oatmeal raisin muffins

I must be growing up. Since when do I like raisins? At least I still think green peppers are blech. If that ever changes, I know I’ll be ready to pick up my cane and trade in my real teeth for the kind you take out at night to clean. Oh, and buy one of those plastic bag things to wrap around my head when it rains.

Granted, Dave pointed out that these are particularly good raisins. Even so, these muffins are wonderful – soft and fluffy and tender, and the raisins add some tartness and the pecans a bit of crunch, and all together, kinda sorta perfect actually!

They’re not too bad for you – oats are whole grains, right? I replaced a third of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour, a great trick with muffins. Let’s forget about the butter, okay? You have to pay a small price for muffins this good.

It seems inconceivable, but could oatmeal raisin cookies be my next favorite thing? I did buy yellow peppers for the fajitas we’re making for dinner tonight, instead of the green peppers called for in the recipe, so I feel safe there. Still young! (And picky, apparently.)

Two years ago: Potstickers

Printer Friendly Recipe
Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (adapted from Morning Food, by Margaret S. Fox and John B. Bear, via recipezaar)

Makes 12

I substituted ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour for an equal amount of white flour, and the muffins were still wonderful.

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup (3.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
2 eggs, beaten lightly
⅓ cup (2.35 ounces) packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup raisins

1. Combine the oats and buttermilk and let stand 30 minutes. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400ºF. Spray the bottoms only of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. Spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet. Bake, shaking the pan every couple of minutes, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl. (If you leave them on the hot pan, they’ll continue to cook and might burn.)

3. Add the eggs to the oatmeal mixture one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Whisk in the sugar, then the butter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the flour mixture. Once the flour is dispersed, but not completely moistened, gently stir in the raisins and nuts.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, 13-18 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, then use a thin-bladed knife to remove the muffins from the pan.

coco-nana muffins

I made these, oh, a year and a half ago. And the file’s just been sitting around waiting for someone to choose them for Tuesdays with Dorie. Actually, it was the first recipe I ever made from Dorie Greenspan that was not specifically for TWD. I had told myself that I would only bake from the book with the group, but I realized that was stupid when I wanted to make muffins and happened to have all the ingredients for these.

Obviously they’re not fresh in my mind, plus I usually just eat one muffin per batch. I freeze the rest and Dave takes one to work everyday. I do remember liking these though, and indeed, my notes say “good; great texture; mostly chocolate, hint of banana.” Sounds perfect to me.

Steph has the recipe posted.

One year ago: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

maple oatmeal scones

I got scooped! I was just about to write an entry on these scones a few days ago and decided to go with the apple muffins instead. The next day Michelle posted about them. What are the chances?

Actually, considering that these first appeared on Barefoot Contessa Saturday morning, and by the time I baked them the next day there were already a handful of reviews on the Food Network’s site, the chances might not be so bad. Apparently I wasn’t the only one tempted by maple oatmeal scones.

Maple seems like an underused ingredient, considering how delicious it is. Perhaps the problem is that it’s an easily overpowered flavor once it’s mixed into dough and baked. These scones overcome this problem by adding additional maple in the form of a glaze.

I often think that glazes on scones make them too sweet, but since the scones themselves are only lightly sweetened, these have just the right level of sweetness. They’re also light and tender inside and crisp on top, and really just the perfect way to start out a weekend morning. I can see why Michelle was so eager to post about them!

One year ago: Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli, Cheddar, and Scallions
Two years ago: Lasagne Bolognese

Printer Friendly Recipe
Maple Oatmeal Scones (adapted just slightly from Barefoot Contessa)

I used traditional rolled oats, which worked just fine.

As always with scones, you can freeze the dough after shaping it, then bake the scones straight from the freezer.

1¾ cups (8.4 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup cold buttermilk
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.

2. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough ¾ to 1 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly knead the scraps together and cut more scones.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp.

4. To make the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of the glaze. For garnish, sprinkle a few uncooked oats on the tops of the scones.

apple muffins

I don’t know why I feel the need to state this every year, but, again, for the record: I am pro New Year’s Resolution. Yes, we all know that you can resolve to make changes any day of the year. So what? New Year’s Day is the official last day of holiday craziness. It’s the perfect day to start thinking about new routines.

Besides, this year, I also moved from the East Coast to the Southwest; from a suburb of one of the country’s largest cities to a very small, very isolated town; from an apartment to a house; from the subtropics to the desert. Dave is starting a new job; I’ll be starting one new job this week, plus interviewing for two others. I didn’t just make a New Year’s resolution; I made a resolution for this new life.

