Happy Mother's Day Blueberry Scones

IMG_0927It's Mother's Day weekend which means that you and I and everyone out there should feel the slightest bit obligated to at least do a little something nice for your mom for the mere fact that you were borned. And really what better way to celebrate mom than with food… It really is the least that you can do. (I think mom's also like flowers and cards and handmade pasta necklaces) My mom is defiantly about the food. (she has had her fair share or pasta necklaces)  A many years back on Mother's day, this sweet little girl (me) made her mother a special  breakfast treat…blueberry scones. And ever since that day, for every freaking holiday, birthday, whatever day, my mother requests (demands) a batch of those scones. She is always saying that these are her favorite treat and that no one has ever made them as good as I do. (I guess that just reiterates that I am her number 1 child)

And for the last few months my mom has been up my butt, trying to get me to make her some. Not going to lie, I have been saying I'll get her a batch, but for some reason, I haven't gotten around to making them. So two birds here.. Make the scones and she gets off my back for a least a little while (a month.. maybe 2) and I give her a fantastic Mothers day gift that I know she will love.

So here they are , oh mother of mine. Blueberry scones!

IMG_0813The stuff. Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. A bit of sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, and butter (use vegan butter and nut milk if you want to make them vegan) And of course we need the blueberries which can be fresh or frozen. I usually use fresh, but the store I stopped at only had really big containers of fresh that were like $1000 dollars a piece and the organic frozen happen to be on super sale. So you know, the cheap in me won that battle. IMG_0823So into the bowl goes all the dry stuff; flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and the sugar. Give it a good whisk.

Now for my special trick for a perfectly distributed cold butter in a pastry. Freeze your butter and grate it!

With a large wholed grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the bowl with the dry, stoping a few times to toss the butter chunks around so you don't end up with a huge pile of grated butter. When it's all grated, gently toss around so the butter is evenly distributed. IMG_0825Now dump the blueberries into the flour mixture. Toss them around to give them a coat of flour. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla and give a little mix until liquid is absorbed. We are trying to handle the dough as little as possible.IMG_0839Turn mixture onto counter. It's very loose, but thats what it should look like. IMG_0841 Very gently and with as little handling as possible, gather dough up, knead a few times till everything  just comes together. Press dough into a disk that is roughly an inch thick…. and it doesn't need to be perfect. IMG_0851Cut the disk into even sized pieces. Do 6 big, 8 normal, maybe even 10 smaller. Whatever size you like. (I did 8) Place the scones onto a baking sheet, using a spatula to transfer, and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar. Into a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.IMG_0892And when the scones look all nice and browned and a tester comes out clean. remove and either serve right away warm, preferably with huge cup of coffee or tea, or stick on a rack to cool before storing in  air tight container.

Perfect to serve as a breakfast pastry, at brunch, or even as a dessert. A nice little treat for a special lady. (dudes can eat them too) 

Happy Mothers Day Mom! Thanks for having me!

And Happy Weekend!!!

-C


Blueberry Scones 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons  to sprinkle on top
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted  butter frozen or really cold (use non dairy butter like Earth Balance for vegan)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla 
  •  3/4 cup buttermilk (use non dairy milk for vegan)

Preheat oven t0 400 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Take the frozen butter and grate directly into flour mixture, tossing around to evenly disrupted. Add in blueberries and toss around till coated with flour, then lastly, add vanilla to buttermilk and mix into mixture until just barely coming together. Turn mixture out onto counter and with your hands, knead mixture a few times until it forms a solid dough. Shape into a disk and smoosh down until about an inch thick. Cut into 6-10 triangles  and place on a non greases baking sheet and sprinkle tops with remaining sugar. Stick into oven and bake for 20 minutes or until tops start turning a golden brown and a tester in the middle of a scone comes out clean. 

Remove from baking sheet and serve warm or let cool on a rack.

Mom gets first dibs, and if she is willing to share, eat one yourself with your face. 

Pineapple Upside-down Donuts Woo Hoo!!

