Blueberry Crumb Scones

20130428-125734.jpg Scones are of my favorite foods. These scones in particular have a good story behind them. You see, sometimes I have very specific dreams about food (for example these). One night, I dreamt that my sister made some blueberry scones from a King Arthur Flour recipe. They had a crumb topping, and big gooey pockets of blueberries. As you can imagine, after such a vivid and tasty portrayal, I had to recreate them! Unfortunately, I didn’t find any recipe like the one from my dream on King Arthur (although King Arthur Flour has incredible recipes in general). I made ones similar to these ones, only I used the original Cooks Illustrated recipe for blueberry scones and added a light, crunchy crumb topping. These are quite a bit lighter than my dark chocolate strawberry scones, which is only fitting for spring.

20130429-013856.jpg These are a moist, buttermilk scone with a bit of lemon zest, rolled up like a jelly roll filled with blueberries and topped with a crumb topping. By the time they’re done baking, the blueberries are practically bursting from the scone, having gotten very juicy. The scones are lightly fragranced with lemon, and the crumb topping provides a very nice texture contrast to the blueberries. That’s what I call a dream come true *wink*.

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Note: for a picture tutorial, visit my chocolate strawberry scones post.

Blueberry Scones

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Scones:

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1/2 cup (2.5 oz) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp butter, melted

Topping:

1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Grate frozen butter on the holes of a large box grater. If using fresh blueberries, place
in freezer until needed.

Whisk together milk and sour cream in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a medium mixing bowl. In small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest and rub zest into sugar until it is moistened. Whisk into flour mixture. Add grated butter to flour mixture and combine.

Add milk mixture; fold with a spatula just until combined. Turn dough out unto floured surface and knead 6-8 times. Roll into a 12-inch square.

Fold dough into thirds like a business letter; lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form a square.

Transfer dough to floured plate and freeze for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all crumb topping ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Roll out again into a 12″ square; scatter berries over dough and press down lightly.

Roll dough into cylinder, pressing to form a tight log. Arrange log seam side down and pat into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal pieces.

Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with melted butter; top with crumb topping.

Bake scones 15-18 minutes or until set; the exterior will be firm, golden, and slightly springy to the touch. Cool scones 1 minute on sheets, then transfer to cooling rack and cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 scones

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Whole Wheat Pancakes

20130418-102028.jpg I love pancakes! I forgot to add that in my about page, but there’s a fundamental fact about me;) But as much as I love them, they don’t love me. When I have them for breakfast they always leave me with this empty feeling in my stomach and let’s face it: they’re not the most nutritional thing on the planet. So I started craving more substantial pancakes; something that would really fill me up. I was craving whole wheat pancakes. So my mom (lovingly) made me the best pancakes I ever had! It’s from my fav buttermilk pancake recipe (from Darigold; I already tried cooks illustrated and these are better:) where the all purpose flour is replaced with whole wheat pastry flour and oats are added for extra heartiness.

20130418-102822.jpg The result is thick, moist pancakes that have a wonderful flavor. She also added vanilla, which is a must! Buttermilk and the oats are what make these pancakes moist, and the whole wheat pastry flour doesn’t weigh it down a bit. I must warn you though: the result wouldn’t be the same if you were to use plain whole wheat flour, as I’m thinking it would make them heavy. Best of all, these fill you up! In truth, these are the best pancakes I have ever had. In my life. And I’ve tried a bazillion recipes! Make these and you won’t be disappointed!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Adapted from Darigold

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/8-1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions:

Preheat griddle to 350F or skillet on medium-low heat. Combine first four ingredients. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients; add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Mixture will be thick, but if too thick (not spoonable), add more buttermilk. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto well greased griddle or skillet and spread with spoon if needed. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges are dry. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Yield: About 15 Pancakes

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

20130415-154047.jpg Have you ever heard of caramelized white chocolate? I was bewildered when I came across it on thelittleloaf! Since I love all things caramelized and I adore white chocolate, this was a must try! Before I get any further, I know it sounds ridiculous. I mean, wouldn’t it seize up? Well yes it does, but you just have to stir it and it smoothes out again. What I did with the finished product was pour it onto some parchment, let it set, broke it into chunks and added it to one of the most amazing cookie doughs I’ve ever had.

20130417-115309.jpg The dough is made from my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie doughs from cooks illustrated that bakes up thick, chewy and professional looking. I made these with all brown sugar for extra caramel flavor, and browned the butter to make it more nutty and add depth of flavor. And because it’s browned butter 🙂 After adding the chunks of caramelized white chocolate it. was. ah-mazing!! Once I baked them (using a method of stacking the dough to make them thicker) they blew my mind. Have you ever had an oatmeal scotchie? You know, those cookies with the oats and butterscotch chips. These are like a more refined version. The caramelized white chocolate adds toastiness and the cookie dough is very caramely and soft.
I know that these look like a lot of work, and they are, but don’t let that deter you! They’re easy peasy if you make the chocolate the day before. You need this experience in your life!

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from cooks illustrated

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 5/8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
11 oz white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips)

Directions:

To caramelize the white chocolate, place it in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. When chocolate seizes, take off heat, stir until smooth, and return skillet to burner. Continue this process for about 45 minutes, stirring all the while, until it’s a medium caramel color:

20130417-122800.jpg Pour onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let set and break into chunks.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat butter on medium to high heat (depending on how fast you want your butter to brown). After butter begins to foam, stir until it is a golden brown color and smells nutty and wonderful. Take off heat and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar and browned butter (make sure to add the brown bits) until smooth. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. On low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chunks (you will have some left over).

Using a muffin scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and roll into balls. Tear balls in half, turn ragged edges to face top and bottom and press together:

20130417-124425.jpg Space cookies 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until light golden brown and puffy. Cookies will not appear to be done, but they will continue to bake on cookie sheet. Cool cookies on sheet; remove cookies to counter. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Yield: 12-18 cookies

Note: To give them a more professional look, halfway through baking time press
the extra chocolate chunks on top of cookies.