My goal is, in a nutshell, to be perfect. That sounds obtainable, right? More realistically, it’s to be a person I can be proud of. And, yes, part of that, the easier part actually, involves fitness.

Fortunately, eating healthy isn’t a bit challenging when there are recipes like this one. Nothing about these indicates that they’re better for you than most muffins. But with whole wheat pastry flour substituting for half of the flour and applesauce taking the place of some of the fat, they’re downright wholesome. They’re also fluffy and light and delicious.

Muffins = one small step toward a more perfect me! Now I just need to keep it up for ever or so, plus be more productive, creative, organized, active, outgoing, focused, positive, motivated…

Two years ago: Macaroni and Cheese, Banana Cream Pie

Printer Friendly Recipe
Apple Muffins (from Ellie Krieger)

12-16 muffins

My batter seemed a little too liquidy. Next time I’ll reduce the buttermilk to ½ cup.

The original recipe says it makes 12 muffins, but I had extra batter.

cooking spray
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (4.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ¾ cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

lighter chicken and dumplings

Aargh, I hate when I choose a recipe specifically because of one step that I find interesting, and then I screw up that step! In this chicken and dumplings recipe, Cooks Illustrated uses chicken wings to thicken the broth, instead of starch. I’m always fascinated by how homemade stock is gelatinous when it’s cold, so I was eager to try out the idea of thickening a broth with natural collagen.

But then I didn’t quite buy chicken wings. Drummettes were more easily available, and they’re from wings, so I figured it was close enough. Too late, I read the recipe description closer and saw that they specifically refer to the joints in wings as having a lot of collagen. D’oh! My little drummettes didn’t have joints.

So much for that trick. I ended up dissolving about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in about ¼ cup of water and stirring that into the broth near the end of cooking. That worked fine, although it wasn’t as fun.

Regardless, the resulting chicken and dumplings were really delicious. I particularly liked the idea of putting a kitchen towel under the lid of the pot while the dumplings cook, so that they’re tops don’t get soggy. I also like that it only has a bit of fat in it, so this meal is light enough to make again soon – correctly this time.

One year ago: Chopped Salad
Two years ago: Oatmeal

Printer Friendly Recipe
Lighter Chicken and Dumplings (from Cooks Illustrated)


6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2½ pounds), trimmed of excess fat
table salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 small onions, chopped fine (about 1½ cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine (about ½ cup)
¼ cup dry sherry
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 pound chicken wings
¼ chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg white

1. For the stew: Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.

2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth and thyme. Return chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to pot and add chicken wings. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, 45 to 55 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to cutting board. Allow broth to settle 5 minutes, then skim fat from surface using wide spoon or ladle. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or fork, pull meat from chicken thighs (and wings, if desired) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Return meat to pot.

4. For the dumplings: Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.

5. Return stew to simmer; stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using greased tablespoon measure (or #60 portion scoop), scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of stew, spacing about ¼ inch apart (you should have about 24 dumplings). Wrap lid of Dutch oven with clean kitchen towel (keeping towel away from heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately.

cranberry nut dessert

Copy of IMG_1245

Sometimes I’m too full of myself for my own good. When I saw this on Jen’s site, I noted that she called it ‘cranberry dessert.’ But, in my hubris, I figured, what the hell, it looks like a cake. I’ll call it a cake and serve it as a cake.

Copy of IMG_1202

In retrospect, though, the vague title ‘dessert’ is probably more appropriate. Or maybe cranberry clafoutis? Except with more butter. Cobbler doesn’t quite work because the breading isn’t biscuits.

Copy of IMG_1205

Even looking at the photos now, it looks like a cake. The recipe is mixed like a quick bread, so that’s cake-like.

Copy of IMG_1206

But somehow, when I was eating it, it seemed more like a fruit dessert, maybe because the ratio of fruit to batter is so high. It was fantastic on its own, but it did cry out for a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Next time I won’t deny it.

Copy of IMG_1210

One year ago: Lime Meltaways

Printer Friendly Recipe
Cranberry Nut Dessert (rewritten from Use Real Butter)

Most nuts would work here, but I used lightly toasted almonds and it seemed like a perfect match.

1 cup (4.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon almond extract

1. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a pie pan with spray oil.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cranberries, and nuts. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until broken up, then whisk in the butter and almond extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan; bake for 40 minutes or a until toothpick inserted near the center of the pan comes out clean or with a few crumbs hanging onto it. Let the dessert cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Copy of IMG_1248

pumpkin scones

Copy of IMG_0444

Oh, did you want to see something besides scones? I’m sorry, it turns out that the ol’ crumblycookie has become all scones, all the time.

