Baking · cooking · recipes

Cranberry Scones made with Butter and Cream

scone 8

There are some baked items that seem ubiquitous – peanut butter cookies, banana bread, blueberry muffins – and scones. While there are so many recipes, finding the perfect one that actually creates what it says it will is rarer and I always end up adapting.

Another issue I am concerned with is only baking for a full house. My freezer is bursting to the seams with baked goods that may or may not get eaten. In my quest for the perfect recipes, I continue to bake and bake, tweak, make notes…. While I don’t have a home-baking business, I practice as if I do.

I have a memory of a bakery cranberry scone I used to enjoy in Canada, but have never made them. For whatever reason, a dozen muffins always made more sense with a family of grown eaters.

Enter Christina Lane – the creator of Dessert for Two https://www.dessertfortwo.com/ and a published (3 books to her name)cookbook author.

I found her scone recipe online. She has made them with Meyer Lemons as well as Black Pepper and a maple glaze. The original recipe is here: https://www.dessertfortwo.com/black-pepper-scones-with-maple-glaze/

My adaptation is almost exact, but once I try a recipe, I want to show what slight changes I made and if it really did come out as amazing as described. In a word, YES! They absolutely did if I say so myself. As Christina Lane described, they have a light crumb and just the right amount of sweetness without overloading the flavors of butter and cream.

As I have avoided such ingredients for years, they seem plainly decadent to me. That did not stop me, but I just thought I should mention it. This is why people love butter and write rapturously of it, and why I don’t want to get too close.

I did not make a glaze, but sprinkled sanding sugar lightly over the tops. It was delicious and I did not feel that I was missing out in anyway. The recipe was perfect and did indeed make 4 scones, as said, that were so very, very, very good. You can see her original recipe or use the base and make changes based on your taste.

The recipe exactly as I made it is below. Wherever you see the italics indicates my changes.

CRANBERRY SCONES
adapted from http://www.DessertForTwo.com
YIELDS 2

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (I used salted and it was good to me)
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I only used 1/3 cup and did not brush 1 of the Tablespoons of cream over the tops before baking)
1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup dry measure Trader Joe’s whole organic dried cranberries (Great big berries that are so juicy and delicious!! You could use less if you prefer)

Sugar for sprinkling on top (I used Bob’s Red Mill Sparkling Sugar)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Dice the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s evenly distributed and smaller than peas. Use two knives, a pastry cutter, or your hands. (I did this by hand)
Next, add 1/3 cup (plus 1 Tablespoon heavy cream if too dry to hold together) and the egg yolk in a small bowl and beat together. Pour this on the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Don’t overmix, but incorporate things well.

Scoop roughly half of the dough out and use the warmth of your hands to make it stick together. (I scooped as much of it as I could at once) Mound it on a cookie sheet in a rough circle shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the scones with the remaining 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.

(I created one large circle and pushed together into a dome shape. Then, with a knife, I divided the circle into quarters. I did not add cream on the top. I used a teaspoon of sugar into the palm of my hand and sprinkled the surfaces with the large grains of Sparkling Sugar. After I did that step, I carefully pushed the quarters apart to give space between each scone for baking.)

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and they lightly brown on the edges.

scone 7scone 8

(I needed 15 minutes in my oven.)
I gave the scones 5 minutes (or, was it less???) to cool while I made a fresh cup of coffee.

scone 11

I always have to adapt cookbooks to make kosher substitutions, but the rave reviews for Christina Lane’s cookbooks on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lane/e/B01EM96VZW/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 make it sound like it would be worth it.

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt either.
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Baking · cooking · food

Baking Conversions for Understanding Great British Baking

cooking conversion image b & w

Whatever part of the Commonwealth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_Nations you may or may not belong to, The Great British Bake Off created massive appeal among audiences around the world. However, understanding the difference in metric conversions, terms, or even appreciating the great variety of language and spelling that is considered English among the Queen’s many subjects, is an education best understood for Americans with the help of a guide.

