Lemon Jubilee- Lemon Poppy Seed and Almond scones

April 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I still have some lemons left over from my friend Cheri.  I decided to make some lemon scones for breakfast this week.  I tried to make them even more healthy, so I eliminated sugar where I could and chose to not add a lemon glaze on top of the scones.  I will include the recipe for the glaze because it is so good with the scones.  You could also use sanding sugar or sugar in the raw to make it a little sweeter.

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and refrigerated, after cutting, until cold.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • zest from 3 lemons (you could also use lemon extract)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450º.  Put flour, baking powder, sugar, lemon zest, almonds, poppy seeds, and salt into a food processor.  Pulse until combined.

2.  Add the chilled pieces of butter and pulse until the butter and flour mixture form medium sized round pieces.

3.  In a small bowl, beat the two eggs together (reserve 2 Tbsp. of the eggs to the side.  Use these eggs when applying the sanding sugar to the top of the scones.  If you are not using the sugar, use the eggs tomorrow for breakfast).

4.  To the beaten eggs, add the heavy cream.  Pour the liquid into the food processor in a steady stream.  Pulse as you add the liquids.

5.  On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into an 8 inch round that is about 3/4 inch thick.  Try to work with the dough as little a possible.  Cut the round piece of dough into either 8 or 12 wedges (depending on how large you want your scones).  Place each scone onto an ungreased nonstick baking sheet.

6.  If you want to add sanding sugar or sugar in the raw, brush each scone with he left over egg mixture.  Sprinkle with sugar.  If you want to have plain scones or add the lemon glaze at the end, omit this step.

7.  Bake the scones until golden, about 15 minutes.  Cool over a metal rack.

8.  If topping with lemon glaze, put a piece of foil underneath the metal cooling rack.  This will make for easier clean up later on.  Mix together          1  1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Pour the glaze over the scones (once they have cooled).  Let dry before eating.

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Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

April 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

In celebration of the new season of LOST, I made chocolate coconut cupcakes.  These cupcakes require a glass of soy milk (or regular milk) because they are extremely chocolatey and rich.  They are also very moist because of the sour cream that is added to the recipe.  If the sour cream sounds odd and you are having doubts about adding it…. don’t even think about it.  You need to add the sour cream to these because  there is nothing worse than a dry chocolate cupcake!  Nothing!

Ingredients for the cup cakes:

  • 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose  flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1  1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
  • 1  1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Powdered sugar to thicken

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl or the top bowl in a double boiler.  Place the bowl over a sauce pan of barley simmering water or over the bottom of a double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

3.  Using an electric mixer (I love my Kitchen Aid) on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes or until creamy.

4.  Scape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate on low speed.

5.  On medium speed, add the eggs (one at a time).  Make sure each egg is incorporated into the batter before adding the next.

6.  Add the vanilla and blend until creamy, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.

7.  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture.  Mix just to incorporate it, do ont over mix.  Add in the water and then the remaining flour mixture.

8.  Bake the cupcakes until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool the cupcakes on a metal rack before frosting.

9.  To make the frosting, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the butter has melted.

10.  When the butter has melted and small bubbles begin to form on the surface, remove the pot from the heat.  Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Add the vanilla.  Whisk until the sauce is smooth and all of the chocolate has melted.

11.  Let the cool to room temperature.  Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the frosting is at your desired consistency.  Top the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting, sweetened shredded coconut, and a small dollop of the chocolate frosting (on top of the layer of coconut).  If you don’t like coconut, you can top the chocolate frosting with chocolate sprinkles.

Blueberry Coconut Granola all week

April 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love making this granola and having it around to munch on.  It is the perfect snack with yogurt, some soy milk, or even by itself.  Mark is partial to this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325º.  Melt butter and honey is a sauce pan over low heat (do not bring to a boil).

2.  When butter and honey are melted, add the brown sugar to the sauce pan.  Continue to heat the sugar mixture until smooth and all of the brown sugar granules have been dissolved.

3.  When the sugar mixture is smooth, remove from heat and add the water and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.

4.  Combine oats, dried blueberries, almonds, and coconut into a large bowl.  Stir until the dry ingredients are all mixed together.

5.  Pour sugar mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.

6.  Pour the contents of the bowl onto a large rimmed nonstick baking sheet.  Evenly spread out the granola.

7.  Bake, stirring often, until the granola is a golden brown (about 25-30 minutes).  Let cool completely.  Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Blackberry Tart with Vanilla Yogurt

April 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

This tart is very light and is the perfect after dinner dessert.  The crust is a cornmeal Pâte Brisée, so it is lighter and crisper than a traditional tart crust.  This is a great spring or summer dessert and you can use any berries from your local farmer’s market; just pick whatever looks good that day.  Note:  You will need about 2-2 1/2 hours to make this tart (because the dough needs to chill twice in order to keep the tart shell flaky).  The tart dough can either be made the day before and chilled in the refrigerator overnight or made, up to a month ahead of time, and frozen (make sure you defrost it before you start molding the crust).  Either of these steps can save some time the day you make the tart.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup blackberry jam
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • fresh lemon juice from a medium sized lemon
  • about 3 cups of fresh blackberries (or other seasonal fruit)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional- for the topping)
  • 1/2 cup lowfat or nonfat vanilla yogurt (optional- for the topping)
  • honey (optional- for the topping)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled for 15-20 minutes after cut.
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water (the colder the better)

Directions for the tart:

1.  In a food processor, pulse flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar until blended.

2.  Add pats of chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs (make sure there are some larger pieces remaining or you will have blended the dough too much).

3.  Drizzle 1/4 cup of cold water evenly over the mixture.  Pulse until the mixture just begins to hold together when pressed between your fingers.  It should NOT be wet or sticky.  If the dough is too dry, pulse more cold water into the dough 1 Tbsp. at a time.

4.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and shape into a disk.  refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or overnight.  You can also freeze it up to one month and defrost the dough when ready to use.

5.  When the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 375°.  Roll out the dough, on a floured surface, into an 11 inch round disk that is about 1/4 inch thick.  Press the dough into the bottom of a 10 inch tart pan (I like to use the tart pans that have a removable bottom).  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled.

6.  Pick holes on the bottom of the tart with a fork and put it in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

7.  While the tart shell is baking, mix the raspberry jam, blackberry jam, and lemon juice together is a bowl.

8.  When the tart shell is done, pour the jam and lemon mixture onto the bottom of the tart and spread evenly.

9.  Top the tart with fresh blackberries (or other fresh seasonal fruit) and toasted almonds.  Serve with vanilla yogurt and honey.

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