Post #16: Raspberry Oatmeal Scones

After my most recent raspberry fumble, I felt I had to redeem myself! (I love raspberries!)

These scones taste like scones! (said in a Willie Wonka voice).  You know that taste that all scones have.  Slightly salty, not too sweet?  Exactly.  With that being said, even Mr. I don't like sweets said these could have been sweeter, and I'm inclined to agree.  I think next time I make these, I'll macerate the raspberries a little to sweeten them up. 

Charming banter aside, you need to work fast with this dough.  I used frozen raspberries and they still bled into the mixture and made my dough a weird purply-grey colour.  No matter, they baked up fine, and go great with a nice cup of coffee.   

Directions say 20-25 minutes, but I definitely only had them in the oven for 17.  I would have had another walk of shame had I left them in for the entire time.  Like our baker's motto at work: we bake to colour, not to time. Words to live by.

Raspberry Oatmeal Scone

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour  (I just used 4 cups all purpose - does whole wheat really make that much of a difference?  I've never used it, so I'd like to know!)
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, diced (yes, I bought unsalted this time, be proud!)
½ cup cold buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with a splash of milk or water (for egg wash)
2 cups frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl sift together together the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter and knead in with your hands until the mix begins to resemble coarse crumbs (there should still be lumps of butter throughout the mix). In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture along with the raspberries and mix until just combined. The dough will probably definitely be sticky.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and make sure it is completely combined. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough until it is about ¾ to and 1 inch thick. I ended up having to use my hands to pat the dough down since the raspberries got to be a bit messy. Cut the dough into segments and place onto a lined baking sheet. You can either go ahead and flash freeze these to save for later or place them directly in the heated oven.
Brush the tops with egg wash right before baking and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using frozen dough at this point it might take an extra 10 minutes or so, but that’s why I will typically place frozen dough in the oven as it’s heating up instead of waiting for it to preheat.

This recipe is huge, by the way.  This made 16 giant scones for me - giant.  Like 5 inch diameter.  Yeah, me and the man of the house can't eat that much - frozen future scones, here we come!


Post #15: A Sweet Blog Compilation

Think you have a great idea for a weekend sweet?  Link it here, and see what other fellow food lovers have to offer!


Post #14: Brown Butter Jam Bars (aka Failblog)

So, as I'm trolling around other food blogs, I keep seeing brown butter everywhere!  Brown butter cookies, brown butter cupcakes, etc..., and all of the comments are rave reviews - how you've truly never tasted anything in your life until it's made with brown butter.

So here I am, hopping on the bandwagon.  To tell you the truth, I have never really put a lot of thought into the butter I use.  So much so, that when a recipe calls for unsalted, I still use the salted butter that I always buy.  I like salted, what can I say!?  I also always forget to let my butter get to room temp before I start a project, so you will most definitely see me in a mad rush, throwing it in the microwave for 30sec. before I can do anything.  Sometimes I don't get all of my mices en place.  Haha.

Well, my verdict in the battle of brown vs. regular butter is that I honestly didn't notice much of a difference aside from the extra work (which probably stems from never thinking about the butter I use...).

Some tips that probably would have prevented this culinary flop:

Make sure you put the crust in an even layer.  I thought it was, but parts of it baked perfectly, while others turned into this unappetizing brown/crumbly stuff.  I also think I left the butter in the freezer for too long.  In the future, I'd take it out when it was on the softer side of semi-frozen.  My "dough" was hardly a dough.  I wasn't going to let this little bungle stop me, (though I almost did).  I just decided I would move on, finish the project, an trim away the bad parts later. 

Even though I seemed to screw this up a little, I will definitely try it again.  I will buy regular, unsalted butter.  I will follow all directions to the letter (which I sometimes get scatterbrained and forget to do), and I will resist all urges to cut into them before they are cold.  I promise!

Yeah, and out of about 50 pictures, this was the best one.  Fail.

Brown Butter Jam Bars
from One for the Oven, which they got from Crepes of Wrath

The Crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For The Filling:
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup jam or jelly

(yes, I used salted butter both times - I am a culinary rebel like that.  Also, I used light butter, it makes me feel better about stuffing my face later.)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To make the crust, melt 1 cup of butter in a pan at medium-high heat till the butter starts to brown. When the butter is amber in color and smells slightly nutty, strain through a sieve into a heat-proof container, such as a small glass mixing bowl. Place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes until thickened and semi-frozen. Combine the powdered sugar and flour in a large bowl, then use a pastry cutter or your hands and add in the butter until a dough is formed. Press into a lined and/or greased 9×13-inch pan and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden and set, then remove from the oven and set aside.

2. To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Brown the remaining butter, then pour the butter into the egg mixture very slowly, whisking as you do it so the eggs don’t scramble. Whisk in the vanilla.

3. Pour half of the filling over the baked crust, then spoon large dollops of the jam over the filling, reserving about quarter to top the bars with. Pour the rest of the filling over the jam, then spoon small dollop over the top with the remaining jam (you can add a bit extra jam if you feel like it needs it). Don’t worry if it looks a little messy or weird, it’ll look pretty when it’s baked! Bake until the filling is golden brown in color, about 25 to 30 minutes, also at 375 degrees.

Allow to cool completely, or you'll be in a jam! (I'm so funny!)  No really, the jam will scald you!  Also, I cut mine when it was cooled, but not completely cold.  It fell apart.  I salvaged what I could for photos...and pretty much ate the rest like an animal.  Liz Lemon style.


Post #13: Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars (feat. Brutus and Lucky!)

These are Heaven.

There, I said it.  

It's seriously like eating a brownie, a rice crispie square, and a nutter butter all at the same that drool?

The brownie recipe I used (which was suggested from the Brown Eyed Baker herself!) was a little time consuming, but they are sooo good!  A perfect match for the peanut butter/chocolate chip/rice crispie topping!  But, aside from the brownies, this is so quick!  I mean hell, use a boxed mix, and this will take no time or effort at all, and it is so good, it will impress anyone!

Not the best picture, but I thought it was high time y'all met my dear friend Brutus!

And then Lucky slunk into a few shots!  I love my cats!

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownie Bars

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker :o)
1 batch of your favorite brownie recipe for a 9×13-inch pan (I used this recipe, which I tweaked slightly, or you could use a box mix, I won't tell anyone!  Just make sure it's for a 9x13!)
½ cup salted peanuts (Funny side story: I actually forgot these and ended up tearing into a bag of trail mix and picking out the peanuts.)
8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1½ cups creamy peanut butter (or crunchy, whatever)
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups cripsy rice cereal (yeah, I buy knock offs for baking, what of it?  :P)
1. Prepare the brownies according to the directions and bake for about 5 minutes less than the recipe states. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups. Return to the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes.
2. While they are finishing baking, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cereal to evenly coat. Remove the brownies from the oven and evenly pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over top. Spread to cover evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  These last a long time (if you don't eat them all right away!)  I was still chowing down about a week later, and they still tasted awesome!