Monday, May 23, 2011

Cinnamon Chip Scones

I still had some cinnamon chips left over from my last recipe and needed to replenish Dennis’s breakfast treat supply. I wanted to do a scone recipe – maybe the recent Royal Wedding put me in a British sort of mood? Whatever the case this recipe hit all the right notes – the scones came out light, not heavy, and the cinnamon flavor came through nice and strong. I loved the idea of putting the turbinado sugar on top as it gives the scones a nice little crunch and some extra sweetness.
Dennis and my co-workers really enjoyed these (one of them even said I should sell them in our cafeteria. Hmm…). Dennis did say that maybe next time I could try adding in some diced apple for a nice cinnamon-apple combination. I think I may have to try that.

Cinnamon Chip Scones (from How Sweet It Is)
3 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cups cold butter
1 cup buttermilk (I used a cup of milk with 1 T lemon juice – just let it sit for about 5 minutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
For topping:
Melted butter
Turbinado or coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 425.
In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in cinnamon chips. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.
Divide in half and pat into 7 inch round circles. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.
Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes. Makes about 16 scones.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mocha Cookies with Cinnamon Chips

We have a deck! When we first moved in we had a very, very ugly greenhouse sort of addition that was just barely attached to the house. It was such an eyesore with the wood rotting and the screens completely blown off by the wind. We finally realized there was no way to rehabilitate it so we ended up getting it torn down. Once that was done we needed some sort of outdoor space so we had a deck built. It’s perfect for sitting outside with a cup of coffee and the weekend newspaper while listening to the birds singing and looking at the various creatures that pass through our yard.

All of this is a very long-winded way of getting to the fact that with our new deck we decided to host Mother’s Day for our families. We actually did this last year too but that’s mainly because we were so exhausted from moving and kitchen renovations that we just wanted everyone to come to us. But this year we had more energy and a nice space for everyone to hang out. In the middle of getting together the rest of the food I wanted to bake something that wasn’t too involved but that I thought everyone would enjoy. My favorite cooking blog posted this recipe and since I had all of the ingredients on hand I gave it a try.

The cookies came out great, though they had more of a chocolate flavor than mocha. No one complained, though, and again everyone seems to love the addition of cinnamon chips. The original recipe actually called for cappuccino chips but I didn’t have any luck finding those so just subbed in chocolate chips. But if I ever do find them I’d love to throw them in here.

Mocha Cookies with Cinnamon Chips (Adapted from Culinary in the Desert/King Arthur Flour)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon espresso powder
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cinnamon chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugars and espresso powder until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined - fold in chips.

Drop dough using a tablespoon cookie scoop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until the cookies are just barely set in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 40 cookies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Dennis was going on a business trip at the beginning of the week so I was looking for something that would still hold up for when he got back. I had a bag of pistachios I was looking to use so when I stumbled upon this recipe for Dark Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti I decided to give it a go.

I’ve never made biscotti before. For whatever reason they intimidated me but they’re really easy to make. The dough for this came together easily, then you just have to form two logs, flatten them slightly and bake. Once they bake for a bit you cut the logs into cookies then bake again on both sides. I baked them for a little less than suggested since I didn’t want them to be too hard. If I was making them for breakfast I might bake longer so they would be good to dunk in coffee. But for an afternoon or post-dinner snack they were perfect.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti (adapted from Eat, Live, Run/Gourmet)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 egg beaten with a little warm water (for egg wash)

Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix with your hands to create a soft dough. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead for a minute until smooth.

Divide dough in half and form each half into a long log, about 10-by-two-inches. Flatten each log and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for twenty five minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for ten minutes, and then carefully slice diagonally into cookies. Place each cookie cut side down back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional twenty minutes, flipping cookies over halfway through.