Showing posts with label scones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scones. Show all posts

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Guest Molly MacRae Is Serving Up Scones!

MLK happily welcomes Molly MacRae, who's giving us wonderful scone recipe in honor of her new book, Scones and Scoundrels. Who doesn't like a warm scone? Tell us about the book, Molly!


In Scones and Scoundrels, book two in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series, baker Summer Jacobs is perfecting a new scone recipe. Summer’s business partners at the bookshop and tearoom have the pleasure of taste-testing her experiments—warm from the oven, smelling of orange, almond, and spice. That’s all well and good for them, but it was a little hard on me, the writer. I enjoyed writing about them enjoying their scones, but it left me wanting one, too. And that posed a problem, because the whole thing is fiction and I didn’t actually have a recipe.

No worries, though. A bit of myself makes its way into some of my characters, and like Summer, I enjoy baking and experimenting. It took three tries and several tweaks over the past week, but I think this is a recipe the women in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries would be happy to serve.

That leaves the question—are either these or the scones in the book deadly? Perish the thought.


Orange Almond Scones with Cardamom

3/4 cup almond flour (also called almond meal – it’s really nothing more than ground almonds. I have a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Super-fine Almond Flour)
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut
   into small cubes
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
zest from one orange











Preheat oven to 400º F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Cut in butter until pieces are no bigger than baby green peas. Gently stir almonds in with a fork.






In another bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, almond extract, and orange zest. Add to dry ingredients, and use a fork to gently combine. As soon as the dough begins to come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead a few times until dough comes together in a ball. Divide into two balls. Transfer balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet

Flatten each ball into a 6-inch circle. Cut each circle into six triangles. Separate the triangles and bake them 2 inches apart for 12-15 minutes, until scones are firm to the touch and beginning to turn golden brown.


Serve warm as they are, or with butter, jam, or clotted cream and fresh berries.

Unbaked scones freeze beautifully and you can put them straight into the oven from the freezer. They’ll only take a few minutes longer to bake.

If you’d like the recipe for the Pear Ginger Scones that appear in Plaid and Plagiarism, book one in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series, you can find it on Lois Winston’s blog Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.


Scones and Scoundrels, the new mystery in the Highland Bookshop series, brings together a body outside a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . .

Barnes & Noble
Indiebound
Amazon











About Molly:

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” Molly writes the Highland Bookshop Mysteries and the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she is a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. Molly lives in Champaign, Illinois. You can visit her at www.mollymacrae.com and www.killercharacters.com, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.



Friday, December 29, 2017

Irish Seaweed

The holidays aren't over yet!

And your treat for this week is . . . seaweed!

No, I’ve never tried eating it, that I can remember. But when I was most recently in Field’s supermarket in Skibbereen, I found that they’d added a new display rack, and it was devoted to seaweed. Not just one kind, but a whole slew of them, neatly packaged. 





I had no idea what I was looking at, but I figured I should give at least one of them a try. Since I had no clue what they tasted like or how to cook them, I picked the one that I thought had the prettiest name: Dillisk.

Then of course I googled the stuff to make sure I wasn’t going to poison anyone. It turns out that dillisk is also called dulse, which rang a faint bell. Wikipedia says “it is a well-known snack food" (sold at seaside stalls by periwinkle sellers). Uh, not at my house. But it’s been harvested and eaten for at least 1,400 years. 

And it’s good for you! It has plenty of minerals and vitamins. You can pick it by hand along the shore when the tide is out and eat it straight from the rocks, or dry it and eat it that way, or grind it into flakes or powder. Pan-fry it, bake it, microwave it, and add it to soups, chowders, sandwiches, salads or breads.

Enough information? Okay, I’m going to make . . . Irish Dulse Soda Scones.


Dulse Scones

Ingredients:

1/2 ounce dried dulse
1 pound plain white flour (3 cups)
1 tsp bread soda (I just happened to 
   bring some back from Ireland)
1 tsp salt
12 fluid ounces buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Grease a baking sheet.

Soak the dulse in water for a few minutes. Drain it and then slice into fine strips.



Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the dulse and mix.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in most of the buttermilk and mix (your hand works well for this!).

After a bit the dough will come together (add the rest of the buttermilk if needed).



Turn out the dough on a floured surface and form a round, about 1” thick (this will be about 8 to 9 inches across). Brush the top with the beaten egg, then cut into roughly triangular scones (you should have about a dozen). Or if you must, cut out rounds.



Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Serve warm with butter.



What do they taste like? That’s hard to define. There’s a bit of saltiness, and something vegetal going on, but the don’t really taste like anything else. But their flavor is not too strong. You will note there’s no sugar in this recipe, but adding jam would be fine.


Oh, right--Many a Twist comes out next month. This one was fun to write, because everyone in the story has secrets, plus there's a body (and he had secrets too, before he died). And a lot of questions will be answered!

Find it for preorder at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

www.sheilaconnolly.com

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dried Cherry and Candied Ginger Scones @LucyBurdette #Christmasweek






LUCY BURDETTE:  These scones would be absolutely lovely for Christmas breakfast or brunch, or really any holiday affair. They started (as my recipes sometimes do) with the craving to use a couple of ingredients I had on hand: beautiful dried Michigan cherries sent by my wonderful Uncle Don, and candied ginger bits from King Arthur flour. I didn't find a recipe that combined the two of them, but I did find a lovely cherry scone recipe that originated in the Blacksmith Inn in Wisconsin, and ended up on the Food Network

Lucy at the Christmas Parade, Key West
After some tweaks, I present it to you! (In the photos, you might notice that I pulsed the cherries into the mix ahead of the butter, which made the pieces quite small. They tasted fine, but we agreed we might like bigger pieces better. You can adjust as you see fit.)









Ingredients

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 egg

2/3 cups whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup candied ginger

Egg wash, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water, beaten

Sugar and sliced almonds, for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Pulse in the ginger pieces, followed by chunks of butter, and mix until no larger than pea-sized. Now add the cherries and pulse them until they are well distributed. Whisk together the cream, the egg, and the extracts and add this to the dry ingredients. Pulse until combined. 

Turn all of this out onto a floured surface and knead several times. 

Pat into a circle and cut into 8 pieces. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds. Place onto a baking sheet covered with parchment. 

Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes until beginning to brown. Serve hot with butter!

Are you still looking for stocking stuffers? DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, the fifth Key West mystery might fit the bill.

And I've got lots of other ideas on my Pinterest board, Mystery Books as Stocking Stuffers.








Monday, September 26, 2016

Pumpkin Scones with Sugar Drizzle #bookclub @KristaDavis



You're reading this in your jammies and fuzzy slippers, right? Or maybe in those oh-so-comfy sweats with a hole in them. (Shh, we won't tell!) But that doesn't matter because you love to read and books don't care how you're dressed. If anything, books like your comfy clothes. (I'm pretty sure about that.) Sometimes you would love to discuss a mystery you just read, but you'd have to drive to a book club, and winter is coming, and it will be dark early, and well, you'd rather stay home and read anyway.

Great news! There's a book club you can join in your jammies and fuzzy slippers! Wahoo!

The Cozy Mystery Book Club

Nicole from this fabulous Facebook group very kindly answered some questions.

Tell us a little bit about your group.

This is a group for cozy mystery readers. We will choose one book a month to read and then discuss it together over a good cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate!!


Who can join?

Anyone can join! It's a plus if you're a cozy mystery lover or author. The only thing we ask is no promotions or links to other books unless they directly relate to the current books we are discussing.

How does it work?

After the book for the month is chosen and the members begin their reading, a GROUP EVENT is set up for a specific date and time to chat. The members then go to the Event page at the designated time and chat! Sometimes the authors of the books that we are discussing will lead the chat and sometimes myself or other members will pose questions or ideas to talk about.

Are there prizes?

Sometimes the author of the book we are discussing will choose to give out prizes. Not every book club discussion will feature prizes but it's something fun that might occur every so often.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?


The only other thing I would add is that if you love Cozy Mysteries then please check out our club. The monthly book selection is chosen by the members who vote in a poll. Our book for September is A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley. Our event will be held on September 28th at 8:30PM EST so there's still time to join in!


