Baked, Occasionally – Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

20160130-IMG_3601

2016 is a new year and a new collaboration with Shannon over at A Periodic Table. Last year, we spun our way through the Jeni’s books and this year we have something new in store. We will be baking our way through the Baked Occasions book month by month in our new series Baked, Occasionally. Each month we will select one recipe (the same recipe) from the book and bake it together word-for-word from the book. Then, we’ll compare our results and, if we see room for improvement, we’ll tweak the recipe and make it again until it’s just right!

This month’s recipe was the Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby.

Continue reading

cinnamon almond scones

cinnamon almond scones 2 - wee eats

‘Tis the season for cups of hot cocoa, gift-giving, and out-of-town relatives. Chances are that you (or someone you love) is traveling this month. There will be brunches, dinners, parties, and overnight guests and all of those wonderful things that come with the holiday season.

What are you to do in times like this? Make scones, of course! These come in handy both as a host and as a guest, and are so easy to whip up that you can really make it from start to finish in about 30 minutes. They don’t have any tricky ingredients (except a dash of almond extract, which is totally optional anyway) and so they can be made from almost anyone’s kitchen. Or, better yet, you can make them ahead of time in your own kitchen and freeze them until you need them!

Scones are very thoughtful like that, always there when you need them.

cinnamon almond scones - wee eats

Situations in which these scones may come in handy:

  • Your brother or sister is in from out of town and staying with you and you need an easy breakfast treat.
  • You are staying at your in-laws and want to surprise them with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air in the morning.
  • You’re hosting Christmas brunch and need something you can make-ahead so you aren’t running around like a crazy person on the day of.
  • You have to go to a holiday party and have NO IDEA what to bring the host/hostess – Bring a batch of scones wrapped with a bow for them to enjoy for breakfast the next morning!
  • You have to work on the holiday and want to do something nice for your fellow co-workers.
  • You need to make something sweet but are pretty sure that if you see one more cookie you might just finally snap…

cinnamon almond scone 3 - wee eats

The trick to getting big and fluffy scones is to make sure they touch when you bake them. I don’t separate mine at all after cutting. You see, scones (and biscuits) are friendly treats. They like to hold hands with their brethren when they bake so they can use each other for support and grow big an fluffy. If you want flatter scones, just leave an inch or two in between the wedges and they won’t bake up quite so tall.

Since this recipe makes six large scones, I’ve also included directions on how to turn this recipe into mini-scones. Again, if you want them to bake up big and fluffy leave some of them touching (maybe in pairs) so they can use each other for support.

These scones are great because they aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. They have a delightfully cinnamony dough topped with crunchy almonds and a delectable cinnamon-sugar topping which gives them just the perfect touch of sweetness to accompany your morning coffee.

cinnamon almond scones pin - wee eats

cinnamon almond scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 large scones

Ingredients

    For the Scones
  • 2 cups all ­purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Cinnamon-sugar (below)
  • For the Topping
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter cubes until the largest pieces of butter are about the
  4. size of small peas.
  5. Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and add the milk and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until a shaggy dough is formed.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a your parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently pat the dough into a disk about 7 inches wide.
  7. Scatter almonds over the top of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  8. Cut into 6 wedges and place into oven - if you leave the wedges together they will get taller than if you separate them.
  9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

Notes

To make mini scones:

You could make these into mini scones by shaping the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut that rectangle into 6 to 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make triangles. Bake mini scones 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

To freeze scones:

You can freeze scones either right after cutting or after baking. To freeze before baking, place cut scones (prior to cinnamon/almond topping) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and place into freezer-safe baggy. Bake directly from freezer, adding an additional 2 to 5 minutes for baking. You may want to use an egg wash to get the cinnamon-sugar and almonds to adhere to the frozen scones.

To freeze after baking, cool scones completely on wire rack. Place on lined baking sheet in freezer 1 hour until firm. Place in freezer-safe baggy. Thaw and enjoy at room temperature or warm for 5 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/09/cinnamon-almond-scones/

 

[ Recipe from: Bake or Break ]

pumpkin scones

DSC_0698 pumpkin scone

Because it’s the weekend and weekends are for staying in your PJs for as long as humanly possible.

And because it’s winter and therefore still considered an acceptable time of the year to eat pumpkin-flavored things.

And because apparently I think everything needs to be drizzled with icing.

Everything.

And because, if you haven’t noticed, Starbuck’s fancy new bakery line wants nothing to do with their classic pumpkin spice scones that I anxiously await every year, so I was likely to start getting the shakes if I didn’t somehow consume a pumpkin scone before the end of winter. 

