Saturday, August 27, 2011

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

These cupcakes are amazing. The recipe is no-fail, and the result leaves you with a sense of summer bliss. A buttery cupcake topped with pureed strawberries and a lime/powdered sugar mixture? Yes, please. Ok, so I first had these a few years ago when my sister and I decided to bake for the next door neighbor who was kind enough to cut our grass. The Sis picked this recipe from the Food Network and... did everything. This was before I had an appreciation for baking, so I think my contribution was limited to tasting (and loving). Four years later, things have changed. My sister is no longer my roommate, the neighbors are gone, and I understand that baking is a beautiful thing. This is the first time I've made these cupcakes myself, but don't think they haven't been on my mind for four. solid. years. When Ashleigh's bridal shower came along, I knew I'd found the perfect occasion to retrieve this recipe from my arsenal. According to everyone who ate one or five of these beauties, I was right. This is my version of the recipe, which is a little different from the original, which is for jumbo cupcakes with strawberry stuffed inside.
(Displayed on Trifle Bowl pedestal)

Strawberry Lime Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup pureed strawberries

1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tbsp. finely grated lime zest
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In another medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then vanilla. While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, all of the milk, and the remaining dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter.

Divide among cupcake liners, and bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Jumbo (yield 6): about 30 minutes
Standard (yield 12): about 18-22 minutes
2-Bite (yield 25): about 13-15 minutes

For icing:
Mix powdered sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the juice, and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing. (Add up to 1 tsp. more juice if needed.)

Top each cooled cupcake with 1 tsp. strawberry puree and a dollop of icing.

One thing I love about this recipe is that it calls for melted butter. Forget softening and just melt it! I put the butter in a 2-Cup Prep Bowl and stuck it in the oven while it pre-heated. The Quikut Paring Knife is my favorite tool for slicing sticks of butter, and I actually keep one in my refrigerator's butter holder. True story. The eggs are supposed to be room temperature, but I didn't notice that until go-time, so here's a trick. Stick your eggs in a Small Batter Bowl, and fill it with warm water. By the time you need them, they'll be warmed up. (P.S. I doubled the recipe, which is why you're going, "I thought it said two eggs, not four.")

Stainless Mixing Bowls, Measuring Cup Set, Easy Read Measuring Cups, Measuring Spoon Set, Adjustable Measuring Spoons, Pinch Bowls, and Large Cutting Board. Welcome to prep work, my friends. This is a happy place.

The recipe calls for a lot of butter, but don't be a jerk and substitute anything else. This cake's feature is its buttery flavor, and you're not getting that with anything but the real deal. I'm pouring from a 2-cup Prep Bowl into a Stainless Mixing Bowl, thus creating the best cake batter in the history of cake batter.

Look at that thick, beautiful cake batter! I'm using a Medium Scoop to make 2-bite cupcakes, and the liners are directly on my Cookie Sheet. Isn't it great how you don't even need a muffin pan for these? If you want to do standard size cupcakes, you can use the Stoneware Muffin Pan or the standard Muffin Pan. My batter is in a Stainless Mixing Bowl with the Mix 'n Scraper.

Don't you love recipes that use strawberries? They're so pretty, and they taste like a little bit of heaven. I've got my berries draining in a Stainless Mesh Colander, and I'm coring them with the Core 'n More. A quick whirl in the Manual Food Processor, and they're ready to go!

Lots of stuff going on with limes. Step one: Zest limes into a 1-Cup Prep Bowl using the Microplane Zester. (For larger, decorative zest to use on top, grab your Zester/Scorer.) Two: Slice using the 3 1/2-inch Paring Knife. Three: Press using the Citrus Press, and measure into the Easy Read Mini Measuring Cup. Like how I'm using the prep bowl lid to hold the decorative zest? Say yes to fewer dirty dishes!

This icing is incredible. It's got a killer twang because of all that lime, but it's perfect for this recipe. Throw everything in a Stainless Mixing Bowl, and give it a good stir with the Stainless Whisk. The biggest draw here is this icing's simplicity. You know how sometimes you're not in the mood to gradually beat in powdered sugar for ten minutes? Me, too.

The last step is decoration, and I'm almost embarrassed to show how easy it is. I always put my cupcakes in the Cool & Serve Square Tray before decorating because I'm not as likely to get my fingers in the tops. Do that, top them with a little strawberry, and pipe icing using the Easy Accent Decorator. They won't stay looking super pretty, so don't waste your time trying to do them "just right."

