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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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

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

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

I have yet to meet a banana bread recipe that I don’t just looooove. But this right here takes the banana bread up a notch. It’s taking the banana bread scene by storm. It’s stepping up it’s game. It’s bringing a more sophisticated look to the face of banana bread. I mean, we’re talking chocolate on chocolate here. Chunks of dark chocolate and swirls of warm melted Nutella make this banana bread the best you’ll ever have!

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and/or line a medium size loaf tin and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash your bananas well and whisk together with the eggs and melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, then stir in the chocolate chunks.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Microwave the Nutella for 30 seconds until soft. Pour into the mixture and use a wooden spoon to swirl into the batter.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Transfer to the loaf tin and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread
Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the pan.

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium size ripe bananas
2 large eggs
6 Tbs butter, melted
1/3 cup Nutella or any other chocolate hazlenut spread
1 (4 oz) dark chocolate bar, cut into chunks (you can use milk chocolate, if you prefer)
Brown sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and/or line a medium size loaf tin and set aside. In a medium bowl, mash your bananas well and whisk together with the eggs and melted butter. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, then stir in the chocolate chunks. Microwave the Nutella for 30 seconds until soft. Pour into the mixture and use a wooden spoon to swirl into the batter. Transfer to the loaf tin and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Bake on the middle shelf for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the pan.

Source | adapted from The Cake Hunter

{decadent} Dark Chocolate & Nutella Banana Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
If you like moist poppy seed bread with a hint of citrus and a rich creamy lemon glaze, then this is the recipe for you! Because I know you were craving that specific thing right at this moment. And if you weren’t then now you are. This bread is so delicious, that it really should qualify as a dessert. But I called it a bread mostly to justify making it for my kids for an after school snack. And then eating it again for breakfast. But hey, if you check out the ingredients, it’s rather healthy (er, healthier) with whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, egg whites, low fat milk and no butter. So enjoy! Also perfect for a brunch or luncheon, and pretty enough to be packaged up and given as a gift to neighbors, teachers, visiting teachers, or that friend who volunteered to watch your kids when you needed a break. Those are the best kind of friends, and this is definitely a worthy thank you gift. Just saying….

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

1½ cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
¼ cup lowfat milk
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
Lemon Glaze:
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan (8½ by 4½) with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl mix sugar and lemon zest, then add greek yogurt, milk, olive oil, vanilla, egg, egg whites and poppy seeds. Whisk vigorously until well blended, then add to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated (don’t over mix). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick entered in center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before turning out and removing from pan. To make the lemon glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream (can thin out with a little milk if too thick). Pour over the top of the bread, then slice and serve.

Source | The Recipe Critic

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

{mother’s day brunch} Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I’m missing my mama. It’s been 11 years since we’ve even lived in the same state together, but being on the other side of the world is even harder. I wish I lived close enough to invite her over for a Mother’s Day brunch. And if I could, this is what I would make. These incredible omelets, with some muffins and fresh fruit on the side. This savory omelet is filled with fresh and flavorful ingredients (feta, tomato, spinach and avocado are the perfect combination, if you ask me) to create a delicious and beautiful dish fit for your queen. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get the chance to make this for her, but until then I may be requesting my husband to make this for my own Mother’s Day brunch ;).  Omelets always seemed so intimidating, but the good news is that they aren’t. Speed is the key when it comes to making them, which also means that a delicious breakfast will be on the plate in under 5 minutes, you can’t beat that. It has taken me a few trial and errors to get it right, and I still occasional turn a failed omelet into scrambled eggs, but once you get the hang of it, it really is quite simple. And the results are divine.

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

Heat skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbs butter and swirl to evenly coat skillet

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

Crack two eggs into the pan, then working quickly add half and half and whisk together. Don’t over beat, you don’t want to have scrambled eggs,  mix until just combined

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

lift and tilt skillet until eggs are spread into a thin layer (like you would when making crepes)

IMG_9201

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and dash of salt and pepper

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

Lift edges to loosen and once the underside is lightly browned (don’t over cook, although I tend to like mine that way), gently flip.