This wonderful list was created by Natasha, the massively talented pastry chef based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website http://www.butterbaking.com/ is a feast for the eyes and palette. Her food artistry can also be found on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/butterbaking/butter-baking-blog/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/butterbaking/?hl=en

This list will save you a great deal of time and answer most any question you may have about baking “across the pond” and make the list of possibilities even sweeter.

TERMINOLOGY
My abbreviations and British English.

Teaspoon = tsp
Tablespoon = tbsp
Grams = g
Kilograms = kg
Milliliters = ml

Plain flour = all purpose flour
Wholemeal flour = whole wheat flour
White sugar = granulated sugar
Caster sugar = superfine sugar
Icing sugar = powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

GENERAL MEASUREMENTS
Cups, tablespoons and teaspoons.

1/2 tbsp = 1 1/2 tsp
1 tbsp = 3 tsp
1/4 cup = 4 tbsp
1/3 cup = 5 tbsp + 1 tsp
1/2 cup = 8 tbsp
2/3 cup = 10 tbsp + 2 tsp
3/4 cup = 12 tbsp
1 cup = 16 tbsp

WEIGHT CONVERSIONS
Grams and ounces – general conversions.

1 ounce = 28 grams
1 pound = 16 ounces = 453 grams

20 g = 3/4 oz
60 g = 2 oz
100 g = 3.5 oz
125 g = 4.5 oz
180 g = 6.5 oz
250 g = 9 oz
500 g = 1/2 kilogram = 18 oz
1 kg = 2 pounds = 32 oz

VOLUME CONVERSIONS
Milliliters, fluid ounces and cups – general conversions.

2 tbsp = 29.57 ml = 1 fl oz
1/4 cup = 60 ml = 2 fl oz
1/3 cup = 80 ml = 2 2/3 fl oz
1/2 cup = 125 ml = 4 fl oz
2/3 cup = 160 ml = 5 1/3 fl oz
3/4 cup = 180 ml = 6 fl oz
1 cup = 250 ml = 8 1/3 fl oz
2 cups = 500 ml = 16 fl oz (1 American pint)
2 1/2 cups = 625 ml = 20 fl oz (1 Imperial pint)
4 cups = 1000 ml = 1 litre = 32 fl oz

OVEN TEMPERATURES
Celsius and Fahrenheit.

100 Celsius (C) = 212 Fahrenheit (F)
120 C = 250 F
140 C = 275 F
150 C = 300 F
160 C = 320 F
170 C = 325 F
180 C = 350 F
190 C = 375 F
200 C = 400 F
210 C = 410 F
220 C = 425 F
250 C = 480 F

SPECIFIC INGREDIENTS

Butter:
1 tablespoon = 14 grams = 1/2 ounce
100 grams = 7 tablespoons = 3 1/2 ounces
1/2 cup = 113 grams = 1 US stick = 4 ounces
1 cup = 227 grams = 2 US sticks = 8 ounces
250g = 1 AUS stick

Plain flour:
1 AUS cup = 150 grams = 5 ounces
1 US cup = 125 grams = 4 1/2 ounces

Brown sugar (loosely packed):
1 cup = 175 grams = 6.25 ounces

Brown sugar (tightly packed):
1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces

White sugar:
1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces

Caster sugar:
1 cup = 220 grams = 8 ounces

Icing sugar:
1 cup = 120 grams = 4 1/4 ounces

Chocolate chips:
1 cup = 190 grams = 6 3/4 ounces

Honey and other syrups:
1 tbsp = 21 grams = 3/4 ounce
1/4 cup = 85 grams = 3 ounces
1 cup = 340 grams = 12 ounces

baking conversion photo

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt either.
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Baking · cooking · recipes

Enthusiasm is the Yeast

quote_tedallan_passionateaboutcooking

This is how I feel ~ some people’s enthusiasm makes them a part of a hobby, skill or community because they want to belong and embrace all kinds of creativity. I am awed by so much talent and the joy and mastery used in creating good food and baking.

What are enthusiastic or passionate about?

