Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Chip Scones

So, whoever (whomever?) said scones are like biscuits was lying. Don't get me wrong, biscuits are cool and everything, but scones are da bomb! Being the chocolate lover that I am, I especially love these chocolate chip scones. They are sweet, but not too sweet that you feel sick if you eat one for breakfast. They are the absolute best companion to coffee or hot chocolate, too! Make them today - you won't be sorry!

Before I give you the recipe, I will tell you that I use a food processor to make my scones. Usually any time a recipe calls for cold butter (scones and pie crusts mostly), I use my food processor because it just divides the butter so much better than anything I have tried, plus it's super quick and, if you recall, I have 3 small children so anything I can get done quicker is sweet!

Chocolate Chip Scones

2 cups flour
3 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
6 T. cold butter
1/2 cup + 2 T. half and half or heavy cream (milk would work, too)
1 egg
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 400.
Put your flour, sugar, and baking powder in the food processor and pulse a few times.
Cube up the butter and add that to the processor. Pulse for about 20 seconds, until smooth.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the half and half, and crack the egg into the measuring cup.
Pour wet mixture into food processor while pulsing, until dough forms.
Throw in chocolate chips and pulse a few times until they are distributed.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a rough circle, maybe an inch thick.
Slice into 8 tri-angular slices and arrange on a cookie sheet so that no edges touch
Take a pastry brush and brush the tops of each scone with the 2 T. half and half.
Bake for 15 or so minutes, until browned. Let cool.
Drizzle with powdered sugar icing (2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2T milk - add milk by the T. until you get desired consistency). I like mine thick!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bran Muffins!

Bran Muffins make a light but hearty breakfast. Or a light, hearty snack anytime of the day. Just ask my husband because whenever I make these, they disappear throughout the day and the night! They are super easy to make and you can easily add anything to them, like raisins or nuts. These are best enjoyed (in my house) plain, though!

Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups Original All Bran Cereal
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix the cereal and milk in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Go back to the cereal and milk, and add in the egg and vegetable oil.
Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
Scoop into muffin tins (makes 12 jumbo muffins)
Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Leftover Central - Cranberry Bars!

We had my folks down for Thanksgiving this year, and even though I made my wonderful and very easy REAL cranberry sauce, they ate from the can. Sigh. Parents...what are we going to do with them? Well, luckily they only ate about a teaspoon of it each, so Thanksgiving night I found myself online looking for something to make with leftover cranberry sauce. There were lots of options, and I opted for something sweet! So if you find yourself with leftover cranberry sauce, try these!

Cranberry Bars

1 cup flour
1 cup oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup cranberry sauce

Combine all ingredients except the cranberry sauce in a bowl and stir until mixture resembles crumbs.

Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture and press the rest into the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan.

Evenly spread the cranberry sauce over the pressed crumb mixture. *

Crumble reserved 1 cup of crumbs evenly over the spread cranberry. Pat gently.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until it is golden brown.

Let cool, and cut into bars. Keep stored in the refrigerator. :)

*note: my canned cranberry needed a quick stir in a separate bowl to become spreadable