Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Blueberry Lemon Scones

"You can't be that kid at the top of the 

waterslide, overthinking it.

You have to go down the chute."

-Tina Fey

I have been saying this to myself a lot lately. I tend to sometimes (ALL THE TIME) overthink small details and drive myself (and others) a little crazy.

For instance it took me way too long to make up my mind whether I should make blueberry scones with lemon, or blueberry scones with almonds.

Sometimes the difference between lemons and almonds is a really big deal guys.

But like the wise Tina Fey reminds me, you have to go down the chute. So I just threw caution and lemon zest to the wind and went down the Blueberry Lemon chute.

And why was I ever doubtful!? Blueberry and lemon are like two really good friends that people like me tend to forget about when all they can think about is chocolate. But I didn't even add chocolate to this recipe! I kept things classy and classic, and the result was dang awesome. Proud moment.


Fresh blueberries and fresh lemons. It's hard to go wrong! I made six scones, plus one baby scone. That baby one totally has my name on it.

Stop overthinking things and go down the chute. Make scones with the bounty of blueberries sitting in your fridge. Make them for you and your mom before you go to work. Eat them warm with butter and serve with milky tea. Enjoy it.

Because Tina Fey and I told you to.

Blueberry Lemon Scones
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
(I halved the recipe to make just a small batch, but it can be easily doubled. Unbaked scones can be frozen and saved in the freezer to bake up when you want them!)

Makes about 6 small scones
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 oz) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/6 cup almond milk (or any other milk if you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • Cream for brushing (optional)
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 (375 for my hot oven) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Use your fingers to mix in the butter with the flour mixture. You don't want to blend the two together completely, just until the butter is in pea sized clumps. This equals flakyness!

Gently fold in the blueberries. In another bowl, whisk the egg into the almond milk. Combine the wet and the dry until they form a dough, you may need to knead it a bit. Need to knead, ha. (Sorry)

Gently roll out dough (don't flatten your butter too much!) onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife or cookie cutter to cut out your scones. I used a small glass dipped in flour to cut out round scones.

Place on prepared baking tray. Brush the tops with a good amount of cream, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Make a pot of tea and serve up some scones, warm from the oven, with butter. Yes.

Warm food straight from the oven with melty butter is probably one of the most magical moments in life. Yes, I am easily pleased.

<3 Lari

PS: Have strawberries instead of blueberries? Make these Strawberries and Cream Scones instead! Equally awesome.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Stuff In My Yogurt

A new series commences: Stuff In My Yogurt.

It's pretty much all about the kinds of delicious "stuff" I add to my greek yogurt. You probably could have figured that out without me telling you...

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Greek Yogurt! My favourite is simply plain, 0% greek yogurt. Even though it is 0%, I still think it's so creamy and thick and everything I dream about! And when it is plain, then we can get all creative and add whatever the heck we want! And whatever the heck we have kickin' in the fridge!

I was recently inspired by this post about yogurt toppings. The photos are FANTASTIC, and were styled and shot by one of my favourite bloggers: Top With Cinnamon.

The picture above was taken from those ideas: blueberries + lemon juice + granulated sugar (mash it!) then topped with more fresh blueberries and lemon zest.

This here above us would be greek yogurt + bananas + cinnamon + crushed peanuts. (and an apricot-jammed muffin and some almond milk)

Breakfast time is indeed the best time.

Rock on, greek yogurt...
Rock on.

PB and J Cupcakes

I am not quite sure how to get this across, but I am seriously in love with Peanut Butter and Jam. Like, a lot. A LOT A LOT.
Whenever I see PB and J anything, I am all over it. It is the epitome of childhood comfort food! I love PB and J so much... I made it a starring role in one of my final projects in college this past year. Homework can't get much cooler than that, am I right?

The best part was that our class was having a potluck on our last day of school. I think potluck is one of my favourite words, because it means: I get to cook something! And I knew that whatever I made had to match my PB and J project that I was handing in, obviously. Matching your projects is very important.

It has been a while since we had this potluck... but it's never to late for a little PB & J I always say.

I had seen this recipe in this book a long time ago, and had filed it away in my "To Bake" list in my head (a list that forever grows longer and longer). And what better time to bake a batch of Peanut Butter and Jam cupcakes? No better time! Well, to be honest, it is hard to find a bad time to make these. They are darn cute, and ever so tasty. I might even have to say they taste better than they look. Which is perfectly okay with me.

Here are some pictures of my final project I created: A PB and J Recipe Book! (That is actually a pillow. Yes, Art School is the best.)

Pillow book!

Opens up...

Instructions, illustrated. To make simple things even simpler.

Peanut Butter and Jam. The best love story I know!

PB and J Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Some notes: Depending on your preference/what happens to be in the fridge at the time, you could use sour cream in place of the greek yogurt. I did not have any roasted peanuts on hand, but if you do, chop them up and fold them in at then end for a lovely crunch! My favourite peanut butter is the all natural chunky kind, so this is what I used. But you could really use whatever you like or have on hand!

You will need:
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar. Mix in the peanut butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed just until everything is incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the greek yogurt.

Divide the batter evenly among paper lined muffin tins, and bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes if you are making regular sized cupcakes, or for 13-15 minutes if you are making mini cupcakes.
Cool completely before frosting with Peanut Butter Frosting!

For the Frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cream the cream cheese together with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the salt and the peanut butter and beat to combine. Mix in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to medium peaks, then the the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture.

Notes for the Frosting: Although I mentioned for the cupcake batter that you could use whatever peanut butter you desired, I feel fairly strongly that this frosting really requires the peanut butter to be of a creamy nature, not chunky. Unless of course you like the funk. Using creamy peanut butter makes this into the silkiest peanut butter frosting... just when you thought peanut butter couldn't get any more delicious and addictive... Sorry.

Assembly time!

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the creamy frosting, and pipe a pretty swirl atop each cooled cupcake. Make a small indent in the top of the swirl where the raspberry jam will sit. I found this easiest to do by dipping my finger in a little water before each one, then the frosting doesn't stick to your finger. Using a small spoon, scoop a little raspberry jam and dollop on the tops of each cupcake. 
Now you have a load of delicious and creamy peanut butter cupcakes, adorned with a sparkling ruby of raspberry jam.
It's all the wonders of childhood... but better... and with more sugar :)

Happy PB and J - ing!

<3 Lari