Krista again. Guess what? They selected The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer as their October cozy! I have to confess, I feared that book would bomb. Why? Because that was the year my Christmas book was released in June and my Halloween book was released in December. That's right. The worst possible timing. So I'm doubly honored that it was the pick for October. Thank you, Cozy Mystery Book Club members!

And because it's #bookclub week, I'm giving away a copy so one of you can join in the fun at The Cozy Mystery Book Club! To enter, see the instructions below.

Of course, everyone needs something yummy to eat, even if it's just you alone at home in those sweats with the hole. This recipe appeared in The Diva Serves High Tea, and it's one of my fall favorites. Now don't freak out when you see all the photos. I'm just taking you through the recipe step by step. They're really not hard to make.

Thanks to the pumpkin, these scones will not be as dry as most scones. Serve them plain with Bourbon Cream, or top with one or both of the following sugar drizzles. I love these drizzles!


Pumpkin Scones

2 cups flour plus extra for kneading
¼ cup pecans
1⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 egg
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 400. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the cutting blade into a food processor and add the flour, pecans, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Process until the pecans are chopped.

Cut the butter into tablespoons, and then into 24 small cubes. Add to the flour and pulse until combined and the butter is barely visible anymore.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and pumpkin.

Turn out the flour mixture on top of it and mix gently with a large serving spoon until large clumps begin to take shape.

Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and flour your hands. Turn the dough onto the cutting board and knead 10– 12 times, adding just a sprinkle of flour if necessary.

Pat the dough into a 9‑inch cake pan.

Turn it out onto the parchment paper and cut the round into 8 equal pieces with a very sharp knife. It’s best to press the knife into the dough instead of dragging it through the dough. Slide a knife or thin spatula under each slice and pull away from the center slightly to separate them.

(At this point they can be frozen up to one month and baked when needed.)

Bake 12–15 minutes (or longer if frozen).


Sugar Drizzle (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream

Whisk to combine, adding milk gradually until it’s smooth and just past spreading consistency. Spread over the tops of the cooled scones.
 
Spiced Sugar Drizzle (optional)

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of cloves
¼ teaspoon vanilla
3–4 teaspoons milk or cream

Whisk the dry ingredients to combine. Slowly add the vanilla and part of the milk, and mix, adding milk until it reaches drizzle consistency. Use mini-whisk, fork, or squeeze bottle to drizzle over the scones.

Bourbon Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon

Whip the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the bourbon and beat until it holds a soft peak.


The wet ingredients.

Whisk.

The dry ingredients and butter in a food processor.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet.

Stir until it clumps together.

Knead very briefly.

Pat into a cake pan.
A nice circle! Turn out onto parchment paper.

Cut and separate.

Bake!

Without drizzles.

Sugar drizzle all over and spiced drizzle on top!


To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with your email address.
(It's okay to write it out - me at them dot com)
 Good luck!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones



Last week, I confessed that I'm a new convert to scones. In my excitement, I took it one step further—savory scones!

In The Diva Serves High Tea, a gentleman takes tea every day at the local tea room because "he's particular fond of the bacon cheddar scones." I have to admit, I'm particular fond of them myself.

They can be served at tea as a savory before the sweets. I have also served them at brunch. So far, everyone has liked them. They're a nice switch from bread. You can serve them plain or with Maple Bourbon Butter if you want to kick things up a notch.

I especially love that they can be frozen and baked fresh when you need them. The pieces are large, so don't be afraid to cut them in half if you have a crowd. I've been pulling them out as needed and baking just a couple when we have a yen for them.

By the way, in the photo above, the dark scones are pumpkin. That recipe will be coming in the fall. The lighter ones on the left are bacon cheddar.



Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones

2 cups flour + extra for kneading

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon mustard

1 cup (about 5 slices) crumbled cooked bacon


Preheat the oven to 400. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the pastry blade into a food processor and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse twice. Cut the butter into cubes. Add to the flour, along with the cheese, and pulse until combined and the butter is barely visible anymore.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and mustard. Turn out the flour mixture on top of it and mix gently with a large serving spoon two or three times. Add the bacon and mix until large clumps begin to take shape.

Sprinkle flour on a cutting board and dust your hands with flour. Turn the dough onto the cutting board and knead 8-10 times, adding just a sprinkle of flour if necessary.

Pat the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Turn it out onto the parchment paper and cut the round into 8 equal pieces with a very sharp knife. It’s best to press the knife into the dough instead of dragging it through the dough. Slide a knife or thin spatula under each slice and pull away from the center slightly to separate them. (They can be frozen at this point if you don't need them all.) Bake 20-22 minutes.


 Maple Bourbon Butter

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon bourbon (plain, not flavored)

Bring the butter to room temperature so it is soft. Place the butter, maple syrup, and bourbons in a mini food processor and combine. Place in a mold or shape by hand and refrigerate. (Note: this can also be done in a bowl with a fork, but I find I get better results with a food processor.)

Whisk together egg, cream, and mustard.
Dust work surface with flour to knead.
Don't over-knead!
Pressing it into a cake pan makes it easy to shape!
At this point, you can freeze any you don't need immediately.




It's almost here! I have one copy to give away today. 
Leave a comment with your email address to enter! 
Contest closes Tuesday at midnight. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!


In memory of all those who have given their lives for our freedom,
we honor you and thank you today.


I have a confession to make. Until I wrote The Diva Serves High Tea, I was not a fan of scones. I hang my head in shame. It seemed like everyone else loved them, but every time I tried one it was like taking a bite of the Sahara. They were so dry, I could barely pry my mouth open.

But if I was going to write about tea, I had to tackle the scone. And to my surprise, they're delicious. My best guess is that I was eating mass production scones that were made to serve a crowd.

So I studied scone recipes. They're fairly basic, after all, and not difficult to make if you use a food processor. Recipes for pumpkin scones and bacon cheddar scones are in the book. Since we're getting close to the release date, I thought I would try some blueberry and strawberry scones. It's hazy and overcast here, and we're waiting for more drenching rains, so scones seemed just right with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

To be honest, this recipe worried me a little bit. I've seen it on the net and in my cookbooks, so I'm guessing it's nothing terribly new. I put my own little twist on it by combining berries, but you could use any berries you like. So why did it worry me? Because it's so dry, which I suppose is the reason some recipes include an egg. Even after the berries and the cream are incorporated, it's extremely dry and doesn't cling together as well as I would have liked. But I forged ahead.

One of the tricks I learned from America's Test Kitchen is to pat the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Don't mash it, but pat it in. When you flip it onto parchment paper, you have a lovely round to cut. So I took the too-crumbly-for-my-taste dough and patted it into the pan, hoping that might help it stick together. It probably helped a bit, but it still looked messy.

However, the payoff is scones that fairly melt in your mouth. Seriously. They're wonderful straight from the oven. I had planned to make a little lemon drizzle for them, but they just don't need it.

Blueberry and Strawberry Scones

1 cup mixed blueberries and strawberries
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons COLD butter
squeeze of lemon
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Wash the berries and dry on a paper towel. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and measure out 1 cup of berries.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse 12 times to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the flour. Pulse to combine 12 times. Squeeze just a little lemon over the berries. Place the flour mixture into a bowl. Pour the cream and the berries over top of it. Fold to combine about 15 times. Pour out and knead about 12 times until it forms a loose ball. Place in a 9-inch cake pan and gently spread and press into place. Flip onto the parchment paper.

Cut in half with a long knife by pressing down. (Do not use a sawing motion.) Separate the halves slightly. Cut each half into four pieces, again pressing the knife into the dough to cut it. Separate the pieces slightly. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden on the top.

Serve with sweetened cream, jam, or clotted cream.

Dry berries on a towel.

One cup of mixed berries.

Sprinkle butter on flour mixture.

Pres into a cake pan.

Cut by pressing with a knife. Do not saw!

Separate and bake.

Yum!


Have you heard about my launch day tea party? You're invited! 
June 7th from 4:00 - 6:30 EDT.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1800068960212872/

One lucky person will win this grand prize!