Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

For years I didn’t know what I was missing. I never really had a desire to make scones, and now these days it seems like I can’t get enough! It all started with my favorite Glazed Cinnamon Scones (and if you can’t tell, I sorta have a thing for anything with a glaze on it as well!) and now I have about 50 different scone recipes pinned to my pinterest board that I’m anxious to try.  Scones are just so easy to make, they’re pretty much fail proof, they look pretty and are downright tasty. These right here are a close contender for the favorite spot.  So perfectly soft and flaky, not overly sweet and the hint of vanilla is refreshing and delicious. I mean, I was hooked the minute I smelled that vanilla pod. I know vanilla beans can be pricey, but it’s so worth the splurge, even if just for the smell that fills your kitchen!

Vanilla Bean Scones
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, egg, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract until well combined, chill in refrigerator until ready to use. To remove seeds, split pod open and use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds.

Vanilla Bean Scones

Add grated butter to flour mixture and mix evenly into flour using a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream mixture to flour mixture and stir until it just combined, then knead mixture  several times until it has come together well (it will be slightly sticky, but this is what makes the scones moist). Pour mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a 7 by 7-inch square. Cut into 9 equal squares, then cut each square in half on a diagonal to create two triangles.

Vanilla Bean Scones
Transfer to prepared baking sheet spacing scones evenly apart, and brush tops with remaining 1 Tbsp cream.

Vanilla Bean Scones
Bake 13 – 14 minutes until lightly golden. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar cream, milk, vanilla beans and vanilla extract until smooth. Cool baked scones on a wire rack then spoon vanilla glaze over tops.

Vanilla Bean Scones

Vanilla Bean Scones

Vanilla Bean Scones

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream, divided
1 large egg
Seeds of 1 small vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and grated

Glaze:
1 cup  powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
Seeds of 1 small vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, egg, vanilla bean seeds (split pod open and use the back of the knife to scrape out seeds) and vanilla extract until well combined, chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Add grated butter to flour mixture and mix evenly into flour using a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse meal. Add cream mixture to flour mixture and stir until it just combined, then knead mixture  several times until it has come together well (it will be slightly sticky, but this is what makes the scones moist). Pour mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a 7 by 7-inch square. Cut into 9 equal squares, then cut each square in half on a diagonal to create two triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet spacing scones evenly apart, and brush tops with remaining 1 Tbsp cream. Bake 13 – 14 minutes until lightly golden. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar cream, milk, vanilla beans and vanilla extract until smooth. Cool baked scones on a wire rack then spoon vanilla glaze over tops.

Source | Cooking Classy

Vanilla Bean Scones

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Cookies & Cream Chocolate Layered Cake

This right here is death by Cookies & Cream. I mentioned before that I have never really been into cake making before. I still have zero talent when it comes to decorating. Fondant is a foreign language to me, and I’ll leave that one to the professionals. But ever since I made that Mint Chocolate Chip layered cake for my daughter’s birthday, I couldn’t wait to try making another version. When a friend had a birthday I was excited for a chance to experiment some more. When I found this to-die-for cream cheese Cookies & Cream frosting, I knew that had to be it. The combination of that frosting with my all time favorite moist chocolate cake was enough to do me in! To say it was delicious was an understatement. It was a huge hit with the birthday crowd (I’ll have to make it again so I can sneak a picture after it was cut, and before it was inhaled at record speed) and I have requests to make it again. If you like anything Cookies & Cream, you may lose all self control with this. Consider yourself warned.

Cookies and Cream Layered Chocolate Cake

For the cake:

4 C flour
4 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp baking soda
1 C cocoa
1 c butter, melted
2 C water
2 C milk
4 eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tbs cream (or more)
1 package Oreo cookies

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, butter, water, milk and eggs, mix until combined (don’t over mix). Line the bottom of two 9 inch round spring form cake pans with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing spring form. For the frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and whipped, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla, then gradually add powdered sugar while beating until blended well. Add the cream and continue to beat until desired consistency is reached. Crush Oreos, reserve about 1 cup for the top then mix the rest into the frosting. After the cake has cooled, spread the top of one cake with frosting, then set the second cake on top. Evenly frost the top and sides then garnish with reserved crushed Oreos.

Source| Cake- Julie Tovey, Frosting- Instructables

Chocolate Crepes

I am sitting here speechless, wondering where these have been all my life. We love chocolate, and we love crepes with the best of ’em, so I don’t know why I never thought to make these before. When I came across this recipe I knew I HAD to have it in my life. And believe me, it did not disappoint! It’s every bit as delicious as you can imagine a chocolate crepe with fresh fruit and cream would be! It earned me a huge hug from my 10 year old, and he’s normally not the hugging type, so I’ll gladly take it.

Chocolate Crepes

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and beat until smooth, or blend everything together in a blender. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lift and tilt the pan until the bottom is evenly covered with a thin coat of batter.

Chocolate Crepes
Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to bubble

Chocolate Crepes
flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds. Remove to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.

Chocolate Crepes

Serve with freshly whipped cream and sliced bananas, or other fresh fruit.

Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Crepes

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa powder
1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and beat until smooth, or blend everything together in a blender. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lift and tilt the pan until the bottom is evenly covered with a thin coat of batter.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to bubble, flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds. Remove to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Serve with freshly whipped cream and sliced bananas, or other fresh fruit.

Source | Sweet Treats & More

Chocolate Crepes

BLT Chopped Salad

BLT Chopped Salad
It’s hard to get my husband behind the idea of salad for dinner. I mean, he never complains if I serve it, but it’s just one of those things you pick up on after being married for 15 (oh wait, almost 16!) years. But if it’s hard to get my husband on board, then you can only imagine how hard it is to get my kids on board! But this right here does it. I’m giving the bacon full credit. I mean, who doesn’t love  a good BLT? But  being able to have that same delicious BLT flavor without the added carbs is guilt free eating if I’ve ever seen it. My two oldest couldn’t shovel it in fast enough and in between bites kept saying, “this is so good”, “no, this is really good”. In my book that goes down as a success.

BLT Chopped Salad

2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup black beans
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ranch dressing

Prepare ingredients. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn, black beans and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then drizzle with ranch dressing. Serve immediately.

Source | How Sweet It Is

{Flashback Friday} Spinach Pesto Pasta

I absolutely love this recipe, because not only is this dish super good, but with an entire bag of spinach packed into it then it is super good for you too. You know I love Alfredo pasta with the best of them, but it’s nice to find a pasta dish that tastes incredible and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. It’s just perfectly light and flavorful for a summer evening, and doesn’t take too long so you’re not slaving over a hot stove.  I’ve always loved pesto pasta, but there’s just something about this dish that takes it a step above the rest!

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 /c freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
1 package spaghetti pasta (I prefer whole grain or whole wheat)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes then remove and set aside. Add the butter and 1 Tbs olive oil to the skillet and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Add the shallots and garlic, continue cooking over low heat stirring for 5-7 minutes or until a golden color. Remove the stems from the spinach. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the spinach, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Drain then squeeze out the excess water. Place the spinach in a food processor or blender along with the cooked shallots and garlic, basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan and half the pine nuts. Blend to form a chunky paste.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Remove 3 Tbs cooking water and stir into the spinach mixture. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the spinach mixture and remaining pine nuts, mix well to combine. Blanch the tomoatoes for a few minutes in boiling water then remove with a slotted spoon and gently mix into the pasta. Top each serving with Parmesan, basil, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source | Everyday Delicious: Chelsea Winter

Original post here

Blueberry Lemon Chia Pudding {confessions of a chia convert)

Lemon Blueberry Chia Pudding
Every where I look, it’s chia. I know it’s the new craze and I can’t tell you how many chia pudding recipes I have pinned to my pinterest board. They always look so tantalizing with their fresh fruit and summery hues, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat something that produced grass hair on a ’90’s novelty item. Maybe it’s different types of seeds, who knows, but it was enough to keep me from jumping on the bandwagon and taking the plunge. However, when my sister posted this recipe on her website with rave reviews, and even labeling it as kid friendly, I knew I could take her word for it. And I’m so glad I did! It really is as fresh and delicious as it looks and the nutrition factor is just an added bonus. My kids were a split decision. The ones who have texture issues weren’t too big of fans, but the rest of us loved it. I see a bright future of chia pudding breakfasts and snacks in our future! And I’m pretty confident we won’t even be sprouting grass like a chia pet. Now if only I could get on board with cooking with lavender, it sounds enticing, but there’s just something about food made with flowers….

Blueberry Lemon Chia Pudding

Blueberry Lemon Chia Pudding

1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp Lemon peel
2 TBS lemon juice
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 TBS Honey
1/4 cup Chia seeds
additional berries and honey to top each serving

Combine all ingredients in a large storage container that has a lid. Make sure all the chia seeds are mixed in, and mash the berries lightly, especially if using frozen raspberries. Place the lid on the container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. Serve with extra raspberries (or other berries of choice), and a drizzle of honey if desired.

Source | Six Little Chefs

Blueberry Lemon Chia Pudding

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Next to family and friends, it’s the foods that we miss the most from home. I’ve gone on my Mexican Food rants before, but now it’s time to talk about Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Don’t get me wrong, they have got the most delicious chocolate here and so much variety, but Reese’s PB cups are home. Just the smell brings back a flood of memories of Halloween. Food is memories. When I came across this recipe here, I was immediately drawn to it because, hello, chocolate and peanut butter. Need I say more. And because it was so simple to make. But I didn’t realize that they would taste just like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups until I took that first bite. It was like the heavens opened and angels were singing. I couldn’t wait for my husband and kids to have some, their first reaction was, “oh my gosh, these taste just like Reese’s!” And of course we had to share some with our American missionaries that are serving here too. It’s a shame I didn’t discover this like two years ago, but even though we’ll be back soon enough to the land of milk and honey and endless supplies of Reese’s, I know I’ll keep coming back to this recipe because it is so simple and absolutely delicious. And there’s all that jazz about not being filled with preservatives, but you know that’s never stopped me from eating them before 🙂

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars
I originally cut them into 9 squares, but they are super rich, so I cut them into 36 bite sized pieces and they were just perfect.

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Filling:
½ cup butter
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar

Topping:
1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
Directions:

Melt 1/2 cup butter, then use a beater to beat together melted butter and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Gradually mix in powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate chips with 2 Tbs butter. Or melt butter and set aside to cool, then microwave chocolate chips for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until melted and smooth. Gradually stir in melted butter (be sure the butter is not too hot or it will scorch the chocolate) until evenly combined. Spread the chocolate on top. Chill for about 30 minutes, until set then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Source | Blue Nose Baker