See what I mean? After a couple of hours, especially if that time entails a 100-degree car ride, this is what the cupcakes look like. The flavors have blended, and the result is magnificent! These are displayed on the Adjustable Tiered Tower.

The bride approves!!! Ashleigh was not only happy with these for her shower, but she requested the recipe. So happy wedding, Ashleigh, and enjoy making many many a cupcake for that fab man of yours!

As for you, dear reader, join Ashleigh and me in loving strawberry lime cupcakes. Do it.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marinated Cheese

I'm a sucker for appetizers. I think more people than are willing to admit it secretly crave party food. You know what I'm talking about... all those little things that make you feel like you're not eating much even though you're probably eating way more than you would in a typical meal. I'm Jenny, and I'm that person. Give me a plate, a table of appetizers, and leave me to take care of business.

My friend Holly made this for a party over a year ago, and she was kind enough to give me the recipe. It's been on my mind since then, and I knew this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to indulge. Some friends and I threw a bridal shower, and marinated cheese was one of the most popular dishes. Hello, appetizers: I love you.

Marinated Cheese

8 oz. regular cream cheese
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 oz. pimento
Crackers (for serving)

Freeze cream cheese a few minutes for easy slicing, but don't leave it in the freezer long enough to change consistency. Slice both cream cheese and cheddar cheese into thin squares, and place in dish, interchanging pieces.

Combine remaining ingredients, and pour over the cheese. Try to keep the "stuff" on the cheese, and let the juices run to the bottom. It's best to make this several hours ahead to let it marinate.

The Garlic Press - seriously. People who have it love it, and people who don't have it realize their struggle with garlic can come to an end with one simple purchase. You don't have to peel the garlic! Just pop the clove in the hopper, give it a squeeze, and watch the good stuff come out while the peel stays behind. Also, this means you're not getting garlic all over your hands, which is nice if you plan to be around other humans or small animals.

I'm a sucker for prep work, so here it is. With recipes like this one, it's easy to lose track of what you've mixed and what you haven't, so it helps to lay it all out ahead of time. (No one wants your nasty marinade with double the salt.) I'm using Measuring Spoons, and Adjustable Measuring Spoon, a Pinch Bowl, the Garlic Press, Easy Read Measuring Cups, the Herb Keeper, and the Large Cutting Board. Let me just say this about the Herb Keeper: amazing. Not only does it keep me from fighting gross produce sacks, but it legitimately keeps herbs way longer than anything else I've ever tried (like produce sacks). The top comes off to create a little bowl to chop herbs easily, which is a great feature on a recipe like this.

So my marinade is whisked in the Small Batter Bowl using the Stainless Mini Whisk, and now it's time to slice cheese. The Cheese Knife makes pretty quick work of this because it's got a long, heavy blade, complete with pokey tool. As with everything sharp, this comes with a protective sleeve. Love the Cheese Knife!

Ok, could this be any simpler? I didn't think so. This is an appetizer that feeds a lot of people, looks beautiful, and can hang out at room temperature a few hours. And unlike many appetizers, this won't break the bank. It's in the Dots Medium Round Bowl from the Simple Additions Collection, and I think the colors work well together. Also, the shallow bowl keeps marinade on the cheese without letting the presentation go from pretty to pretty gross after people serve themselves.

You're crazy if you don't make this for your next party. There, I said it.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

Sometimes chicken goes on sale for $.98 per pound, and I can't resist buying a huge pack. I mean, four really large breasts for a mere $3.18... I'd be a fool to pass it up. The only issue I have with chicken breasts at this price is that - you guessed it - there are bones... and skin. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I don't know much about meat with bones inside. I can eat it just fine (I'm not a total snob), but cooking it doesn't come easily. My method for dealing with this hazard is to simply find a recipe which specifies bone-in meat and follow the directions. Otherwise, I figure I'm setting myself up for disaster. Moroccan spiced chicken from Martha Stewart is just the fix for a "chicken sale dinner." I first had this when my sister-in-law Shannon made it, and I was happy to hear its preparation was straightforward. So stop fearing the meat that's on sale, and dive in... bones and all.
Moroccan-Spiced Chicken

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. coarse salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole chicken, quartered, skin on (I used all breasts)
1 lemon, quartered

Place rimmed baking pan on center oven rack, and preheat to 450 degrees.