IMG_0115I had to share the last of the 5 pineapples cause if I didn't, that would mean  I ate 5 pineapples by myself. (I ate 4 pineapples by myself) So donuts were made and delivered to my sisters house where I proceeded to make her and her kids and another sister dinner. (hand made pizza on a weekday!) I then whipped out these pretty little upside down pineapple donuts for dessert, right after I cleaned up and made whipped cream. The kids were swallowing them hole and trying to steal just one more  and my sister and the mister, well they had to eat their donuts all elegant like with forks. (weirdos)

 I know I have said it before but just in case you forgot

I am the best sister/aunt ever!  

IMG_0085 The stuff. Flour, salt, and the baking soda whisked together into a bowl. Fresh pureed pineapple, milk, egg, melted butter, and white sugar. Than there is more melted butter, brown sugar and fresh pineapple for the upside down. IMG_0093 This batter is pretty simple, just make sure to whisk all the dry really well. Dump all the wet stuff into the dry and mix until combined. Don't over mix!IMG_0101Grease the donut pan really well and mix the brown sugar with the remaining melted butter

IMG_0107    IMG_0109  Drizzle the bottom of each donut round with the butter/ sugar mix  then layer thinly sliced pieces of pineapple around the hole maker. (not as perfect as a pineapple ring, but still pretty)

Scoop donut batter on into the pan and stick into the oven preheated at 350 degrees.IMG_0139 When donuts are all nice and golden brown, remove from oven and let sit and cool for about 5 minutes to give the donuts time to cool and the brown sugar to thicken. Dump donuts out onto a wires rackIMG_0141And serve them all upside down like. Maybe with a scoop of whipped cream or ice cream or nothing. 

Donut Smiles!

-C


Pineapple Upside Down Donuts

Makes 12 donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter ( 1/2 s for batter 1/2 for sugar mixture)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pinapple puree (about 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks blended)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sliced pineapple

Note. I used fresh pineapple, but you could use canned. I think you would need a of rings (cut in half) and a an of chunks, blended up)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease the donut pan(s)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and mix that with into the flour mixture along with the pineapple puree, milk, and lastly the egg. Mix until combined.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix into the brown sugar. Drizzle (crumble) about a teaspoon of the mixture into the bottoms if each donut mold. Layer thinly sliced pineapple on top of that then scoop donut batter on top of that. Stick into the oven for about  10 minutes, or until donuts are gold brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 or so minutes on a wire rack before turning out of pan. 

If working with one pan, make sure to really clean the pan and re-grease before baking the second batch!

Serve donuts with a scoop of whipped cream and eat with your face. 

Happy Birthday Strawberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

IMG_3433     IMG_3400IMG_3402 My Moms birthday was this past week, and naturally, I made the cake for our big family birthday gathering. (and I bought and made dinner and cleaned everything up, although the mister did do all the dinner dishes) Word to my sisters… You guys suck! (but I still love you)

Every year my mom asks for the same cake. Strawberry with Lemon frosting. Then a few years ago, other people in the family started asking for the same one. Now there is a weird strawberry cake thing going on between some of my family members. They have taken claim of the strawberry cake and don't want me to make it for anyone else but them. They think that because I make them this awesome cake that they are somehow special. Well guess what people.. Your only special for one day, then you go back to being normal.

I have a family full of a bunch of weirdoes.

Anyways, My mom said she wanted the usual strawberry cake, but as cup cakes, or actually she asked me to make the little square cakes. I was kind of confused when she said square cakes because well, what the hell was she talking about? But then I remembered that a long time ago I use to have a square cupcake pan. (I lost in somehow) So no, I couldn't make the cakes square, but I sure could make them cute. And cute as hell is what I did.

IMG_3120Cake Stuff. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt whisked together in a bowl. Butter, a little oil, vanilla, eggs and buttermilk. Then of course we have strawberries cause it wouldn't be a strawberry cake with out them.IMG_3135First things first. Wash, trim and dice up the strawberries. Stick them into a pot and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar. Heat on low and let the strawberries cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they turn into a thick syrup. IMG_3144The sugar and the butter get beaten together until light and fluffy. Then goes in the oil, eggs, and vanilla. The milk is then added to the strawberry mixture. Add half the dry mixture to the wet, mix, then mix in half the strawberry mixture to that. Mix the rest of the dry in and finish off with the strawberry mixture.

Pour batter into well greased and parchment lined baking sheet (or pans).  Stick cake into preheated oven for about 35 minutes, rotating cakes after 15 minutes. Cake is done when it starts turning a light gold brown and a cake tester stuck in the middle comes out clean. IMG_3178Cake gets pulled from the oven and set on a rack to cool.

I actually wrapped the cake when it was cool enough and stuck outside for a few hours. It didn't completely freeze, but it was close. Frozen cake is easier to cut then soft non frozen cake. No necessary, but if you have the time…. 

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  Powdered Sugar, a stick of butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla get mixed together until it turns into a big bowl of thick lemony frosting. IMG_3362Tomato can cutout. (I couldn't find my biscuit cutters)  A biscuit or cookie cutter would probably work a little better.. The cakes kept getting stuck in the can. IMG_3382Frost the cake!! Place frosting into a piping bag or a big plastic zip lock with the tip cut off.  2 rounds to a cake. A squeeze of frosting goes on one, topped with another and given a little smoosh. A nice big dollop of frosting on top then….IMG_3400 Sprinkles!!!!  Or sliced  strawberries (my mom doesn't like sprinkles..I know)

IMG_3452

So freaking cute. I don't know if I can make a normal cake again.

Mom gets the bigger 3 tiered cake.. and a few more of the little ones. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

-C


Strawberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 16 two tiers cupcakes or can be made in three 8 inch cake pans

The Cake

  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup or  one Stick Soften Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 lb Fresh Strawberries (Can use Frozen, just let them thaw )

The Frosting

  • 4 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Stick Soften Butter
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese (Half a block)
  • Zest of a Lemon
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375

Grease a parchment lined  13x18 high rimmed baking sheet and dust with flour. If you baking sheet isn't as big as mine, use whatever size you have and make a few cupcakes on the side. Or make one , 3 tiered  cake with 8 inch cake pans.  I trust that you can find a way to bake all this cake batter.

Wash, trim and dice strawberries. Toss them in a medium sauce pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place on low heat and cook for about 10 minutes  until  strawberries break down and turn into a thick syrup. Take of heat and let cool.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a bowl and whisk together, In another large bowl, add butter and sugar together and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add in oil, vanilla and eggs. Beat together. Now add the milk to the  strawberries and mix together. Beat in half the dry into the wet, add in half the strawberry mixture, then the rest of the dry, and finish off with the rest of the strawberry mixture. 

Pour batter into prepare baking sheet (or pans) and place in oven. Check cake after about 15 minutes and rotate to help insure an even bake. Bake for another 15- 20 minutes, or until cake  starts to turn golden brown and a tester (toothpick) comes out clean.  

Remove from oven and let completely cool.  (Not necessary, but once cake is cooled , wrap with plastic wrap and stick cake into the freezer of a little while before cutting the circles.. its makes it a little easier)

While cake is cooling, make the frosting. Place all ingredients in a big bowl and beat together until a nice soft but sturdy frosting forms.  If. you frosting seems to thick add in a  splash of milk. To thin.. add a little more sugar. 

When the cake is cooled, get to it. With you cookie or biscuit cuter dipped in powdered sugar, cut as many circles as you can. 

Fun Time!! Frost the cakes. Place frosting into a pastry bag, or like me, a large zip lock bag with the tip cut off. Partner up all the cake rounds and go through and give one of each of the pairs a good dollop of frosting. Top with the remaining cake, give it a lithe smooshto make sure they stick, and squeeze a nice dollop of frosting on top. Finish off with sliced strawberries and lots of sprinkles.

Sing Happy Birthday and eat!

From Scratch Oreo Cookies Yea!

IMG_3311 What is better for a bake sale then Oreo cookies?  Oreo cookies made from scratch!.

So when my sister called and asked me to make something for my nephews bake sale to raise money for his basketball team, I couldn't say no. (or I  didn't want to say no cause any good excuse to bake right!) Plus I had just found this awesome recipe on one of my favorite blogs, my name is yeh, for home made Oreos that I have been super excited to try, so it kind of worked out. But before I committed to the Oreo, I wanted to just double check with my nephew and see what he might want me to make because it was his bake sale. 

This is the conversation we had. And yes, it was through text.

Me- "Hey bud, what do you want me to make for your bake sale? Cupcakes, cookies, donuts, or brownies"

Jack- " Yea!"

Me- "Yea what?"