Copy of IMG_0295

No, just kidding. This is the last scone recipe. I just wanted to get through them in one fell swoop, which is what’s kind of fun about NaBloPoMo.

Copy of IMG_0305

Like most of us, I love pumpkin. The thing is though, that you can’t just add pumpkin into whatever your favorite baking recipe is, because it changes the texture quite a bit. It adds a moist, cakey…I want to say gummy texture, but that sounds negative, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it also isn’t what you want in scones.

Copy of IMG_0307

So even though I have two great basic scone recipes, I didn’t even consider just adding pumpkin into one of them and seeing what happens. (Although now I’m curious.) So I had to start my search for recipes from scratch, and I settled on this Joy of Baking recipe because the picture shows tall scones with flaky layers.

Copy of IMG_0312

And I nailed it! I can’t imagine a better pumpkin scone. This has everything I want in a scone – the texture walks the line between tender and flaky, it’s sweet but not too much, and the pumpkin and spices are noticeable but not overwhelming. Yet another perfect scone recipe.

One year ago: Gratin Dauphinois

Copy of IMG_0452

Printer Friendly Recipe
Pumpkin Scones
(adapted just a bit from Joy of Baking)

Makes 8 scones

I left out the nuts and raisins, just because I wanted a smooth texture this time. And instead of using the egg wash and turbinado sugar for sprinkling, I brushed the scones with milk and sprinkled them with a mixture of about 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. It gave the scones a really nice thin crisp layer after baking.

I’ve also tweaked the order in which the ingredients are added to the dough, because I’m full of myself and I think I know better than the professionals. Or something.

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
⅓ cup (50 grams) raisins
¼ cup (30 grams) toasted and chopped pecans (optional)
⅓ – ½ cup buttermilk
⅓ cup (72 grams) light or dark brown sugar
½ cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla, and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1½ inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

4. Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Copy of IMG_0447

buttermilk scones

Copy of IMG_0247

Having a great, seemingly perfect recipe for something isn’t enough to stop me from trying new recipes. There’s always something to learn, you know? Even though one of the first biscotti recipes I ever made is still the best, I’ve made many many more recipes and I’ve learned some little biscotti tricks along the way. But I still haven’t found a better biscotti recipe.

Copy of IMG_8357

The cranberry scones were one of the first scone recipes I ever made, and certainly the first to knock my socks off. Of course, cranberries aren’t in season year-round anyway, but I successfully adapted the recipe for rhubarb, and I’m sure I could have used most other fruits.

Copy of IMG_8374

But instead, I kept trying new recipes, including this one. And this time…well, I won’t say this recipe is better, but it is definitely as good. Aargh, don’t tell me I need to do a scone comparison!

Copy of IMG_8383

I suppose it’s okay to have two perfect scone recipes, right? And one probably isn’t better than the other anyway. One thing I’ve found from recipe comparisons is that once you have great dependable recipes, it all comes down to personal preference.

Copy of IMG_8385

Well, my personal preference is for whatever gets me a delicious treat on a Saturday morning. This certainly qualifies. And so does this.

Copy of IMG_9868

One year ago: Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Printer Friendly Recipe
Buttermilk Scones (adapted just slightly from Tartine, by Elisabeth Pruett and Chad Robertson)

The measurements are weird because this is half of the recipe in Tartine’s cookbook. But geez, who needs 5 cups of flour worth of scones? I’ve also made them slightly smaller – 8 scones for this half-recipe instead of 6, because 6 would have been huge. (Each scone would have 3 tablespoons of butter in it!)

Zante currants are just standard dried currants.

I skip the melted butter and just use milk on top of the unbaked scones.

6 tablespoons zante currants (1.75 ounces) or 3 ounces fresh berries
2¼ cups + 2 tablespoons (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons butter, very cold
¾ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
large crystal sugar or granulated sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. To make the dough, first combine the currants with warm water to cover in a small bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the currants are plumped. Drain well. If you’re using berries instead of currants, put them in the freezer.

3. While the currants are plumping (or the berries are freezing), whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl if making by hand, or into the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and salt and stir to mix with a rubber spatula. Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and scatter the cubes over the dry ingredients. If you are using a mixer, pulse on and off so that you don’t break down the butter too much. You want to end up with a coarse mixture with pea-sized lumps of butter visible.