Mix seasonings and olive oil in a small bowl, and rub spice paste all over chicken. Carefully arrange chicken on hot pan, and place lemon wedges around chicken.

Bake until 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer and juices run clear, 30-35 minutes. Let meat stand 10 minutes, and serve with pan juices and lemon wedges on the side.

Korintje Cinnamon from the Pampered Pantry is amazing, and it lasts forever! I seriously love this stuff, but I've rambled in other posts and will refrain from doing so here. Behind the cinnamon, I have the Bamboo Grinder Set full of Salt and Pepper from the pantry line. I can't season with any other salt and pepper now that I've tasted the difference these make in my cooking. Plus, the grinders are just cool.

I'm combining all of my spices in a 1-cup Prep Bowl using an Adjustable Measuring Spoon and a standard Measuring Spoon. This recipe calls for a few things I don't use very often, so it's always fun to pull them out and feel they weren't a waste of money. Turmeric, coriander, and cardamom will get great use if you give them a chance. Just look up recipes that call for them, and prepare to be amazed!

Spice paste - yum! The Easy Read Mini Measuring Cup and the Mini Mix 'n Scraper are cool because they each have "mini" in their names. The scraper is perfect for this job because it's got enough spoonness to it to tip paste for me because my hands are about to get nasty... and I mean nasty. I've got my standard Cutting Board and my Large Grooved Cutting Board out because I don't want any of this grossness getting on my stove, AKA: counter space because my kitchen is super tiny. I love that I can sling raw chicken all over the place and just throw these boards in the dishwasher when I'm finished.

I had to get one really solid picture of the raw meat to prove that yes, I owned it big time. Notice the groove on the Large Grooved Cutting Board. It's great for meats because it keeps their juices from dripping onto counters, etc. It's even deep enough to slice a watermelon without any leakage. I used the 5" Santoku from the Forged Cutlery Collection to slice a couple of lemons, and then I remembered the Veggie Wedger. I've got to use that thing more often because it's amazing! Oh, well... so is this knife.

Give the meat a good coating of spice paste because it makes a huge difference once it's cooked. There's plenty to go around, so don't skimp. If you're feeling crazy, get some of it under the skin, too. Throw a few lemons in the pan, and you're good to go. I'm using the Large Bar Pan, my favorite Stoneware piece for large quantities of meat, vegetables, or whatever else goes in the oven. I'm just going to warn you this recipe gets a bit smoky, so you might want to turn on the kitchen fan. Isn't great chicken worth a little smoke?

165 degrees: The point when poultry is safe to eat. It's also the point where it's perfectly tender and juicy. In other words, use a Pocket Thermometer when cooking chicken. Stoneware combined with this thermometer are my secret weapons with any meat I prepare. The recipe says this chicken needs to bake 30-35 minutes, but I used all breasts, which took closer to 40 minutes. If I hadn't had a thermometer, I'd have grabbed the pan from the oven every couple of minutes after 30 (the 450 degree oven, mind you), sliced into a piece of meat, and tried to figure out how much longer it needed. Imagine doing that for dinner guests. How does the presentation look if the meat is all cut open? Besides, you lose all the juice, which means goodbye, moist chicken. Meat on sale isn't much of a victory if you dry it out.

Prepare a little couscous, throw this on top, and imagine you're in Morocco. Enjoy the least expensive Moroccan experience you'll ever have, especially if you catch that $.98 sale!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

When bananas rot in my kitchen, which is common in an Alabama August, they typically become this bread. How's that for an opening sentence? Ok, so seriously, this is the best banana bread I've ever had. When it comes to quick breads, I'm one of the pickiest people you'll ever meet. Considering the amount of calories they pack per slice, these things have to blow my mind in order for me to eat them. Hence the reason I keep going back to this one. It's good enough that I can't keep it in my house but instead find poor, unsuspecting pregnant women to "gift." I originally found this recipe at Savory Sweet Life, and all I can say is that Alice, the site's author, hit a home run here. I'm talking out of the park, people. So now just find a pregnant friend, bake her this bread, and get ready to provide her the recipe.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

1 stick salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 large overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mini-chocolate chips (or regular)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan or 2 mini-loaf pans.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in egg, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended.

Add baking soda, cocoa, and flour. Mix everything until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips... and 1/2 cup of nuts if you're weird and enjoy nuts in your bread.

