Monday, August 10, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Honey Almond Scones

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It's been a while since my last non-Secret Recipe Club post. I know I've been unfair to my other SRC members by not posting regularly. And so, as I've said a few times, this will be my last post for a while. I hope to be back with my regular posts and back in SRC in a few months - God willing! 

I was eager to see who I was assigned to for my last month before the break, and man - I wasn't disappointed! Goodie Godmother 's website is just awesome. This time I had to enlist my husband's help in choosing just one awesome recipe to cook! And after 15 minutes of browsing through, he just gave up and said, "everything looks so good. I can't choose. It's too hard!"

Mary, you've created a beautiful space for your readers! I love your blog and I love your '10 facts about me'. We are alike in a lot of ways - the love of caramel, the sweet tooth and a lot more. It was awesome getting to know a little bit about you through your blog!

So - back to choosing! Did I make these smooth and creamy, chocolate dreamy cookies which are so similar to a particular store-bought cookie that my kids love? Or do I make these vanilla bean marshmallows that remind me so much of my mom's homemade marshmallows? Ugh. So tough!

In the end, I made two recipes - the first one was these Red Velvet Baked Doughnuts. No surprise with my pick considering my love for all things red velvet is well-known. Unfortunately for me, just as I pulled the doughnuts out of the oven and I was waiting for them to cool, we had company. And before I could even think of photographs, they were all gone - yummy cream cheese glaze and all. :( Oh well! 

Finally, knowing my husband's love for scones, I settled on these Honey Scones. The flavour sounded lovely and it would be perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast with the family. 
The only modification I made was the addition of almonds. My husband needs the crunch of nuts in scones for them to be 'perfect' and almonds and honey made perfect sense to me. I also didn't use the Chantilly cream Mary recommended, but instead added a sprinkling of sugar over the top of the scones to add crunch and some extra sweetness.

Honey-Almond Scones
Recipe adapted from this one on the Goodie Godmother 

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, cold & cubed
3/4 heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp sugar, for topping
1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or Silpat.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add the butter and work it into the flour using a pastry cutter, two knives or your finger tips. You want the mixture to look crumbly with the butter still in small pieces.
4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the cream, vanilla and honey.
5. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together.
6. Transfer the dough onto the prepared baking tray. Pat it down and shape it into a square about 8"x8".
7. Sprinkle the sugar and chopped almonds over the top of the scones in an even layer.
8. Using a sharp knife, cut the large square into 8-12 smaller squares depending on how large you want your scones.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the base and edges are a beautiful light golden brown.
10. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool before serving with a glaze, preserve, cream or spread of your choice!
The flavour of these scones were really good. I mean - how can you go wrong with honey and almonds. The texture was something different from what we're used to in a scone. I guess that's from the total lack of any kind of sugar in the recipe. The honey gives the scones a spongy, soft texture. There were no complaints :)
Thank you, Mary, for this recipe, and for all the other yummy recipes on your site. Everything looks scrumptious and I can't wait to try all the others I've bookmarked. 

Thanks to Sarah, Camilla and everyone else at SRC - especially Group B, for being so kind and sweet and welcoming! I've enjoyed my time here, and I hope I can bake with you again in a while.

Until next time, dear readers and friends - blessings and hugs to you all... 


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Monday, July 13, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies

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For the last few months, I've only been blogging once a month with my Secret Recipe Club group. I hate that I am not posting regularly (owing to many reasons), but I am grateful to SRC for keeping me posting at least once a month. But I have to take a break even from SRC because it just isn't fair to the other members when I'm not posting regularly. August will be my last SRC post. I will be applying for a break from the group. I hope to be back to blogging in a few months.

This month, I just LOVED the blog I was assigned to. Not only did I find some awesome, mouth-watering recipes, but I also found so much that built me up in my spirit. Jessie Weaver is a gorgeous woman of faith, an awesome mom, wife and cook and I don't think you will be disappointed with the range of posts you will discover on her amazing blog. Thank you for everything, Jessie. I love what you write, and you have a regular reader in me!

If you've visited my blog before, you probably know all my love for breakfast baking. It's more like an obsession. Muffins, scones, rolls, quick breads - I've done it all and I do it waaaaay more often than I care to admit. I found a few awesome recipes in these categories on Jessie's blog - the gingerbread white chocolate muffins, the chai spice scones (another SRC recipe) and a few more, but there was one that grabbed my attention. I saw the words 'brown butter' in the title, and I was sold.
Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from this recipe on
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly whisked
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups wheat and 1 cup all-purpose)
1 cup granola (I used an unsweetened chunky one with slivered almonds, walnuts, raisins and oat clusters)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 tbsp coarse flaxseed meal

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and prepare a cookie sheet by lining with greaseproof paper or Silpat.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter on low heat stirring until it is all melted. Allow it to keep cooking on low heat until the butter browns and gives off a heady, nutty aroma. This could take 10-12 minutes, and while it doesn't need stirring, you will need to watch it the whole time. It can go from browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.
3. Set the brown butter aside for 10 minutes to cool.
4. Stir in the honey, salt, baking soda, cinnamon powder and vanilla extract.
5. Add the eggs and buttermilk and stir well to combine.
6. Stir in the flour, granola, chocolate chips, oatmeal and flaxseed meal. Mix well.
7. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough onto your prepared baking sheet. Allow some space between each cookie and the next. If you're shaping them by hand, form 2 inch sized balls and slightly flatten on the baking sheet. I got about 30 large cookies from this recipe.
8. Bake in batches, allowing each batch to bake 15-18 minutes. The cookies will be golden brown on the bottom and slightly risen.
9. Allow to cool on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Serve fresh if possible. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
I didn't make many changes to this recipes. Just added some oatmeal instead of the oat bran she recommends (I didn't have oat bran at hand), and some flaxseed meal. And I just mixed everything in the same saucepan in which I made the brown butter. It really is an amazing one-bowl recipe!

All of us absolutely loved this recipe! The cookies are not too sweet, have an amazing aroma and flavor and texture - crispy on the outside with a soft center, studded with nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. How could breakfast get any better! Thank you, Jessie! We LOVED this recipe :)

I will be back in August for one last SRC post. See you all then!

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Berries & Cream Scones

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It's Secret Recipe Club time again! If not for SRC, my blog would be already dead and gone. After two more months of SRC, I will be taking a few months off though. I need some time away from the blog to focus on the family and while I will miss blogging, I know I will be back.

This month, I was super excited to be assigned the fabulous blog Camilla's Culinary Adventures! Oh man - Camilla really is a star. She manages a fabulously loaded blog on which she posts amazing recipes very regularly, she runs a beautiful family and she is also our Group B moderator here at SRC. I need lessons from this lady on time management! Hats off to you, Camilla. You're an inspiration!
I honestly had such a hard time picking a recipe this time around. She has so many recipes in almost every style of cooking. I was tempted to pick a bread recipe, or a Madeleine recipe (I adore Madeleines) or one of her amazing cupcake recipes since my daughter has been nagging me for cupcakes. Finally, I ended up with a breakfast recipe when i needed to make a quick batch of scones for someone. I remembered seeing this recipe on Camilla's site and went back to it. 

The recipe is originally strawberries and cream but I didn't have strawberries in the house at the time, and so I made it with blueberries instead. I'm sure it would have been amazing with strawberries though! Next time! 

Berries and Cream Scones
Adapted from Camilla's Culinary Adventures
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cup double cream 
1 large egg 
1/2-3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries 
1 tbsp double cream (for the top)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Stir well to combine. 
3. Add the butter and using either a pastry cutter or just the tips of your finger, work the butter into the dry mixture until the mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs. You could even do this in the food processor. 
4. Add the cream and egg and gently bring the dough together. 
5. Once the dough is formed, add the blueberries and be very gentle to disperse the berries. Take care not to bruise the berries too much. 
6. Transfer the dough onto your prepared baking sheet and pat into a circle that's about 1/2 inch thick. Slice into wedges and drizzle the top with the reserved cream. 
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden and raised. 
8. Serve warm drizzled with a glaze of your choice or with cream and jam. 

These scones were different from the ones I've made before and we all loved them - especially my husband! The base and edges had a crispy cookie like texture that we couldn't get enough of, and the middle was soft and crumbly, and as Camilla mentioned that her son noticed, - the flavour was intensely buttery and delicious!

Thank you for this amazing base recipe for scones Camilla. You can bet I'll be using this to make many amazing combinations for years to come! Please go check out Camilla's blog and I promise you a treasure trove of recipes that you can't stop bookmarking! 

Don't forget to check out the other awesome SRC recipes below!

Until next time :)

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