4. Add the buttermilk all at once along with the lemon zest and currants. (If you’re using berries, don’t add them yet.) Mix gently with a rubber spatula by hand or on low speed if using the mixer. Add the berries and continue to mix just until you have a dough that holds together. Be careful not to mash the berries into the dough, or you will color it with their juice. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more buttermilk. You still want to see some of the butter pieces at this point, which will add to the flakiness of the scones once they are baked.

5. Dust your work surface with flour, and turn the dough out onto it. Using your hands, pat the dough into a rectangle about 9 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1½ inches thick. Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Using a chef’s knife, cut the dough into 8 triangles. Transfer the triangles to the prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake the scones until the tops are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Copy of IMG_9863

cranberry orange scones

Copy of IMG_1625

This recipe changed the whole shape of my last year. Before making these great scones, I’d spend a large part of both weekend mornings cooking, usually something sweet one day and something savory the other. It made for a nice breakfast category here, but it wasn’t the best way to relax on the weekend.

Copy of IMG_1123

Not anymore. I still often cook something one morning, but on the other, it’s all about scones. I make the dough early in the week and freeze it, then on a lazy weekend morning, I just have to bake them, make coffee (or, more often, wait for Dave to), and sit down to flip through a cookbook. It’s become one of my favorite times of the week.

Copy of IMG_1126

These pictures? They’re from when I made the scones last winter, but it was way past cranberry season, so I’ve been holding onto this blog entry for months and months.

Copy of IMG_1137

It’s time. Cranberries are showing up in stores, and there is no better way to enjoy them. These are so tender, have just the right sweetness, and make for a stress-free weekend breakfast, even with guests. Even after a year of making scones, these are still one of my favorites.

Copy of IMG_1631

One year ago: Warm Chickpea and Butternut Squash Salad

Printer Friendly Recipe
Cranberry Orange Scones (adapted from Gourmet via Smitten Kitchen)

The recipe originally calls for (Meyer) lemon zest, but orange – or tangerine, which I’ve also used – is such a great partner for cranberry that I couldn’t resist using it instead. I also like increasing the cranberries a bit (already reflected in the recipe).

I’ve baked this recipe at high altitude (at least 5000 feet) with good results. They weren’t quite as pretty, but the taste and texture weren’t affected.

I always flash-freeze scones, then bake them straight from the freezer, adding a couple extra minutes to the baking time.

Makes 8 scones

1½ tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2½ cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup (3.5 ounces) sugar plus 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1½ cups fresh cranberries, chopped coarse (I usually do this in the food processor)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a small bowl, toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar. In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg and yolk, then stir in cream.

3. In a food processor, pulse the flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl. (You can also just smoosh the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers instead of using a food processor.) Stir the cranberries into the flour mixture. Then gently fold the egg mixture into the flour until just combined.

4. On a well-floured surface with floured hands, pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter). With a 2-inch round cutter or the rim of a glass dipped in flour, cut out as many rounds as possible, rerolling the scraps as necessary. (Or cut the circle into wedges, which is my standard method.) Arrange the scones about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool about 10 minutes, then serve.

Copy of IMG_1626

sweet potato biscuits

Copy of IMG_0056

I love that not just one, but two of this month’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipes are non-desserts. I haven’t baked a TWD dessert in weeks! I’ve gone almost a month with choosing all of my own desserts!

Copy of IMG_0028

I don’t mean to complain; obviously I like being part of the group, or, well, I wouldn’t be. It’s just that I’m only baking for me and Dave, so if a dessert recipe makes 12 servings, that’s all we get for the week. That’s why I have a calculator in the kitchen and many many small oddly shaped pans. Fractions are my friend if I want to bake more than once per week.

Copy of IMG_0030

Getting to serve a TWD recipe with dinner is a rare treat. These sweet potato biscuits were a nice complement to the roasted butternut squash salad I made a few weeks ago.

Copy of IMG_0035

These biscuits are made the standard biscuit way – cut cold butter into flour+flavoring+leavening, then moisten the mixture, in this case with mashed sweet potatoes. It quickly became apparent that my sweet potatoes (bought fresh, then cooked and mashed) weren’t going to be able to turn the dry ingredients into biscuit dough, so I added some buttermilk, which helped.

Copy of IMG_0036

Except that something seems to have gone wrong, because my biscuits didn’t rise hardly at all. I liked the flavor quite a bit, but the texture was oh-so-dense. Still, this is the first sweet potato biscuit I’ve tried, and I quite like the idea. I’ll need to play with some more recipes.

Copy of IMG_0068

Erin chose this recipe for TWD, and she has it posted.

One year ago: Pumpkin Muffins

Copy of IMG_0058