Scones. Glorious scones! Way better than muffins and not much more work. In some ways I think they’re actually easier than muffins, I never liked cleaning muffin tins. Scones are also easily adaptable. These scones are full of goodies, but a simple scone with nothing in it is amazing when spread with a little jam or truly and simply plain. If you’ve never tried to make scones, please do yourself a favor and make a batch of these! You’ll be amazed at how easy they are and how amazing they taste. This is yet another recipe courtesy of my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I took the basic recipe and added in dried cherries, sliced almonds and white chocolate chips. I also brushed the tops with a little cream and sprinkled them with a little sugar. I would’ve liked to have used coarse sugar but couldn’t seem to find mine, probably a sign I need to do some pantry organizing. In the recipe they recommend forming the circle in a cake pan, then turning it out before slicing into wedges. What a wonderful idea! It keeps it perfectly shaped and makes for beautiful scones. But you can achieve equally tasty and lovely scones by free forming your disc. I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the scones, but a bench scraper or large knife will do just fine. Like I said before, make these with what you like or have on hand to make them your own and experiment to find a combination that you really love. Replace the cherries with your favorite dried fruit, the almonds with pecans, or walnuts, and leave out the chocolate altogether or use dark or milk chocolate chips. Be careful not to load too much into these, though. I used a total of 1 cup of additional ingredients and I wouldn’t go much heavier on the mix-ins than that. As with biscuits, don’t over mix or over work the dough. Mix and knead just until it holds together. Overworking will yield a dense scone that doesn’t rise as well. I do have to warn you about these. I photographed them while they were still warm and had a few bites of this one. A few bites turned into me eating the entire thing. And I loved every minute of it. So make sure to exercise some self control and don’t eat all of them yourself! Or do. Just call it “research” or “quality control”.
Dried Cherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cream Scones
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Ingredients
Makes 8 scones
2 cups flour, plus more for the counter
3 tablespoons sugar. plus a little for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for brushing
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture is coarse like sand with some larger pieces of butter.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips, then add the cream and the almond extract. Mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together. Press into 9-inch cake pan or free form the dough into a 9-inch disk.
Turn dough out again (if you used a cake pan) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
With a pizza cutter or other cutting tool, cut the disk into 8 triangles, separating them from each other a little.
Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar (or coarse sugar if you have some).
Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are light brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Hello, my long lost food blog. It’s been a while. Here, have some cookies.
Our family has been busy. And it’s not just the wonderful chaos that ensues once November hits. We just moved to Houston from Amarillo, and have been spending the last 3 months living apart and driving all over the great state of Texas. So I haven’t had the time or the energy to blog. But now that I have a kitchen of my very own I have started baking and cooking again. It feels good to be settled…even if I still have a bedroom full of boxes that I have absolutely no desire to unpack.
These white chocolate cranberry cookies were pretty good. I’d say maybe a touch too sweet for some people, but the tang of the cranberry and the right amount of salt balance it out well. If you’re making cookie plates to give to neighbors and friends a few of these among some spicy gingersnaps and rich chocolate cookies would make for a great gift.
Thanks to Baking Bites for the recipe! The only thing I changed was to add a little cinnamon. I didn’t taste it as much as I would have liked, so maybe a full teaspoon of cinnamon would be better.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, followed by melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each cookie to allow for spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies turn lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Today I cleaned out my pantry and the cabinet that houses all of the medicine, vitamins, paper goods, cookie cutters, cake decorating gadgets, and some other random junk I own. It felt so good to throw some things away and get everything organized.
The most impressive things I tossed were a box of generic NyQuil from HEB that expired in 2007 and a pretty large container of Gatorade mix that also was “Best By” June of 2007. Why did we still have these things? We moved to Amarillo in 2008. Why did I not throw them both away when we moved?
Anyway, our pantry is not exactly spacious. A few items that I don’t use often had been tossed on top of a bunch of other things on the very top shelf. Out of sight, out of mind. After cleaning everything out I couldn’t find another place for these items, and I couldn’t bear to put them back where they had been after I’d cleaned everything up. So, I made these cereal bars.
I used the rest of a box of Chex I’d needed to make Chex mix a while back and a bag of mini marshmallows. It was nice to get rid of those items, but I still have a few other items that I’ve got to use up to have a truly tidy pantry. Stay tuned for what’s coming next! I have some very interesting ideas.
Once I had mixed up these bars and pressed them into the pan I had some doubts about how they would taste. I let them cool in the fridge for about an hour, then I sliced a small corner for myself. Then I sliced a large hunk of this stuff for myself! The Chex mix gives a different texture than Rice Krispies would, and the combination of white, milk chocolate and marshmallow is pretty addictive. You could use any cereal, any combination or any flavor of baking chips and probably add any other tasty bits your heart desires and come up with something quite yummy. So, run wild and go create goodness with cereal!
This recipe is from the Tasty Kitchen blog, Pioneer Woman’s recipe sharing community. I sometimes forget to look here for recipes, but thanks to my Google Reader I am reminded to check it out every now and then when there is a new post. The site is organized well, and is easy and fun to search through. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. Here is the link to the recipe for these cookies.
These cookies have three kinds of chocolate, and that is never a bad idea. To make these cookies chocolate, you mix in hot chocolate mix instead of cocoa which creates a lighter chocolate flavor and color. I loved the combination of different kinds of chocolate and the subtle chocolate flavor in the cookies themselves.
I had three chunks of Callebaut chocolate left over from various things I’ve made, and so I chopped that up to get my white, milk and dark chocolate pieces instead of using chips. This process seems to infuse every bite with soft chocolate since you end up with some shards of chocolate and some chunks when you chop a block of chocolate. The shards melt into the cookie and don’t keep shape like a chip would, so the texture is different. If I had the $$$ to buy this kind of quality chocolate for every baked good I would use it every time. Although, a chocolate chip cookie isn’t quite the same without Nestle semi-sweets. So, I guess there are exceptions.
The only other change I made was to use a smaller scoop. I used an ice cream scoop roughly equal to golf ball size. I baked them for 9 minutes, let them cool for about 4 minutes and then transferred them to a cooling rack. They should look just a little too soft when you take them from the oven. These are quite treat to enjoy while still warm with a glass of really cold milk. But not to worry, they will not disappoint you if you eat them the next day. Enjoy!
In college a friend gave me a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that uses pudding mix in the dough resulting in an extra soft and tasty cookie. Of course I lost the recipe in one of the 4 moves I’ve made across Texas in the last 5 years. I came across this recipe this past weekend and decided to see if they were like Ashley’s.
They were not quite the same, but they were good. I used some high quality milk and white chocolate in these cookies which made them extra special. Good chocolate really does make a difference. Chopping off a block of chocolate instead of using chips also makes a difference in the texture of the chocolate in the finished cookie.
I used half butter and half shortening in these, which makes the cookies more sturdy and causes them to spread less, but I will use all butter next time. Some cookies can take the half shortening short cut without much of a sacrifice of flavor….but not this cookie. For some reason they tasted too fake to me and too much like a grocery store cookie instead of a homemade one.
All of that negativity doesn’t make these cookies at all un-tasty. I really liked how soft and chewy they were and absolutely loved the white and milk chocolate chunks. Crazy good.
Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 taespoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
6 ounces chopped milk chocolate
4 ounces chopped white chocolate
Heatoven to 375°F.
Beat butter, sugars, dry pudding mix and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.
Add eggs and baking soda; mix well.
Gradually add flour, beating after each addition until well blended.
Stir in chocolate.
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.
Bake8 to 10 min. or until golden brown. Cool 3 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.