Thursday, September 19, 2013

Maple Oat Walnut Scones

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These may not be the prettiest scones out there, but man - do they taste goooood!
I've been seeing copycat recipes for Starbucks' Maple Oat Pecan scones and it sounded really tempting. So this is my take on that recipe. I've adapted it quite a bit and loved how it turned out!

This is a delicious recipe and the flavor and texture of the scones is fabulous. I made only half a batch and instantly regretted it. It was gone in one sitting! Everyone loved it and it was just an amazing addition to the breakfast table.
These scones are pretty good for you too! Loaded with oatmeal and whole wheat flour, not too much fat and hardly any sugar (depending on how much glaze you slather on!) - you can't go wrong with this one!. 

I love that this can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight or frozen for a couple of days until you're ready to bake them! 

Maple Oat Walnut Scones
Adapted from
1 cup oats (quick cooking is fine but not the instant kind)
1 cup all purpose flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder 
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces 
1 large egg, cold
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp maple extract 
1 cup walnuts

Maple glaze 
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract
3-4 tsp milk or water

1. In a food processor or blender jar, grind the oatmeal into a fine powder along with 1/3 cup of walnuts. 
2. Combine this powder in a large bowl along with the all purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix well to combine. 
3. Add in the cold butter and maple syrup and work the mixture with your fingertips so you have a crumbly, sand-like mixture. 
4. In a small bowl, stir together the egg, maple extract and cream. 
5. Add this mixture to the large bowl and mix to bring the dough together. 
6. Finely chop the remaining walnuts and add it to the bowl. Mix long enough to incorporate the walnuts into the dough. 
7. If baking immediately - on a floured surface flatten the dough with your hands until you have a circle approximately 8cm in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F for a about 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before glazing. 
8. If baking later - lay down a large piece of cling-film on a plate. Lightly flour the surface and pat the dough down into an 8cm circle on the cling film. Cut into 8 wedges using a sharp knife. Wrap the dough up securely in the cling film. Place the plate in the fridge overnight or freezer for a couple of days. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Remove the cut scones from the refrigerator, unwrap and transfer to a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. No need to thaw! Just add a few extra minutes baking time. Allow to cool for five minutes before glazing. 
9. For the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar and extract in a bowl and add enough milk or water to get the glaze to the consistency you like. Glaze the still-warm scones with as much or as little glaze as desired!
The nutty flavor from the oatmeal and the walnuts in these scones can't be beat! And the maple flavor comes through just enough and the texture is beautifully crumbly and perfect!

You may recall that we're pretty crazy about walnuts around here. In fact, my Walnut Coffee Muffins post is still one of my most visited recipes on the site. And it was one of my post requested muffins on order, when I used to take orders! These yummy scones are reminiscent of those muffins. And you know what - I think a Coffee Oat Walnut scone wouldn't be too bad either! Must try that next time. 
Try this recipe. You won't regret it!
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookies

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I have a confession to make. I seldom bake chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I may have only baked 1-2 batches my whole life. Sounds weird, I know! For some reason, every time I consider making chocolate chip cookies, I end up thinking, "We're eating cookies. Why not get some oatmeal, fruit and nuts in there too?" And so I've always baked only oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips/nuts/dried fruit in them. But never classic chocolate chip cookies. Well, at least not till about a month ago. When I discovered these beauties. Well, I suppose these aren't your CLASSIC chocolate chip cookies either, but I am more than happy to stick with these. They are SO good! Really addictive!
I found the recipe on but the recipe is originally from The Field Guide to Cookies. I want to get my hands on this book! I am totally a cookie person! :)
Instead of chocolate chips, I used chopped chocolate chunks and I added some good vanilla extract because somehow it seemed incomplete to me without vanilla! This recipe yields 32 regular sized chocolate chip cookies, or 18-20 large ones.

Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookies
Ingredients (Makes 32 cookies)
1/2 cup  (113g) butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
150g chopped chocolate or chocolate chips 
1/4 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon for rolling 

1. Cream the butter and sugars together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. 
2. And the egg and vanilla and whisk for a further 2 minutes. 
3. Sift in the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until completely incorporated. 
4. Stir in the chocolate and mix well to combine thoroughly. 
5. Form into one inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. If you find the cookie dough too sticky to handle, refrigerate for 5-10 minutes and then form the balls. You should get around 32 cookie balls.
6. Place the cookie dough balls on a plate and chill thoroughly from anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. 
7. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and place the balls at least two inches apart on a parchment/Silpat lined baking sheet. Don't press to flatten the balls. 
8. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the edges start turning golden and the cookies are still soft to the touch. They'll firm up while cooling! Turn the tray around once if needed, for even baking.
9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and transfer to a cooling rack. 
10. When completely cool, transfer to an airtight box for storage
If you are making larger cookies, like I did once, increase the baking time, and keep an eye on the cookies! They turn out just fine.

These cookies are have a lovely buttery flavor, and are slightly chewy, just like a good chocolate chip cookie should be, but they are much lighter than your average chocolate chip cookie. Personally, I love the texture of these cookies and I love the cinnamon-sugar crunch on the outside. Adds another dimension and makes them absolutely yummy!

Classic or not, these are really exceptional cookies. I have baked three batches of these in the one month since I discovered them, and they've turned out great every single time. An absolute winner and a must-try recipe!
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rich Moist Chocolate Cake

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know I said on my Facebook page that I was going to share a cookie recipe next, but I loved this cake so much, I just had to share! I hope you love it too! The cookie recipe is coming up soon too! :)

Today, we celebrate 9 years of marriage. What a roller coaster ride it has been! :) And the best part of the 9 years? Our little girls, of course! I wanted to make a chocolate cake for my husband because that is his favorite kind of cake.
Usually, I keep my pantry well stocked with baking essentials. Mainly because you don't know when a baking urge is going to hit! Today, I was just a little low on almost everything - surprisingly even on basics like flour and sugar - I blame it on the sleep deprivation! When baby has a cold, no one sleeps. Sigh!

When you're baking at 5:30 AM while the kids are still asleep and the husbands still at work, you can't really hop down to the neighborhood store. After a little middle of the night googling, I found a recipe for which I was certain I could (almost) scrape up the ingredients for. Joy the Baker to the rescue!
The recipe sounded perfect and I would have made it exactly as she wrote it, if I wasn't running short on flour and sugar. I made minor substitutions. I was short of about 1/4 cup flour and used a mix of whole wheat flour and corn starch to make up the difference. I am going to say that cake flour would work well here. The recipe called for 3/4 cup of white sugar, but I could only manage 1/2. So I used 1/4 cup of light brown sugar. Apart from that I followed the recipe as she wrote it. 

Rich, Moist Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

1 cup freshly made strong black coffee
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 cup milk 
2 cups cake flour 
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar 
4 eggs 

1. Mix together the cocoa and the coffee until smooth. Stir in the milk and vanilla and set aside. 
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. 
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. 
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating in each egg until completely incorporated. 
5. Alternating between the flour mixture and the cocoa slurry, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Make sure you start and finish with the flour mixture. The mixture may look a little curdled, but that's fine. 
6. Divide the mixture between two greased and floured 8-inch/ 9-inch round cake tins and bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit. I used 8 inch rounds and got a pretty tall cake. 
7. Bake until the a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and the cake begins to come away from the sides of the tin. This took about 30 minutes in my oven. 
8. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins, remove from the tins and frost with your favorite chocolate buttercream or with a chocolate ganache like I have. 
I loved the flavor and texture of this cake. It had a rich, complex flavor due to the brown sugar-coffee-cocoa combination. Divine! The cake was perfectly moist and dense - exactly how a good chocolate cake should be. And I just LOVED how beautifully this cake sliced up. Gorgeous, neat slices! Don't you hate when your moist cakes sometimes don't yield clean slices?
I blame my silliness for the uneven layers. I measured them out and they came out of the oven perfectly even! And then when I took them out of their tins and left them to cool on the rack, I put one of them (the lower layer) upside down. That flattened out the layer of course. And the top layer retained the height. I know this happens, but I was negligent this time. Next time, they're both cooling in the same direction!

Uneven layers or not, this cake did not disappoint at all!! Everyone here loved this cake and I am sure you will too! You must try it!

I'll be back in a few days with the cookie recipe! Until then... xoxox
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