee bits. Inspired by chefintraining.

Graham Cracker Coconut Bars

Just five ingredients and you have Graham Cracker Coconut Bars, YUM!

Graham Cracker Coconut Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups shredded coconut
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate candy bars

Preheat oven to 400°. Line 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. In a bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and coconut. Pour in sweetened condensed milk and melted butter, stir until well combined. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, just until edges are barely starting to turn golden. Remove and cool completely. Melt milk chocolate bars (can use  1 cup milk chocolate chips) slowly in microwave until just melted and smooth. Spread evenly over cooled bars. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Chill until chocolate is set. Holding edges of foil, remove bars from pan onto cutting board. Peel back foil from sides and cut into bars.

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

What a lovely way to start the day!

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
1¾ cups flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for tops)

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare 12 cup muffin baking pan with spray or papers. In large bowl, stir together sugar and orange zest (optional, let this sit for an hour for the oil from the orange zest to infuse the sugar). Add flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together oil, sour cream, milk, orange juice, eggs, and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with more mini chocolate chips if desired. Bake 18-20 minutes until center of muffins are set. Allow to cool in baking pan for about 10 minutes then remove to cooling rack. Substitute or add other mix-ins such as raspberries, raisins, nuts, etc.

One Year Ago: Cinnamon Blondies

Two Years Ago: Easy Cheesy Breadsticks

Three Years Ago: Triple Chocolate Brownie Cream Pie

Four Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Five Years Ago: Homemade Pizza

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

These yummy little babies can be found in our refrigerator to grab anytime you need a little pick me up. Quite often, a couple of these energy bites are my breakfast. Thanks to our daughter for getting us hooked on this healthy snack.

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites I

2 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup chopped almonds
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 Tbl chia seeds
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, hand mixer works well. Form into balls (I make mine small, using my 1½” cookie scoop). Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe makes approx 48 – 1½” diameter energy bites, approx 86 calories per bite. Original recipe found at thecreativebite.com.

Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins

Sometimes I’m in the mood for healthy and low calorie, that is when I bake something like Bran Muffins. Today I throw all those cares to the wind and bake a bran muffin with sugar, chocolate and lots of nuts. I fool myself with the words banana and bran, that there is some health benefit in there somewhere. My workout tonight will have to be a little longer, but that’s OK, my craving is satisfied. ;o)

Nutty Chocolate Chip Banana Bran Muffins

3 bananas, medium, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1¾ flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, stirring by hand, combine banana, eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and All-Bran cereal. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; add to banana mixture. Stir just until all is combined. Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts. Scoop mixture into prepared muffin cups, they will be full. Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips and nut pieces on top if desired. Bake 20-22 minutes.

Other Muffins:

Mandarin Orange Muffins     Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Muffins

Very Vanilla Crumble Muffins     Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins     Snickerdoodle Muffins

Blueberry Oat Nut Muffins     Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Fudge Bars

I combined a couple of my favorite recipes today, yummy!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Fudge Bars

Chocolate Chip Coconut Base & Topping
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2¹/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut

Fudge Filling
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. With electric mixer, in large bowl cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in mini chocolate chips and coconut. Press 3/4 of dough into sprayed 15″x10″ baking sheet pan (I use my fingers sprayed with nonstick spray). Set aside and prepare the fudge filling.

In a small saucepan, stir together sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Heat over low to medium-low heat just until chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and walnuts. Mixture will be thick. Drop by spoonfuls over dough in pan. Evenly spread fudge filling over entire dough surface. Using your hands sprayed with nonstick spray, drop remaining 1/4 chocolate chip coconut dough by little bits evenly over surface of the fudge filling. Press down just a little to flatten dough bits. Bake 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely to cut into clean squares. Oh course, cut and eat sooner if you can’t wait!

Peanut Butter Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing earth-shattering here, just big, delicious cookies that were my total diet yesterday. Thought I would share…

Peanut Butter Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3¼ cups flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. With electric mixer in large bowl, cream butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix until all combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Drop big rounded 2″ diameter scoops onto non-greased cookie sheet (I do eight cookies per sheet). Press down with fingers making a disc, then make cross marks with fork. These are big, so I press with fork around each cookie four times. Bake 10-11 minutes. Do not over bake! I pull mine out at 10 minutes so they remain soft inside. Grab a glass of milk and forget cooking dinner!
Makes approx 30 big cookies.

One Year Ago: Fruity Pebbles Cookies Fruity Pebbles Cookies

Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Toffee Shortbread Chocolate Chip Toffee Shortbread Bars

Three Years Ago: Baked Spasangna Baked Spasagna

Four Years Ago: Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie 1

Bran Muffins

We love a good muffin, don’t we? But, I am big on counting calories, and a muffin can be loaded with calories. With this recipe, the goal was healthy, good taste, fiber, and low calorie. I think is hits the mark, it can be a good start for your morning or a great snack. Don’t expect a lot of sweet, there is no sugar added. The flavor comes from the hardiness of bran, a hint of molasses, cinnamon, and little bit of chocolate here and there.
One muffin has 145 calories, 5g fiber, 2.6g fat, 30.7g carbs.

Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins II

1¼ cups All-Bran cereal
2/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 Tbl molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl mini chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 6 muffin cups or add papers.
Stir together All-Bran, milk, applesauce, egg, molasses, and vanilla. Let sit 5 minutes for the bran to softened. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to bran mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Scoop batter evenly into the 6 muffin cups. Bake 20-22 minutes.

*Use 4 Tbl mini chocolate chips for a little more chocolate in your muffins, this increases the calories per muffin to 170. Still good on calories, and more chocolate!

 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Please go pick up a jar of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread! If you can stop yourself from eating all of it straight from the jar, you can make these cookies. ;o) Oh…just buy two!

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies 1  Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies 2  Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies 3

1/2 cup butter
1 jar (13oz) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, Reese’s Spread, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Scoop onto a cookie sheet, pressing the scoop of dough down into a disc (my scoop is 2″ diameter and I fill it rounded, press down to 3″diameter). Bake 10-11 minutes, do not over bake. I bake mine 10½ minutes. Leave cookies on tray to cool, they finish their bake and set up. Makes 24 large 4″ diameter cookies. Make smaller cookies if you like, baking time may be slightly less.

Other Favorite Cookie Recipes:

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies  Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies  Brownie Cookies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting