Breakfasts

Vanilla Bean Scones

This is a variation of the simple scone recipe that I recently shared.

I wanted to make scones one weekend morning I wondered how I could make everyone happy since not everyone has the same likes, so I came up with these…

 (Vanilla bean scones with a simple vanilla icing)

I used the same simple base that I used in my other scones with a few small changes.

(makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 400g flour, plus more for handling the dough
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold or frozen butter
  • 280g-300g milk (I used coconut almond milk)
  • 1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp butter (room temp)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla (I make my own)
  • milk
(Vanilla bean)
vanilla goodness

Directions:

  •  Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

With a food processor:

  • First pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt a few times until well mixed.
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add them to the dry ingredients and pulse four or five times until the butter is mixed in and the largest pieces you can see resemble small peas.
  • Mix the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean into the milk and stir so that it there are no clumps of vanilla and then slowly add the cold milk to the dry/butter mixture and pulse again just until the dough comes together. There should be no longer spots of flour and the dough should not be too wet.

By hand:

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt.
  • Get your cheese grater out and grate the butter into the flour and just mix. You could also go the longer way and cut the cold butter into small cubes use a pastry cutter or two forks as you would with pie dough. The important thing is to not handle the dough too much and to not smoosh the butter into the flour too much.
  • Mix the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean into the milk and stir so that it there are no clumps of vanilla, Add the milk and stir in quickly just until the dough comes together and doesn’t show big spots of dry flour anymore.

Dump onto a well floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead just 2-3 times if needed. If the dough looks good already, just pat it out on the floured surface. Over-kneading the dough will make the texture tough and they will not rise right, so you want to be very gentle with the dough!

When you pat the dough out you want it to be about 3cm thick (about an inch) and then using a round cookie/biscuit cutter, or a glass or any other round object, cut out the scones. Make sure you don’t twist your cutter but use a simple up/down motion. Twisting the cutter will fuse the sides a bit and they may not rise.

Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 13-15 min until the are golden in colour. Let them cool a bit.

While the Scones are baking, you can make the Icing.

Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the tsp of butter and mix the butter in with a fork until there are no clumps of butter left, add the tsp of vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the milk about 1/2 tsp at a time and mix until smooth. I don’t give a quantity of milk because it depends on how thin you want it but however you want it takes a very small amount of milk.

Spoon the icing over the scones and serve.

 

Vanilla scones with Vanilla icing

By |November 26th, 2012|Breakfasts, NaBloPoMo, Recipes, Sweet Breads|Comments Off on Vanilla Bean Scones|

Simple Scones

There are two things that I have had trouble making in the past. One, is pie dough. The other is scones. I think it has to do with getting the butter distributed evenly to provide that flaky texture that both of those possess.  Or maybe because they are two recipes that you really need to follow the instructions and have less give. (I am much more a cook then a baker!) I think I have solved my problem though. 

First, if you are doing it by hand, grating the frozen butter into the flour is a great way to get those pea size pieces without fighting with the dough and over-kneading it. When you have pieces of butter left in the dough they will melt and that is what will produce the flaky texture. Another important thing seems to the unsalted butter. I almost never buy unsalted and for most things it really doesn’t make a difference, but for scones, it seems to make a world of difference.

Scones are a current favourite in our home at the moment. Not only can I make them now with amazing results but they are so easy and quick to do.

I do use my food processor, because it makes it easy without any mess and by the time my oven is preheated,  they are ready to put in.

The following is the base of the scone, and to that you can add anything you want. The trick however, is that whatever you add should not be adding moisture or dryness to not upset the balance between the flour/milk/butter ratio. You also don’t want to add anything warm that would melt the butter. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, a quick google search will give you the amounts in cups, but using the scale, is in my opinion, the best way to get the right measurement in these types of recipes.

Simple Scone Base (make 6 scones but I usually double it)

  • 200g flour, plus more for handling the dough
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar (for sweet scones)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 60g cold or frozen butter
  • 140-150g milk (I use almond or soy)

now to this you can add you choice of ingredients to make the flavours of your choice.

For a simple cheese scone that is great for lunch, supper or with a savoury breakfast simply:

  • omit the sugar in the base recipe or add only a small amount to add a bit of sweetness
  • add 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar
savoury cheesy scones…

One of our favourites has a taste that closely resembles pannetone:

To the base I add:

  •  two drops of lemon zest extract (or zest of 1 lemon)
  • the zest of one orange
  • 50g chopped raisins (or cranberries… or any other dried fruit)
zesty lemon-orange scones with raisins 

 

 Once you have decided what you will put in them, here is how to make them…

  •  Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

With a food processor:

  • First pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt a few times until well mixed.
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add them to the dry ingredients and pulse four or five times until the butter is mixed in and the largest pieces you can see resemble small peas.
  • Add the other dry ingredients such as the zest, chopped dried fruit, cheddar etc…  and pulse once or twice.
  • Add the cold milk and pulse again just until the dough comes together. There should be no longer spots of flour and the dough should not be too wet.

By hand:

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt.
  • Get your cheese grater out and grate the butter into the flour and just mix. You could also go the longer way and cut the cold butter into small cubes use a pastry cutter or two forks as you would with pie dough. The important thing is to not handle the dough too much and to not smoosh the butter into the flour too much.
  • Mix in the chopped dried fruits, cheese or whatever other dry ingredients.
  • Add the milk and stir in quickly just until the dough comes together and doesn’t show big spots of dry flour anymore.
Dump onto a well floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead just 2-3 times if needed. If the dough looks good already, just pat it out on the floured surface. Overkneading the dough will make the texture tough and they will not rise right, so you want to be very gentle with the dough!
When you pat the dough out you want it to be about 3cm thick (about an inch) and then using a round cookie/biscuit cutter, or a glass or any other round object, cut out the scones. Make sure you don’t twist your cutter but use a simple up/down motion. Twisting the cutter will fuse the sides a bit and they may not rise.
Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 13-15 min until the are golden in colour. Let them cool a bit before serving (we can never wait though!)
Savoury ones can accompany any dish and since they only take a few minutes to make they are great for a last minute meal. (Egg sandwich, next to a roast, with a curry… so many possibilities…)
Sweet ones a best (in my opinion) served with butter and homemade jam or honey…
zesty lemon-orange scones served with butter and homemade ground cherry jam…

 

Enjoy! and I would love to know what flavour combos you come up with!

 

Family Apple Pancake…

Apples

Apples are back in season which means that Apples are plenty, delicious and cheap…

Yesterday we left on a whim to go apple picking and came back with 55 lbs of apples for about 30$… It has been beautiful lately and yesterday was no exception, It may be fall but it was warm and sunny and a perfect day to be out in the orchard picking apples off the trees and eating them within seconds of being picked..

The boys and I have been peeling and preparing apples all morning, preparing them for the dehydrator and for apple sauce and fruit leathers and whatever else comes to mind…

Peeling apples.. Drying apples...

 

One of our favourite apple recipes is Apple Family Pancake… I have been making it for a few years and it has only improved with time…

ap2

This makes enough for all of us for a filling breakfast and then usually there is a bit left in the pan for picking at for the rest of the morning.

  • 4-5 apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butterRight off the tree....
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds*
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups of milk (coconut, almond, soy etc)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
* these are optional but since I have started adding them, there is something missing when I don’t. The almond extract is the key!
  1. First thing is to take a pan and put about 4 tbsp of butter in it. A large Cast iron skillet works best here, but any large heavy pan will do in a pinch (if you are using a cake pan a 9 in would be good).
  2. Next, place the pan in the oven and pre-heat to 400… the butter will melt and the pan will get hot and get coated which is the goal here.
  3. While the oven is heating up, mix the eggs and milk in a bowl, add the flour and baking powder (which you can mix together using a fork while it sits on top of the liquids and then mix until well incorporated without over-mixing. This should resemble a thick pancake batter.
  4. In another bowl, place the apples, sugar, oats, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla extract and almond extract and then pour the melted butter over it all (remember… it’s in the oven) and mix well. Try to not eat all of this mixture right away… it basically tastes like a raw apple crumble!
  5. Pour the batter into the hot pan and then pour the apple mixture on top and spread evenly and then place in the oven and bake for about 25-30 min….
  6. Wait for the smell of apples and cinnamon and almonds to permeate your home and for everyone to start drooling..

ap1

You can cut into wedges and serve as is or drizzle with a bit of maple syrup…

ap3

Happy Apple season!!

By |September 27th, 2011|Breakfasts, Recipes|10 Comments|

Oatmeal smoothie…

Smoothies are great, you can add whatever you want to them and the more you add the more of a complete meal it can become. The kids here love smoothies… so it is an easy and fast breakfast to make and it always feels like a treat…  Since I got our new blender I  have been making them almost every day…

A while back (before my old blender broke) I decided to try oatmeal in our smoothie to make it even more complete. It took a few tries but I finally figured out the perfect way to do it.

First put some dry oats (about a cup) in the blender and make process them until they are a like flour… it is OK if it has a few lumps but you don’t want many.

Put the Oat flour into a saucepan, turn the heat on and then add fresh juice or milk (about 2 cups) You can add whatever juice or milk you have on hand… soy/almond/coconut etc… and cook the oats for a few minutes. I have also used apple cider in this step and it was delicious!

Add the oat mixture back to the blender and add about a cup more of liquid (milk, yogourt, juice etc ) and blend for a few seconds until it is thin and smooth.I also add some vanilla at this point and any other ingredients that I want to blend very well (like the handful of spinach I put in it today and/or banana, fresh strawberries etc)…

Then add a few handfuls of frozen fruit (melons, bananas, berries, grapes etc) and again, blend until smooth. If you want it a bit thicker add some more frozen fruit and it will become nice and thick. More liquid like make it thinner.

Though the Oatmeal is there, you don’t notice it in the finished product but it adds so much to the drink and helps to keep you full for longer.

(I keep on forgetting to take a picture before I actually finish it… it is so yummy)

Oatmeal Smoothie

By |January 14th, 2011|Breakfasts, Recipes|Comments Off on Oatmeal smoothie…|

Fluffy Banana Buckwheat pancakes…

I love the taste of buckwheat…

but I love the fluffiness of my usual pancakes…

In the past, my attempts at buckwheat pancakes with the recipes that I have found, have always made for dense chewy pancakes which I just don’t enjoy…

This weekend at the grocery store my eye landed on some local buckwheat flour and I just knew that I needed to try again…

This time I just adapted my usual recipe and what I ended up with were perfectly fluffy and delicious buckwheat pancakes that the kids and I loved!

so…

mix 2 eggs, 2 1/2 cups of milk, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 mashed banana and 2 tsp of vanilla in a large bowl…

and in another bowl mix 3/4 cup of flour with 2 cups of buckwheat flour, 3 tsp of baking powder and a 1/2 tsp salt…

add the dry to the wet but don’t overmix…

Add more milk of too thick (or more flour if too thin)…. (it really depends on the humidity of the flour etc)

fluffy banana buckwheat pancakes

By |February 5th, 2009|Breakfasts, Recipes|Comments Off on Fluffy Banana Buckwheat pancakes…|