IMG_9193

This is where I’m taking some creative control. A real french omelet is only cooked on one side then removed while the center is still creamy. I prefer my eggs to be cooked a little longer, so I flip it over and let it cook while I add the filling, but if you prefer it the other way, just remove it to the plate before adding the filling. Cover one half with tomato, avocado, feta and spinach

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet

fold in half and transfer to a plate for serving

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

Feta, Tomato and Spinach Omelet + step by step instructions for making the perfect French Omelet

*makes one omelet

2 Eggs
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs Half and half
1 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Filling: diced tomato, diced avocado, crumbled feta cheese, chopped baby spinach leaves

Heat skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbs butter and swirl to evenly coat skillet. Crack two eggs into the pan, then working quickly add half and half and whisk together. Don’t over beat, you don’t want to have scrambled eggs, mix just until combined then lift and tilt skillet until eggs are spread into a thin layer (like you would when making crepes). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and dash of salt and pepper. Lift edges to loosen and once the underside is lightly browned (don’t overcook), gently flip. (This is where I’m taking some creative control. A real french omelet is only cooked on one side then removed while the center is still creamy. I prefer my eggs to be cooked a little longer, so I flip it over and let it cook while I add the filling, but if you prefer it the other way, just remove it to the plate before adding the filling). Add filling ingredients to one half of the omelet then fold in half and transfer to a plate for serving.

Source | Cooking Light

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New York Style Blueberry Bagel

It seems like we got a little ripped off in the Fall department. Those crisp sunny autumn days have quickly turned into cold, wet , dreary winter days. But days like that aren’t so bad when you have no where to go and are left with the luxury of lounging around in your pajamas in front of the fire all day. Last Saturday was just that sort of day and I woke up with a craving for bagels and hot chocolate. Instead of bundling up and heading out to buy bagels (which there really are no bagel shops here anyways), I opted for this homemade version instead. It takes a little longer, but you really can’t beat a warm fresh bagel hot out of the oven smothered in cream cheese. Even if it’s spring on your side of the world, swap out the hot cocoa for a side of fresh fruit and you’re good to go!

New York Style Blueberry Bagel
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water then set aside for 5-7 minutes to proof. In a large bowl, mix together the salt and flour then gradually stir in the yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 cups water. Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup flour then gently fold in and knead until you have a soft and elastic dough (either by hand or using the dough hook of a stand mixer. The berries will start to get mushed into the dough and it will turn purple. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough into 8 balls, make a hole in the center of each then stretch and form into a bagel shape. Let rest for 30 minutes.

New York Style Blueberry Bagel
Pre-heat oven 425. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then boil the bagels, 2 or 3 at a time, for 5-6 minutes until they have firmed up a little and aren’t so doughy (this is what gives it a soft and chewy center).

New York Style Blueberry Bagel
Remove from pan and allow excess water to drip off (can blot with a paper towel as well). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cut the bagels in half and toast, then spread with cream cheese and/or jam.

New York Style Blueberry Bagel
2 Tbs active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups of warm water
3 1/2 cups flour + 1/4 cup, divided
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water then set aside for 5-7 minutes to proof. In a large bowl, mix together the salt and flour then gradually stir in the yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 cups water. Toss the blueberries in 1/4 cup flour then gently fold in and knead until you have a soft and elastic dough (either by hand or using the dough hook of a stand mixer. The berries will start to get mushed into the dough and it will turn purple. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough into 8 balls, make a hole in the center of each then stretch and form into a bagel shape. Let rest for 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven 425. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then boil the bagels, 2 or 3 at a time, for 5-6 minutes until they have firmed up a little and aren’t so doughy (this is what gives it a soft and chewy center). Remove from pan and allow excess water to drip off (can blot with a paper towel as well). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cut the bagels in half and toast, then spread with cream cheese and/or jam.

Source | Heather’s French Press

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