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas. – – – Henry Ford

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt.
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Henry Ford

Baking · cooking · recipes

Bubby Bakes ~ Cinnamon Fruited Bread

inside loaf 2

This is a not-too-sweet loaf studded with dried fruit – it can be made with dark or golden raisins, and other dried fruits of choice — even diced apricots and prunes.

If you use dried fruit that may be older, or more dried out, boil one cup of water and put the fruit into the water. For example, if you make this loaf with apricots, place 10 – 12 dried apricot rounds into the boiling water. Leaving them in the water for 15 to 20 minutes will plump them up. Remove from the boiling water, wipe gently on a paper towel, and dice into pieces. Then mix the pieces into the dough as directed.

I used Trader Joe’s “Golden Berry Blend” – a blend of dried gold raisins, dark raisins, dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries – all in one bag.

Also, this loaf contains no eggs, so it is suitable for a Vegan diet, or for those who are allergic to eggs or animal proteins.

It is made Pareve so that it can be eaten in a Kosher home with either Dairy or Meat meals.

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CINNAMON FRUITED BREAD

1 cup warm water
4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
1 Tablespoon sugar
Let rest 5 – 10 minutes until foamy.

¼ cup oil
¼ cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon salt
5 cups of flour

Cinnamon mixture: 2 tablespoons white sugar plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use Ceylon)
¼ – 1/3 cup raisins or assorted diced dried fruit

Sugar Glaze: 2 Tablespoons Turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar if you don’t have Turbinado)

Place warm water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle dry yeast over the top and mix gently if desired. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over surface and let rest to become foamy.

Add oil, ¼ cup sugar, juice, salt and 2 cups of flour to bowl. If using, turn on dough hook attachment to begin mixing. Add additional flour (if dough is not separating from walls of bowl, add flour one tablespoon at a time, but try to keep from making too dry) and continue mixing with dough hook attachment 4 – 6 minutes to knead thoroughly.

Place into a lightly greased bowl (I use one teaspoon oil). Coat dough on all sides. Cover with a tightly woven tea towel and let rise in warm, draft-free location for one hour. Punch dough down. Divide dough in half.

Roll out first half into a rectangular shape. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the surface of the dough with water. This is meant to give the sugar something to cling too; do not soak the dough, leave puddles, or pour water over the top. Mix the cinnamon mixture in a small bowl and sprinkle over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle dried fruit of choice over the surface. Roll the dough carefully from the long edge. Your rolls should not be too tight but keep the fruit inside. Fold over and tuck each side and place in a lightly greased loaf pan. Mix another batch of cinnamon mixture and repeat all steps with the second half of the dough.

Cover and let rise for one hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If desired, makes slashes in the top surface of the loaf with a sharp knife. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1/8 cup of water. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with the sugar glaze. Again, do not soak or bathe; just get the top a little wet. You should have more than enough to brush over the tops of two loaves before, and after baking, with sugar water left over. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. The dough should be lightly golden and sound hollow if tapped on the bottom with a wooden spoon. As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, lightly and gently brush sugar glaze over the top. Let loaf sit for 30 minutes to let glaze settle. Carefully remove loaf from pan and let cool for another 30 – 60 minutes so will not be soggy. Makes two 9 x 5 inch loaves.

copyright 2018 – Bubby Bakes
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bread 6bread 1

If you choose to make this recipe, please tag me so I can share in the nachas (pride)!

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt either.
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Baking · cooking · recipes

Everything Should be this Easy Soup

IMG_1354

 

It is a Monday where I am.  It is February and 25 degrees F, so let’s make something delicious and easy.  Oh, by the way, it is chock full of good foods, and is kosher, vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, egg free, and dairy-free.  It is also a good source of fiber, protein, and is low in fat.  

I have said before how much I love my local Trader Joe’s.  It is such a pleasure to find such an array of products.  Before I shared this recipe with my niece, I asked if she had a location near her.  She said “Of course.  We live in civilization!”

While in the store recently, I was informed that the company only sells from a supply of 3,000 products at any one time.  Therefore, if you like something, it may be labeled as “seasonal” and only available for a short time, even though it is delicious!

The TJ’s Sweet Potato Bisque is dairy-free but has a lovely creamy texture.

 

 

 My photos will identify everything that I used and it was all purchased at Trader Joe’s. Notice the ingredients – the seasonings used have variety already built in for terrific ease and flavor. 

You can easily, if you choose, drain and rinse the beans before adding to the soup.

 

 

If you change out the grain used – to rice, barley, farro, quinoa, or even use chunks of potato, to thicken – this soup will accommodate those that require a gluten-free diet.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Vegetable Soup

soup recipe

 

For those that have smaller families, this can be ladled into soup/salad containers and frozen in batches; I have done this and it was cozy and delicious.

 

easy soup

Getting food on the table easily and well doesn’t make you any less of a wonderful cook.  It just makes you even smarter!!  Enjoy!

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all you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt either.

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Baking · cooking · recipes

Single, Double, Triple Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

cake 6

Chocolate Marble Loaf – or Double Chocolate Loaf – or Triple Chocolate Loaf

You can call it lots of different names depending on your mood and what you choose to add, or not, but as they used to say – “Call me anything, just don’t call me late to dinner!”

My husband and I have similar philosophies on many things, but when it comes to flavors, he prefers – simple – and chocolate.  I am the one who wants to combine the unusual spices, or fruit, crystallized ginger, pumpkin spice, cinnamon anything, apple anything…

To each his own, and so, this one is for him.  But, we can share because he really does not need all of it for himself.

With the addition of milk chocolate and white chocolate, this cake becomes Dairy.  In a Kosher home, where we do not mix meat or milk in our eating or our dishes, it is imperative to make a decision and stick with it.  With multiple sets of pots, pans, cutlery, dishes, and bakeware, there is no room for error.  My kitchen is not big enough for all of the appliances, baking pans and utensils that I have now!  My 6 quart stand mixer is kept Pareve (non-dairy, non-meat) as are the majority of my baking pans and utensils.  It is very important to keep everything labeled and much easier not to have to worry about what can be eaten with whom, when, how, and with what.

That being said, if you can have dairy, then by all means add the chocolate.  While there are dairy-free “white baking chips,” if you read the ingredients on these items, you will see that there are many chemicals and no actual chocolate in the making of the product.  In my opinion, if you are going to use chocolate, then use real chocolate.  I have made this cake with chunks of bar chocolate, in white or milk chocolate, as well as the respective baking chips.  Be aware, that these additions mean that the cake will take longer to bake in the center, so carefully check on the cake at the 50 minute mark and extend the baking by five minute intervals to check for that delicate line between runny and too-dry.  I found that I needed an extra ten minutes with the addition of a fair amount of milk chocolate.  Again, if you prefer your baking a bit more underdone, then I defer to your judgment

Even if you do not add milk chocolate, you can add semi-sweet chips for a second chocolate component without sacrificing the dairy-free aspect.  I used Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond “milk” beverage and as you can see, I did not sacrifice flavor, moisture, or height in the final product.

The other difference in this recipe compared to other marble cake recipes is that this is a 2/3 chocolate as the base with 1/3 “white” cake mixed in.  I have also made the recipe easily divisible by two, so if you want to prepare it in two bowls from the beginning, rather than mixing and splitting, and adding and other ingredients separately, that can be done.  If you want to divide equally in half, it simplifies the process.  I spooned layers into a lightly greased 9 x 5 loaf pan, beginning and ending with the chocolate layers.  For this particular version, I stirred white chocolate chips into the dark chocolate batter and milk chocolate chips into the white batter.  Again, please be aware, with the addition of chocolate pieces, the cake will need more careful monitoring to gauge the full cooking time.

batter in loaf pan

chocolate marble loaf recipe  

 

cake 2

cake 4

cake 3

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt.

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Baking · cooking · recipes

Bubby Bakes ~ Blueberry Orange Loaf

muffin 12

Something sweet, delicious, moist, dairy-free, easy to make and bursting with blueberries ~ you will reach for this recipe often.  I used Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond “Milk” Beverage which is Kosher Certified and pareve.

I baked this batch in a 6 cavity baking pan by Wilton.  It will make full size loaf in an 8.5 inch by 4.5 inch pan, 8 mini-loaves (9 if you don’t fill the cavities as high as I did), or 12 muffins.  For a smaller family, using muffins or mini-loaves that can be frozen lets you enjoy now ~ and later!

Before baking, I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon of turbinado sugar on top of each mini loaf for some delightful sweetness and a little crunch.

Recipe on index card

I love a recipe that tastes good and provides a boost of vitamins and nutrients.  Blueberries’ have been proven to be an amazing source of antioxidants and beneficial in many ways.

benefits of blueberries.jpg

muffin 11

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt. ~~~~~~~

 

Baking · cooking · recipes

An Act of Care

quote_joy and act of love_craig claiborne

When I try to develop a new recipe, I find myself saying a little silent prayer, hoping that it goes well and pacing as I add my steps and make my notes.  I do have faith in my ability to cook and bake, but we still need the gift of inspiration and that indefinable magic that is infused into a dish that makes it palatable and special to another.

In creating what appeals to us, as we prepare for others, we do want to please them.  We are artists turning ordinary ingredients like salt, yeast, flour, and water into edible alchemy.  If that is not magic, I don’t know what is.

bread

quote_ben franklin_house is not a home without food.jpg

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All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt.

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Baking · cooking · food

Life is a Combination of Magic & Cooking

magic and pasta_fellini

My passion for food blogs, recipes, cooking, and baking has been invigorated!

For two years, I avoided most carbs – completely cut out peas, corn, beans, pasta, bread, fruit, high carb root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and squash – ate low fat, low carb, and high protein.   I still keep my ready-to-drink shakes around since I don’t get a regular lunch hour and want to keep going strong.  Now, I am someone who has rarely met a cookie she didn’t like, but this was serious.  Like many people, I had gained so much weight over the years; health issues and stress made it far too comfortable remaining stubbornly where it was.

I am very proud of myself and also, very very very careful.  For two years, it was easier to focus on my plate and what I was not going to eat, than invite my recipes and baking supplies back into my home.

Since I decided to recreate my former passion for cooking and baking, I am like a veritable kid in a candy store (more like a kitchen and housewares addict at Amazon and other stores).  My cookbooks are being dusted off, ideas for combinations dance in my head, and I am excited to get home from work to create something new.

This is a different time though and it is not enough to have passion.  Now, the photography should be enhanced and Instagram-worthy. That is addictive too – when I caught myself taking a picture of the Brussel Sprouts I was making for dinner – I realized how far I was falling into some silliness.

Twenty two years ago I wrote a cookbook, donated it and funds were raised and used in the community.  I did all the recipe development, typesetting, and compiling myself.   But, I did not have a photographer and am revisiting my recipes again along with all of the other cookbooks in my fairly large collection.  I am inspired even though it is homemade and small batch baking.  Also, I keep a kosher home, so combinations will not be presented here.

I will build up this blog as best as able for someone with other full-time job responsibilities, but I do hope that you will be patient with me.  Along with wanting to dive into all of my ideas and favorite flavors, I realize that I still wince when I read a recipe that says “2 sticks of butter.”   Even having so many bags of flour and focusing on so much food again is making me a little hyper-aware and a bit vulnerable.

It is important for me to be vigilant with my health and weight to balance joy, creativity, idealism, and wellness.  My great enthusiasm and realization of how much I have missed my cooking, and especially baking, are worth acknowledging and embracing.  But, I am not going back, so bear with me as I move forward carefully, cautiously and optimistically.

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Thank you for being here.  For photos and comments on a recipe you have made, you can find me on Instagram (still baby steps) at #BubbyBakes.  For Empathy and hopeful inspiration, I still remain The Empathy Queen.

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