Pour batter into loaf pan(s), and bake 50 minutes - 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Remove from heat, and allow bread to rest 10 minutes before flipping from pan.

I know I talk about the Measuring Cup Set pretty often, but I really love these for baking. The leveler tool ensures you're not over measuring, which can quickly ruin a recipe. If it's worth baking from scratch, it's worth measuring correctly.

With the amount of chocolate flavor this bread packs, you wouldn't think it only calls for two tablespoons of cocoa powder, but I've heard weirder things. I'm nuts for the Measuring Spoon Set because they're heavy duty, and they nest inside one another for simple storage. Plus, this set includes a 1/2 tablespoon measurement - how cool is that?

Surprise - I like prep work! To save you a really long paragraph about life with kitchen tools, here's a rundown of what's going on here: Small Mix 'n Scraper, Measuring Spoon, Adjustable Measuring Spoon, Pinch Bowl, 1-Cup Prep Bowl, Vanilla, Measuring Cups, Easy Read Measuring Cup, Measure-All Cup, Stainless Mixing Bowls, Stoneware Loaf Pan, Large Grooved Cutting Board.

Friends, I give you the Mix 'n Chop. This is one tool I was unsure of when it was introduced to the product line a few years ago, but I've become a believer. Not only is it great for things like mashing banana and making guacamole, but it can't be beat when it comes to breaking up ground beef or sausage in a saute pan. It won't melt in your cookware, either! I'm getting these poor bananas prepped in a small Stainless Mixing Bowl.

The Measure-All Cup is easily one of my most popular products. Once you start using this for all your gross-to-measure ingredients, you'll understand why it's a staple in my kitchen. Push it to the measurement you want, fill it with something nasty, and push said ingredient out. You don't have to dig anything out of a standard measuring cup!

How about another picture of something going into the batter? The Easy Read Measuring Cups have changed many lives, especially those of older people who have trouble balancing measuring cups when they're dealing with liquids. I don't say that to be rude, but it's true. I love that I can offer something my grandmother says has made a difference in her kitchen. Even though she's got 80+ years of kitchen tools, she can still find something that makes cooking easier! The Mix 'n Scraper is what's making this batter happen, and I can't imagine making this without it, especially when it comes time to scrape the bowl.

I need to say this about when I use the Stoneware Loaf Pans, Mini Loaf Pan, and Fluted Pan. Breads and cakes are tricky, so I always rub my pan with butter or shortening to ensure a full release. Over time, Stoneware becomes seasoned and doesn't require any greasing, but I'm always a "better safe than sorry" girl when it comes to recipes like this. Take a look at the next picture, and you'll see why it's just a good idea.

Behold: the perfect loaf of double chocolate banana bread. Run the Skinny Scraper around the edges of the Stoneware Loaf Pan, and invert the bread onto the Cooling Rack. Notice the perfectly browned edges, the even baking, the fact that the entire loaf came out in one piece. Can we say perfection?

Go ahead, let some bananas rot. Get ready to love them in another form, this time smothered in chocolate goodness.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Korean Sesame Seed Cookies

Where to begin with this recipe... These are not American. That's my disclaimer so you don't do anything like whip up a batch of cookies and complain to me that I post the worst recipes ever. If you bite into one of these with the expectation of a sweet headache-inducing flavor hit, you're going to be disappointed. Here's what you'll get with a Korean Sesame Seed Cookie: sesame seeds. Lots of them. Plus, since they're toasted, the oils have been released to permeate every bit of the dough. If that doesn't sound good to you, don't bake these cookies. Then why am I posting them? Because we live in a global world, and you may just have a wonderful Korean family move in next door one of these days. Or maybe your children need to take a Korean recipe to school. Or maybe you have a missions conference coming up at church. Or maybe you're obsessed with sesame seeds.

I baked these for my friend Sam... who happens to be from South Korea originally. He gave his seal of approval, so I now know that yes, it is indeed okay to put 3/4 cup of sesame seeds in cookie dough. Until I heard they were good, I was afraid someone was playing a sick internet joke by saying this was actually enjoyed in South Korea. That was seriously the conclusion I reached when I tried a freshly baked cookie and almost gagged. That said, I do love how food is different from culture to culture. Coca-Cola seems to be the only thing we all enjoy.

Korean Sesame Seed Cookies

1 cup real butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 cups toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, and beat well. Add baking soda, hot water, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour and sesame seeds to make a stiff dough. Cover and chill until dough is firm.

