Busy weekend baking for co-worker gift bags. Will post some serious cookie pictures in the next installment.
Tender crumb, full of chewy cranberry, tender pistachios and orange-y goodness. Made with the usual suspects (except the white chocolate – it didn’t make it in.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your muffin tins. Get out your ½ cup scoop and set it in a large glass of hot water. If you don’t have a scoop, a pair of soup spoons will do just dandy. Sift your dry ingredients on to a parchment sheet or flexible cutting board (to be able to easily add it to the wet later.)
Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy.
Then the vanilla, zest, pumpkin, and buttermilk.
Next the cranberries and pistachios.
Finally, stir in the flour mixture to just barely mix. Scoop the batter into the muffin liners, being sure to swirl the scoop (or spoons, use one to scoop the other to scrape the batter into the liner) in the hot water before each scoop.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.
Cool, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Recipe here by Karen Maginnis, adapted from: http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/pumpkin-coffeecake-recipe/
I thought I’d try a scone with fresh cranberry instead of the treacly sweet dried kind, and some orange. Google led me to our Lady of Excellence and Butter, Ina Garten. These are delicious, and on the cakey side more than the biscuity side. I’m too lazy for a round cutter, so wedged discs it was for me – and I like to brush on my glaze while the scones are still hot – it dries as a pretty shine, and keeps them from drying out if you’re planning to take your sconage to your co-workers the next day.
- 4 c. AP flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 sticks of butter (relax - this makes A LOT of scones)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 1/4 c. chopped fresh cranberries
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest
- 1/4 fresh orange juice
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- Crystal sugar for the top.
- 6 Tbsp soft unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp. orange zest.
- Preheat oven to 375*. Line two cookie trays with parchment.
- Cube the butter and stick it in the freezer. Whir the dry ingredients and the orange zest in the bowl of your food processor. Add in the super cold butter and whir til it looks like crumbs. (Ten or twelve pulses). Put in to a big mixing bowl.
- Mix the eggs, vanilla and cream. Add that and the chopped cranberries and gently fold the dough together. Divide the dough in to 3rds, and for each third gently roll it in to a ball, then roll it to a disk about 7" across. slice in to 8 wedges. Repeat for the other two, and place them on the cookie trays.
- Bake about 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown and sound hollow when thunked. While they're baking, mix together the glaze. It should be about the consistency of maple syrup.
- When you remove the scones from the oven, let them cool 5 minutes. Then use a pastry brush and coat them - top, sides and all. While the glaze is still moist, sprinkle with the chunky sparkly sugar.
- Mix all the ingredients for the honey butter, and serve it with the scones.
- I underbaked mine - go closer to the 25 minutes.
Blondies. Bill has this memory of earth-shatteringly good blondies from the Just Desserts bakery in San Francisco from [cough cough] years ago.
I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve tried over the years, hoping to give him that little slice of bakery happiness…. but have yet to find THE ONE.
These are not them, but they are damn tasty. They’re from Smitten Kitchen, with walnuts and (in honor of The City) Ghiradelli white and dark chocolate chips, some walnuts, and crystal sugar on top.
Alright – now that the photo’s up, it’s time to go make a pot of coffee to do these bad boys justice.
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter
- 1 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. AP flour
- Dash salt
- 1/4 c. white chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 Tbsp. sparkle sugar or raw sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350*. Line an 8" square pan with parchment, spritz with non-stick spray.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, just barely melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in the egg, then the flour, then the chips and 1/2 the nuts.
- Smooth the batter in to the pan. Sprinkle with the rest of the nuts, and a sprinkling of big-grain sugar (sparkle sugar, raw sugar, etc.)
- Bake 20-25 mins. Test will come out clean, blondies will pull in slightly from the edge. Do.Not.Overbake.
- Slice and devour - warm or cold.
Tried this out this week after seeing the White On Rice post featured on Tastespotting. The recipe’s here – it is exquisite. Try it. I used buttermilk instead of sour cream, and an 8 inch pan with a parchment collar (I wanted it taller), and went chiffon-style on the batter. But this is truly one of the best cakes I have ever had. Office mates LOVED it!
Had to make one for work and one for home, or I’d never hear the end of it.
One of the ladies at work made her own Sunday for a family breakfast, and it was huge hit there, too. YUM!!