Pumpkin Scones

20120929-212553.jpgToday’s recipe is one of my favorite foods; pumpkin scones. With two glazes. You get to double dip! Now I have tried the kind at Starbucks and lets just say I wasn’t impressed. But when I made these, it’s like the texture of a moist doughnut with the flavor of warm pumpkin spices was made into a scone, and then mercilessly topped with nutty browned butter glaze.

20120929-213119.jpg I really can’t describe how good these are. It’s like the world of scones was taken to greater heights! I have truly been thinking of this thing all year, and waiting until fall to make them again. Which is saying a lot, as I don’t normally make the same recipe twice. Now, go make these, and enjoy the warm flavors of fall.

Pumpkin Scones with Brown Butter Glaze

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp half and half
1 large egg

For the Brown Butter Glaze:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the brown butter glaze, melt butter over high heat. When butter starts to foam up, stir until light brown. Take off heat, pour into bowl and cool. Combine butter with powdered sugar. Dip scones into glaze; let set. Dip a second time. Whisk spices into remaining glaze. Pour into plastic bag, snip off end and pipe glaze in zig-zag pattern over scones.

Yield: 12 scones

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker

Triple Oreo Cookies

20120916-141106.jpg When I was little, whenever I was treated to a candy bar it would almost always be cookies and cream. The crunchy cookies suspended in that way-too-sweet white chocolate was always a winner. I would always wish they sold them in the giant sizes, because seriously…when are giant sized candy bars not cool?? (excluding dieting folk:)

20120916-155716.jpg After seeing these cookies, I knew I needed them, and what do you think I found while I was grabbing ingredients?? Giant size cookies and cream bars! My dream come true! Now besides these childhood-dream-bars being thrown in the dough in copious amounts, these cookies have oreo pudding mix in them…if you have never had a cookie with pudding mix in it, it is magical. It makes for a supremely soft texture and creamy taste, and this pudding has an added bonus: oreo chunks!

20120916-161945.jpgNow you would think I could stop there, as that is already a lot of deliciousness going on already, but when I remembered these, I knew I needed to throw in some mini oreos…they are just too fun!! Now when I took my first bite, it was magical; the soft cookie, crunchy oreos, sweet white chocolate, and an amazing creamy-vanilla flavor from the pudding mix. If you love oreos (or know someone who does),
you just cannot go through life without experiencing these cookies!

Triple Oreo Cookies

Idea from cookies and cups, adapted from two peas and their pod

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4.2 oz. package oreo instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini oreos
8 oz (2 large) cookies and cream bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spay with cooking spray and set aside.

Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in mini oreos and bars.

Drop cookie dough by 2 tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

20120829-164140.jpgThe flavors chocolate and raspberry were meant to be together; sweet, tart raspberries with rich, dark chocolate. They’re one of those combinations where the result is better than the sum of its parts. So to combine them in a moist, chocolate cupcake, filled with raspberry preserves, and topped with melt-in-your-mouth rich chocolate frosting, you’ve reached absolute cupcake perfection. The cupcake is made similarly to a brownie; melted butter and chocolate are stirred into the dry ingredients until just combined, with sour cream for moistness.

20120829-202234.jpgThey are baked, cooled, and the centers are removed and eaten filled with preserves, then the frosting. THE FROSTING. The frosting starts out by whipping butter for five minutes, until fluffy, where actual melted chocolate is added along with confectioners’ sugar. They are topped with a generous amount of frosting in the form of a gorgeous swirl.
Add sprinkles and…perfection! If love were a cupcake…

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Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Cooks illustrated

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1.5 ounces) dark cocoa powder
¾ cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream
Raspberry preserves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. (If you are using a non-stick muffin pan, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.) Line standard-size muffin pan with baking cup liners.

2. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.

4. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogeneous and thick.

5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

7. Scoop out centers using a teaspoon or a teaspoon sized scoop; fill with preserves.

You can find the frosting recipe here: Chocolate Buttercream

Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles or as desired.

Yield: 12

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Blackberry Lemon Cupcakes

20120905-222248.jpgThis year the blackberries are ripe right about now, leaving us in a mad scramble for recipes to use up these delicious fruits (berries) of summer. Whenever I make something with berries, it usually has to have lemon in it, because the lemon+berry combo is just too good to separate. Now these cupcakes you see here are extraordinary, and not just because they have that seriously delicious combo in them.

20120905-223109.jpgFirst, as always, I’ll break it down for you. When you bite into the cake, you realize this might be the moistest cake on the planet. Seriously, I don’t think it could get any more moist if I wanted it to. Then there are the fresh blackberries just wanting to burst out of the cake, as it brings memories of blackberry pie to mind, as cooked blackberries always seem to do. Then a layer of tart lemon glaze dripping down the sides makes a sweet contrast to the fairly mellow flavor of the cake, and THEN...the frosting. You actually cook down some blackberries, purée them, and pour that into the whipped buttercream and oh. my. goodness… fresh blackberry frosting tastes amazing!

20120905-223905.jpgThese cupcakes are worth using up those blackberries you just picked, or going out and picking some. Make a bright summer statement before those warm autumn flavors take over. Summer is still here. Enjoy all 15 more days of it!!

Blackberry Lemon Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from smitten kitchen

For the Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 1/2 cups blackberries

For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Lemon juice

For the Frosting:

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt
2 cups blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl), use your fingertips to rub together the sugar and lemon zest until the zest is completely incorporated and the sugar is evenly moistened. Add the butter and cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated after each and scraping down the bowl each time. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating until just combined, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and the remaining flour.

6. In a large bowl, combine the blackberries and the remaining 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour, tossing together gently so they are evenly coated. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the blueberries into the cake batter. Spread the cake batter in the prepared muffin pan by 1/4 cupfuls. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cupcakes spring back when gently pressed. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on rack.

7. Once the cupcakes are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar and as much lemon juice to thin to a pourable texture, until smooth. The icing should be quite thick. Spoon glaze onto cupcakes.

8. For frosting, In medium saucepan combine berries and 2 tbsp water, bring to boil, then lower heat to a simmer; stirring and mashing berries for 3 minutes. Strain liquid out of berries. Blend in blender until smooth, and measure out 1/2 cup. Meanwhile, whip butter with whisk attachment on mixer for 5 minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Add berry purée. Frost cupcakes as desired, applying a generous amount.

Yield: 15 cupcakes