Roll heaping teaspoonfuls into balls; place on pan, about 2" apart. Flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes.


Get all of your ingredients out at the beginning to keep from forgetting anything. This also prevents the "I really thought I had three cups of flour, but this only measures 2 1/4 cups!" disaster. Been there? Me, too. Here's the list of products I'm using: Stainless Mixing Bowls, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup Set, Measuring Spoon Set, Adjustable Measuring Spoons, 2-Cup Prep Bowls, Stainless Mini Whisk, Vanilla, Medium Bar Pan, Large Serving Spatula. I heart Pampered Chef products!

So about toasting sesame seeds... Don't skip this step because toasting brings out the nutty flavor you want. Also, it releases oils that flavor the batter. Put the oven on 275 degrees, spread the seeds, and let them go until they're starting to turn golden. I don't know what to tell you on time, but I think these took about 15 minutes. They're in the Medium Bar Pan with the Large Serving Spatula.

Here's where things get a little crazy. After beating most of the ingredients, stir in the flour and then the sesame seeds. I honestly don't know how people stir cookie batter without the Mix 'n Scraper. This thing stands up to any thick batter you want to pit against it. Then it scrapes every last bit of dough off the sides of the bowl, which typically means an extra two or three cookies.

Here's the best tip I can offer for cookie dough that needs to chill: Roll it into balls before chilling. Simply use the Medium Scoop, roll your dough, and refrigerate it in a separate bowl. This sure beats hacking at cold dough when all you really want to do is bake cookies.

Ok, so now you can just take balls of dough, give them a quick roll in your hand, and place them on pan. Press them slightly with the palm of your hand, and you're good to go. Here's I'm using the Cookie Sheet and the Large Bar Pan, both of which are covered in Parchment Paper. Parchment paper is ridiculously handy when you're using the same cookie sheet for multiple batches of cookies. You can just slide it onto the cooling rack, and you can even use it more than once. Love this stuff!

See what I mean about sliding the parchment paper onto the Cooling Rack?

Ok, so I just want to leave you with this encouragement to bake cookies. Maybe not these particular ones if you aren't a sesame-seed-in-large-quantity fan, but there are others you can try... like Giant Rocky Road Cookies or Homemade Oreos.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mahi Mahi in Parchment

Full disclosure: This fish was made a long time ago... like in April. I haven't posted it until now because I had other recipes going on, and the pictures got lost in the crowd. However, this is a great way to prepare mahi mahi, and I promise you won't be disappointed. If you are, the problem is you - not my method. I tease... I tease...
(This is on the Medium Bar Pan from the Stoneware Collection.)

Mahi Mahi in Parchment

4 (6-oz.) mahi mahi fillets
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
12 thin lemon slices (about 1 1/2 lemons)
4 tsp. olive oil, divided

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper. Fold each in half crosswise, and draw a large heart half on each piece, with the fold being the center. Cut out the heart, and open.

Sprinkle both sides of fillets with salt and pepper, and place each near the fold of parchment paper. Top with 3 lemon slices; drizzle with 1 tsp. oil. Starting at the top of the heart, fold edges of parchment, sealing edges with narrow folds. Twist the end tip to secure tightly.

Place packets on stoneware, and bake 12 minutes - 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

So my fabulous friend Rebecca made this meal with me, and we had a blast together. What you see here is a piece of Parchment Paper that wasn't cut large enough for the fish. Scroll down to see how this was used in a "craft" instead. You might recognize Rebecca from other posts such as Strawberry Amaretto Pastries and Cheese Grits. You might even be observant enough to see that she's dressed the same. Yes, all three recipes were nailed the same night. Such a great meal with a great friend!

Rebecca is all about slicing the lemons perfectly, and her mission will be accomplished with the 5" Santoku from the Forged Cutlery Collection. She's using it on the Cutting Board, a go-to piece for all meal preparation. Notice those fab grips on the sides to keep the board from sliding!

Ok, so it's kind of embarrassing to reveal just how simple this recipe is, but everyone needs a few of these in the arsenal. Otherwise, you'd be forced to eat out every night, and that makes you fat and broke. Moving on... freshly ground black pepper is a key ingredient in this recipe because, well, you've only got five ingredients to work with. The Salt and Pepper from the Pampered Pantry have changed the way I cook. Yes, things can taste great with nothing more than quality salt, quality pepper, and fresh lemons. I'm using a Bamboo Grinder because it not only does the job well, but it looks cool, too.