Jack- "Make that."

Me- "Make  what?….Hello!! What do you want me to make? Should I make Oreos?"

Jack- I WANT OREOS!"

Ok.. So it took a little while, but we got there. And after the  the basketball game and the super successful bake sale..

ME-"Did you see the Oreos?"

Jack- "What do you mean?"

Me- "The Oreos I made for the bake sale…the ones you wanted me to make"

Jack- "There was a bake sale? I want Oreos"

Yup, that's the attention span of my 13 year old nephew. Little shit head. But for real, I had so much fun making these cookies and I am definitely going to be making them again. Plus they were a super hit at the sale.

I am the best aunt! (and sister!)

IMG_3210Cookie Time! Whats going on here is brown sugar and butter  have be beaten together until nice and fluffy Then a good big splash of vanilla and another 2 big splashes of coffee are added to that.(I sacrificed my last few sips of my coffee for these cookies)  The dry stuff, flour, salt and cocoa powder, are whisked together, waiting to be added to the wet.  IMG_3213Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and mix. I ended up just using my hand and kind of squish mixing everything together until in tuned into a nice lovely uniformed dough.  Form the dough into 2 balls and give each a few kneads to get any air bubbles out. Place dough back into bowl and stick in the fridge to sit for 10-15 minutes( it makes the dough a little easier to work with)

IMG_3235Once the dough has had a little time to rest and cool, remove from fridge, one ball at a time. Place on a lightly cocoa or powdered sugar dusted surface and roll out the dough. Grab any size circle (or other shape) cookie cutter and get to shaping the cookies. Notice the tin can in the bowl? I could't find my biscuit cutters anywhere but the can was the perfect size, and it worked really well. Keep a little bowl of either powered sugar of cocoa to dip the cutter in in between making the cookies. It really helps the dough from sticking and breaking. 

When you have cut out your cookies, use a spatial and place them on a baking sheet. You can try to transfer with you hands, but you end up messing up the shape and most of them will break anyway.

Stick the cookies in the oven for about 15 minutes a batch and continute to roll and cut out the cookies until you have no dough left. 

IMG_3272 While the cookies are getting their cool on, make the cream filling. All you need is a stick of butter, about 4 cups of powdered sugar, some vanilla and a few splashes of heavy cream. Beat that all up until nice and creamy thick and spoon it into a pastry bag (I used a big old ziplock bag) to be piped on the cookies. IMG_3302Filling the cookies is for sure the best part. Separate the cookies into pairs and pipe a big blob of filling onto one of the two cookies. Take the names cookie and place on top, giving it a little smooth to the disperse the cream. Keep doing that until the cookies are all filled.

IMG_3314

Stacks of cookies… Sold to the highest bidder! I was told that they sold out within the first half hour at $1.50 a pop….Should have charged $5…. for a good cause right?

And yes, even though he was being a space head and didn't even care that I just  made him like 50 bucks for his team, I still saved the kid one.He just had to give me either a hug or 5 bucks for it.

I got a hug. (I really wanted the 5 dollars)

-C


From Scratch Oreo Cookies 

Adapted by Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh!

The cookie (makes about 18 3 inch Oreos)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks soften butter (use earth balance for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee

The filling

  • 1 stick soft butter (us earth balance for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream (use a nut or soy milk for vegan)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookies- In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and coffee and mix together. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Add dry to wet and mix together unit a uniform dough forms. Dump out onto a lightly cocoa or powdered sugared surface and knead dough a few times. Split ball into two balls, place in bowl, and stick in the fridge for 15 or so minutes.

Preheat oven t0 325 degrees

When dough is chilled, remove one ball at a time, and roll dough out on a cocoa or powdered sugar dusted counter until its about 1/4 inch thick. With a round (any shape would work) cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can. In between sits, dip cutter in a sugar and cocoa to keep the cookie from sticking. Transfer cut out cookies onto a baking sheet with a spatula.  Take scraps, roll into a ball, and roll out again. Keep doing that until you can't cut out any more. (You can either bake a weird shape cookie or just eat the dough)

Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until the cookie has risen a bit and the tops have lost their glossiness and look cooked.  Remove from oven and let cookies dry on a wire rack.