These scones are smaller than the Starbucks variety, meaning you won’t want to run off of a bridge (as badly) once you realize you’ve inhaled the whole thing (or two of them).  They’re also taller (and craggy-er) than the Starbucks scone, which I find to be more enjoyable, personally.

DSC_0690 pumpkin scone

And while I considered using royal icing on them (I’m half-convinced that’s what is on theirs, or some sort of concoction that can only be made with high fructose corn syrups and/or various types of hydrogenated vegetable oils), royal icing is a bit much for the morning, wouldn’t you agree?

So I did the usual mix some powdered sugar with a little bit of milk and vanilla and drizzled it on top.  Then I thought I should also do a version with some pumpkin spice mixed in, and drizzled that on top, because PUMPKIN!

To review: these are not Starbuck’s pumpkin scones.  But they ARE pumpkin scones.  And they are delicious.

I made one batch of these (for me, that was about 12 scones) and then froze them to bake at my leisure.  Now I can preheat the oven while I make my coffee, pop in a scone, and have a scone breakfast ready in no time flat.  I  don’t even have to think about it.  Which is convenient for any of you who are planning to start a diet in January, you can bake one or two this weekend, and freeze the rest to reward your post-diet self! 😉

pumpkin scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients

    For the scones
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For baking
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Your favorite glaze* or cinnamon-sugar (if desired)

Instructions

    Make the scones
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and spice. Work in the butter until coarse crumbles form (I do this by grating the butter into the mixture, then using my hands or a pastry cutter to cut the butter in). A pastry-cutter is recommended, as you want the butter to stay as cold as possible.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  3. Scrape dough onto a floured surface and divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a circle about 5- to 6-inches in diameter and about 3/4-inch thick.
  4. Transfer the dough circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut each circle into 6 wedges. Cover and place in the freezer 1 hour.*
  5. To bake the scones
  6. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place wedges onto parchment and brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar (if using).
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the side of the scone looks dry and baked.
  8. Remove scones from oven and drizzle with glaze (if desired) or enjoy as-is.

Notes

* Once frozen, you may transfer the scones to an airtight freezer-safe bag for storage. Bake from frozen for same amount of time.

* Alternatively, you could probably bake these without freezing (for when you're short on time), but I haven't tried. I would estimate they would take about 15 minutes if you don't freeze them (but you might want to start checking around 10). If baking fresh, they may not raise as high as these did.

* For the glaze, I used 1/2 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until your desired consistency is reached, adding more powdered sugar to thicken or more milk to thin.

* For a pumpkin-spice glaze, add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to your powdered sugar before adding the milk and vanilla. Prepare the same way as the regular glaze

http://wee-eats.com/2014/01/04/pumpkin-scones/

pumpkin scone pin

 

cranberry orange pull apart bread

 

cran orange 3-3-2

Yes, I KNOW that we JUST had pull-apart bread.  But, you see, since my recipe make two loaves, and it’s delicious, and… you can never have too much of a good thing.

Or something. I think that’s how it goes, right?

I’ve been trying out this whole “orange-cranberry” thing that everyone’s been talking about… and apparently everyone in the whole world loves but I had never heard of… turns out they were onto something.

So, I give to you, the cranberry-orange pull-apart bread… also known as “the longest-named-bread-in-all-the-land.”  Also known as, “The only thing that saved my first loaf from being completely devoured.”  Also known as, actually no, that’s all it’s known as.

When the fiance asked what I was making and I said “cranberry orange bread” he was super unexcited and responded much like any small child normal adult would, with extreme prejudice and skepticism.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person on the planet who hadn’t combined oranges and cranberries into delicious.

CRAN ORANGE 5-2

So, if there are anymore of you out there, I’m here to let you know that I put oranges with cranberries.  And it was delicious.

Even the fiance loved it.

I wasn’t sure if there would be enough moisture in the mix to rehydrate them, and there wasn’t.  While the bread was still very good, I think it would have benefitted from the juicy berries.  So, I would recommend re-hydrating them in some orange liqueur, orange juice, or even just some water, for about 30 minutes before throwing them into the bread.

CRAN ORANGE 3-3.2

Alternatively, you could probably use some orange marmalade instead of orange sugar for the filling, or fresh cranberries instead of dried, or leftover cranberry sauce even.  I didn’t have orange marmalade, fresh cranberries, or leftover cranberry sauce, but I did have a bag of oranges and a bag of dried cranberries.

