Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Butterscotch Scones

Every Saturday, almost without fail, I will wake up and immediately I hear, "what are you making for breakfast?"

Although the thought of leaving a cozy bed sounds miserable in the moment, a tasty breakfast usually is motivation enough for me to get up.  And if not, I find that the hope and promise of freshly ground coffee being made for me in return for making breakfast is also a powerful motivator for me.

Scones are a staple in our house and I love that this recipe is so versatile.  Feel free to swap out butterscotch chips for chocolate, fruit, nuts, or whatever your little heart desires. 

Don't forget to eat your breakfast! 

Butterscotch Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup +1 tsp sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 stick unsalted butter (frozen or very cold)
1 large egg
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Milk & Raw sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, & salt in bowl of stand up mixer or large bowl.

Cut butter into the mixture, mixing it so it until it resemble pea size crumbly bits (how is that for technical?).  Add the egg.  Add the yogurt, mixing into large clumps of dough.  Add the butterscotch chips.

Form a large ball with the dough using your hands.  Form into small clumps and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush tops of scones with milk or cream.  Place raw sugar in bowl and dip the top of the wet scones into the sugar to form a sugar-crusted top.  Place back on baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until light-golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Reese's" Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are a bit misleading.  They don't technically have Reese's peanut butter cups in them, but they do have chocolate & peanut butter, and the "Reese" is in reference to the adorable little baby one of my good friends just had - so I made her these cookies.

Meet Reese.

 Isn't she a cutie?
I could just hold her all day! :)

Speaking of kiddos, these cookies are also for a special cause called "Cookies for Kids' Cancer."  I've had the privilege of participating in a special blogger event for the past few years through OXO which helps raise money for the non-profit organization. OXO donates money for each blog post and in addition, provides bloggers such as myself with some great cooking supplies like the ones below: 

Non-Stick Half Sheet Pan:
Medium Cookie Scoop: 
Cookie Spatula:

You can find these and other great products online and in stores - and be sure to check for this sticker on specially marked products so you can help support the cause with your purchase!
- Cookies for Kids' Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids' Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
- OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in October (up to our $100,000 commitment*.)
- *In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts back to these delicious cookies...
 "Reese's" Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar 
1 cup chocolate chips (mix of semi-sweet & white, or milk chocolate) 
Shortening (to help with melting chocolate if needed) 

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Make sure the ingredients are well combined. 

Using your OXO medium cookie scoop, portion out about 1 1/2 - 2 scoops and roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart. Bake about 16 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter balls by mixing powdered sugar and peanut butter and roll into 1 inch balls.   

Right after removing cookies from oven, gently press a peanut butter ball on top of each cookie. Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals until fully melted.  Adding a teaspoon of shortening will help keep the chocolate smooth and easy to drizzle. Top each cookie with melted chocolate and let cool until hardened.  


Recipe adapted from: Love from the oven 

Monday, September 07, 2015

Blueberry Custard Pie with Pecan Struesel

Where does the time go?  It's been an unbelievably busy summer as evidenced by my lack of blogging since...April.  Wow.  Now we're in September and life still shows no signs of slowing down.  C'est la vie. 
 My husband just asked, "when did you even make that pie?  Did you make it this year?"

Yes.  But to be fair I can't remember when. 

The lack of blogging is due to being busy outside of the kitchen...but also due to the fact that summer cooking is just different.  There is more grilling, less fancy dishes, more "let's just eat so we can get back outside and get on with our day" type of meals. 

I do still have a handful of photos and recipes that I'll have to gradually put on here...and I promise to share the good ones.  This is one of them.  This pie is easy and delicious so naturally, it was a good fit for me and my love/hate relationship with pie making.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Custard Pie with Pecan Struesel 
Makes one 9-inch pie

1 cup (8 ounces) yogurt (or sour cream)
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour (white or whole wheat)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ cups fresh blueberries
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Streusel Topping:
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, ¾ cup sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla extract and salt with a spoon until smooth. Gently fold the blueberries into the custard mixture. Spoon the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

While the filling is baking, prepare the streusel topping: In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar and flour. Mix the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Fold in the chopped pecans. After the filling has baked 25 minutes, sprinkle the streusel crunch topping over the top of the pie. 

Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and topping is brown.

Watch so your crust doesn't burn. Either use a crust shield or make a loose foil tent towards the end of baking if it starts to look too brown/burnt.

Remove from oven and let pie sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve pie warm or chill it and serve cold.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sriracha Lime Tropical Chicken Salad

The weather outside is no longer *quite* as frightful!  It's been gradually warming up and although it might not stay this way, we've been lucky enough to have a couple 60-70 degree days lately.  You can tell people are just happier.  The parks are busy, the grills are fired up, people are actually getting up off the couch to do things outside...and it's fantastic.  I'm pretty sure I'm actually meant to live somewhere with year-long average temp of 70 degrees because I can't get enough of it. 

With the warmer weather comes a new array of meals that I have been trying that are conducive to wanting to stay outside as long as possible and not spend hours in the kitchen over a hot stove or oven.  Grill...grill....grill....that's all I would need to do be perfectly happy with cooking this summer.  But regardless of weather, this meal is delicious if you want to cook inside or outside and very simple to prepare.  It's refreshing, a little spicy, and full of nutrients - what more could you ask for? :)
 What are some of your favorite spring & summertime meals? 

Sriracha Lime Tropical Chicken Salad
Serves 2-4

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts
3 tbsp. sriracha
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
4 cups spring mix lettuce (or romaine, chopped)
8 pineapple slices, using pineapple corer (if you have one)
1 cup Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped or sliced
1 avocado, cubed

Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp honey
Dash of sea salt

Pound chicken breasts to about ½ inch thickness.  Season chicken breast with salt and pepper.  In a shallow dish for the marinade, combine srirarcha and lime.  Add chicken and let it marinade in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or more. 

Once marinated, add chicken to pre-heated grill if the weather permits, or cast iron or grilling pan (if indoors).  Grill about 4-5 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 165F. 

Cut pineapple into rings using pineapple corer (if you have one) and add to grill or pan & grill for 3-4 minutes on each side.

While chicken & pineapple is grilling, prepare lettuce, chop avocado, tomato, and red onion and add to serving dish or individual plates.

Whisk together dressing, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired and place in fridge until ready to use.

Once chicken is done cooking, assemble the salad, toss with dressing and enjoy!  Feel free to play around with different vegetables and fruit with the salad - I think this would easily go well with anything!