Make the filling

Filling- Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, and cream until completely mixed and is at your optimal consistency. Add a drizzle more cream if you want to thin out or add more sugar for a thicker cream. 

Stick the filling into a piping bag or ziplock bag an snip the end. With cookies in pairs, pipe a big dollop of filling onto one of the two cookies. Place the naked cookie onto the filled cookie and give a smooth to distribute the filling.

lick your fingers and eat a cookie. 

If selling at a bake sale, charge $3 a cookie…. If it's for a good cause. 

Chocolate Covered Lemon Cake Bites

IMG_1631    IMG_1553   TGIF!!!! For reals, because Monday-Thurday were monster days. And now that its friday, I can dig a hole and hide in it until it's at least 30 degrees with some sunshine. (I might never get to come out.)

A few things I will bring in my hole:

  • food (lots of food and coffee, lots of coffee)
  • a soft blanket and pillow
  • a few books, preferably with pictures, on farming and gardening (think spring!)
  • the entire series of the Fresh Prince of Bel-air and a device to watch it on
  • toothpaste (I can use my finger to brush my teeth)

But before I leave for my hole in the ground, I made these little cake bites to get my people through the weekend. Sweet little lemony bites of rich dense cake dipped into bittersweet chocolate. (I am just so nice)  They have all the pleasure or cake without the need of a fork and are much easier to give away then a big slice of cake. Plus, they are fun to make. My little sister helped and did most of the chocolate dipping. Then she and another little used their mouths to clean up the chocolate mess. It was an afternoon of chocolate all over the kitchen fun day. 

So make some bites to have and to share. Or if you, like me, are digging a hole to hide in, make a batch of bites to bring with you. That's the beauty of cake covered in a harden chocolate shell, they travel really well.IMG_1417Simple lemon cake stuff. Flour, baking powder and salt whisked together, Sugar and soft butter in a bowl. An egg, some vanilla, milk, and of course, the lemon. 

To make the batter, cream the soften butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Zest lemon(1 big or 2 small) into bowl with the juice of the lemon(s), the vanilla and the egg. Beat until combined. Now beat in the dry and then the milk. Keep beating for another minute until all mixed. Batter should be light and fluffy.

Batter goes into a greased and floured  9x13 baking sheet and stuck into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes (You can use a 9x9 baking pan. Just bake fir another 10 minutes and you will end up with thicker bites). Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes and flip to remove cake from baking sheet. Cut cake into small pieces (I cut 4x6   to get 24 bites) and place bake into sheet and into freezer (I stuck mine outside, it was -2 degrees ) for at least 2 hours. 

IMG_1477Frozen bites ready for the chocolate coating… Bittersweet chocolate chips and a little bit of coconut oil. Melted together all nice and shiny smooth.IMG_1509Now dip and slather those bites in the melted chocolate. 

Oh what a lovely sister I have.. Look at her dunk….. like a boss!IMG_1498Fully coated and placed on a rack for the chocolate to harden. I  ended up sticking the rack in the freezer for 10 minutes…They harder really fast in there.IMG_1543

And now you have some it, bites of cake covered in chocolate. 1 bite, 2 bites…5 bites. Eat however many you want because its Friday and because there small little bites and just because you can.

Now if you need me, I'll be in my hole. 

-C


Chocolate Lemon Cake Bite

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup  white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Add butter  and sugar to a large bowl and beat on medium unit light and fluffy. Ass in vanilla egg, the zest of the lemon and the juice of the lemon. Beat to incorporate. Now beat in the dry and lastly the milk.

Grease and flour either a 9x9 pan or a 9x13 baking sheet. dump batter in and smooth out.  Stick in oven and bake for about 3o minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the middle comes out clean. Remove and let cool  for a few minutes on a  wire rack. Flip cake to remove from pan. Cut cake into bit sized pieces, 4x6 is a good size, and place back on baking sheet and stick into freezer for at least 2 hours.

When cake bites are as good as frozen, get the chocolate ready. Take the chocolate and the coconut oil and either melt in a double boiler or the microwave. Mix until smooth and make sure to full incorporate the oil. Now remove the cake bites from the freezer and dip each bite into chocolate, trying to full coat all sides. Stick onto a wire rack or a parchment lined pan to harden. They can be stuck back into the freezer to harden faster.

Once chocolate has harden, your good to go!