Read above for the packet method, but this is really easy. Just fold the packet together, and you're set. This is laid on the Large Grooved Cutting Board in case there's any dripping. The deep groove around the edges will catch anything wanting to get away, and then the whole thing can go in the dishwasher. Love this cutting board! Rebecca and I cut the recipe in half since there were only two of us eating, so we baked the fish on the Medium Bar Pan from the Stoneware Collection. With four pieces, I'd suggest the Large Bar Pan instead.

Ok, are you impressed? Were it not for the cheese grits, this would be the healthiest meal ever. Instead, it's just the best tasting. The fish is displayed on a Small Square Plate from the Simple Additions Collection. You know what they say about small plates and how they help you eat less? Yep, that's all true.

And Rebecca put her wasted parchment paper to good use...

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

Scones... You probably know my history with scones and how I later realized they really aren't bad, especially if they're made with the base for this recipe. If you don't know that story, here it is. Anyway, this is a cinnamon sugar version of Baked Perfection's fabulous recipe, and I feel the need to warn you these are dangerous. You make them without knowing just how good they're going to be, and you end up sick from sugar overload when you couldn't limit yourself to one. Experience speaks loudly, my friends.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add heavy cream, and stir just until combined. (Mixture will be sticky, so don't think you're an idiot just yet.) Flour a surface, and pat the dough out; cut into shapes. Place scones on a pan, and bake 9-11 minutes. Let cool five minutes before glazing.

For glaze, stir ingredients until you reach a thin icing consistency. Pour or drizzle over warm scones.

Recipe adapted from Baked Perfection

If you've seen one picture of prep work, you've seen them all. If you've followed my blog long, you've seen a lot of prep pictures... tons of them. I'll repeat myself simply because this is true: Prep work makes recipes go more quickly, and it makes cooking and baking fun instead of annoying. Think Rachel Ray would look cool if she dug out all her ingredients as she prepared recipes? Didn't think so. So.... Stainless Mixing Bowl with Measuring Cup and leveler tool inside. Pinch Bowl full of sugar (yum!), Adjustable Measuring Spoon, Measuring Spoons, Easy Read Measuring Cup, Large Cutting Board, and Korintje Cinnamon.

Korintje Cinnamon from the Pampered Pantry is the star of this show. I have to admit that once you've used this for all those fab recipes featuring cinnamon, it's difficult to use other brands. My friend Christopher has started adding this to his family's Saturday morning pancake batter (yes, there are cool dads out there who make pancakes for the wife and kids), and he said it's fantastic!

Ok, so there's not a lot to explain about mixing this dough together, but I need to warn you again it's crazy sticky. I mean like stick...eeee. So just know that going in, and you'll have a great experience. Sometimes I cut scones in circles using my Biscuit Cutters, but this time I felt like cutting them in miniature triangles. I got a little crazy and caused them to lose shape while they baked, but you get the point. So I separated my dough on the floured Large Cutting Board (thanks, Flour/Sugar Shaker) and cut it in scones using the 7" Santoku Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection. Flour your knife blade for easy cutting. I baked these guys on the Rectangle Stone from the Stoneware Collection for amazing results. And I mean amazing results.

One thing I love about the Easy Read Measuring Cups is that you can use them as mixing bowls when needed. I measured my powdered sugar in here and just added everything else. This is where the Korintje Cinnamon really got to shine...cinnamon glaze sauce icing stuff. Oh, my! I mixed it all with the Skinny Scraper and was ready to go!

Ok, best glazing station ever. Put a towel or paper towels under the Cooling Rack, glaze warm scones, and throw the rack in the dishwasher. What about that leftover glaze that needs to be scraped from the sides of my measuring cup? Well, that's another story for another day, but I will say I gained a few pounds after making these.

Check out those bottoms! Stoneware is the best stuff ever! These scones will absolutely melt in your mouth, guaranteed. They're best enjoyed with a friend for sure! My friend Courtney and I used to make brunch together before she moved to Thailand, and this recipe always makes me think of the day we did scones and cheese grits. Odd combination? This is the South, and anything goes with grits at any time. Don't judge.

Ok, so these are good. Their goodness is trumped only by their easy preparation. If you don't make them, it's your loss, but you should at least pass the recipe to others so they can enjoy the world's best, easiest cinnamon sugar scones. Enjoy!

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