I mean, if cinnamon bread is filled with cinnamon-sugar then clearly orange sugar would be perfect for this, right? So, I zested the oranges into some sugar and VOILA!  Orange sugar was born!  Then I sprinkled the cranberries as best I could and shoved any stragglers into the pan after stacking the dough pieces. 

And again with the glaze.

cranberry orange pull apart bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

This recipe makes 2 loaves but it can easily be halved to make just one loaf, or you can make two different kinds of loaves filled with cinnamon-sugar or pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of your favorite cinnamon roll dough (my favorite recipe below)
  • For the dough
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons orange zest (about 3 to 4 large navel oranges)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries* (see note below)
  • 1 stick of butter; softened to room temperature
  • For the glaze
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons milk; plus extra if needed

Instructions

    For the filling
  1. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and orange zest, set aside while you prepare the dough.
  2. In another bowl, reconstitute dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
  3. For the dough
  4. In a large (8 cup) saucepan, mix the milk, sugar, and vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is steaming. Remove from heat and cool to luke-warm (110-115F degrees), then add the yeast. Stir to combine; let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
  5. Stir 4 cups of flour into the milk mixture and put lid on the pot. Allow to sit for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour dough out onto a large sheet of saran wrap and wrap dough tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or up to overnight. (You could also roll the dough out immediately by sprinkling the counter with flour and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Once the dough isn't sticky, cover with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes to allow the dough to rest)
  6. To roll the dough
  7. Pour dough onto lightly-floured surface and separate into two equal halves. Roll one half to a 12 x 20-inch rectangle and cover the other with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out. Spread softened butter over the dough. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 6 long 2-inch wide strips.
  8. Spoon generous amounts of orange sugar onto one strip of dough and sprinkle with cranberries, top with another strip and sprinkle sugar/cranberries onto that strip. Repeat until all of the strips are in a pile and covered with sugar/cranberries.
  9. Slice the strip of dough into 5 4-inch wide strips. Stack strips tall-wise into a loaf pan. It will be sloppy, they'll flop everywhere, it's OK. I actually propped my bread pan on its side to make the first few strips a little easier.
  10. Repeat with the other half of dough, sugar, cranberries, and butter.
  11. To bake the dough
  12. Cover and let rise 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F. Once dough has risen and oven is preheated, cook bread 45 to 55 minutes until cooked through. If the top starts to get too brown, lightly tent with a piece of foil and continue cooking.
  14. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.
  15. For the glaze
  16. Mix ingredients together, adding more milk if the mixture is too thick or more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.

Notes

*Those of you who thermom your bread want the final temp to be between 190F and 200F.

*Glaze is entirely optional, if you do use a glaze be sure to pour it on while the bread is still nice and warm.

*You can rehydrate dried cranberries by covering with water, or another liquid. Pour liquid over dried cranberries and let stand 30 minutes.

http://wee-eats.com/2013/12/03/cranberry-orange-pull-apart/

cran orange pin

cinnamon smile bread

cinnamon swirl bread DSC_0404

 

Because it’s Sunday.

And Sundays are for baking.  And for breakfast.

And for eating something sweet and calling it breakfast.  Because, why not?

cinnamon swirl bread DSC_0422

Especially when it smiles at you.  Doesn’t your day feel better already?

Sundays are for cinnamon and sugar and not waking up at 5 am to let dough rise and cut and fold cinnamon rolls.

Sundays are for easy recipes that you can make in your pajamas.

And for recipes that prepare you for Monday.

cinnamon swirl bread DSC_0424

Because Mondays are evil, and can only be improved with some leftover cinnamon bread.  With a smile built in.

If you’re feeling extra generous, you could even make an extra loaf and take it to work to comfort your co-workers, too.

Cinnamon Smile Bread

Makes 1 9-by-5 inch loaf

Printable Recipe

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 large egg

  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

2.  In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup granulated sugar with the cinnamon, brown sugar, and cocoa powder; set aside. .

3.  Melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, about 1 minute; set aside to cool.  Once butter is cooled, whisk in the egg, ⅓ cup brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.  Whisk in buttermilk until incorporated.

4.  Add the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, optional salt, and gently fold ingredients until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix, the batter will still be thick and lumpy.

5.  Pour half the batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Sprinkle three-fourths of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter, the top with remaining half of the batter.  Smoothe the top with a spatula and sprinkle remaining ¼ of cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top.

6.  Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely.

*Bread will keep at room temperature wrapped tightly for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze the loaf (whole or sliced) for up to 3 months.

[ Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks ]