Quick + Easy Scones

Hi blog readers! It’s been a while AGAIN. Our sincerest apologies.

So. Scones. I don’t know about you but I am an afternoon tea aficionado. I have been at Claridges, the Empress Hotel in Victoria, the Drake in Chicago and the Garden Court here in San Francisco. I absolutely adore afternoon tea. It makes me feel like I am Lady Mary, about to go meet my dashing race car-driving husband or follow the hunt in some utterly fabulous clothes. Simply put, I feel like a queen.

The most important part of afternoon (other than the tea) is the scones. Taken with lemon curd and clotted cream, they are divine. I recently hosted (along with Michal) a petite afternoon tea with some friends. Because clotted cream is incredibly annoying to make, I made whipped cream instead. Michal made some incredible lemon curd, and I made these. The group made quite a refined trio.

I will be posting more from the tea party soon, but let’s start with these scones.

Zuni Cafe Scones 

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ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 stick of butter (VERY VERY COLD)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup whole milk

directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue cutting until you achieve tiny pea size butter chunks.
  4. Whisk together egg yolk and milk, and add to the bowl.
  5. Stir to combine, then knead with your hands until the dough comes together.
  6. Roll dough out with a rolling pin, and cut into triangles.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes on the pan.
  8. Enjoy! These are best warm and make a great breakfast if you have leftovers 🙂

 

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Fail-safe chocolate chip cookies

Hello blogosphere! Today I bring you one of the most popular recipes ever. A google search brings up about 26,600,000 results. It is a quintessential American recipe and is considered the ultimate comfort food. I’m talking about the chocolate chip cookie.

Ruth Graves Wakefield published the first chocolate chip cookie recipe in 1936. She owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, MA, and allegedly discovered chocolate chip cookies by accident, when she added chocolate chips to a drop cookie recipe, intending to make chocolate cookies.

Chocolate chip cookies have been a staple in the Thordal house for as long as I can remember, almost as long as we have received the New York Times. So it makes sense that our cookie recipe would originate from the newspaper. However, we have deviated from that recipe a bit (the cookies in the images below use mini chocolate chips and whole wheat flour).

We always use the thick-and-gooey version of this three part recipe, however here is the thin-and-crisp version as well as the flat-and-chewy variety.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups bittersweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Cookies (inspired by NY Times)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with a Silpat or parchment powder. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate. Chill the dough for several hours (preferably overnight.)
  3. Roll tablespoons of dough into rough spheres (for thick cookies, make as tall as possible). Bake for 8-10 minutes, switching the sheets halfway. Let sit for 5 minutes on cookie sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.
  4. Enjoy warm with a glass of milk!

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Not Your Average Apple Cider Holes

Hi there fellow bakers! Today we have, dun dun dun, apple cider donut holes! Growing up in Massachusetts, apple picking is an autumn festivity. Lots of people spend their Sunday afternoons going to fall fairs, pumpkin patches, and of course picking apples! After spending all this time reaching for the top apple on the tree, what should I do with all of my delicous findings, I thought to myself. There are soooo many different apple recipes. From apple pies, to strudels, to applesauce, there are lots of possibilities!

Last year, while apple and pumpkin picking, my friend and I went to the concession stand and got apple cider donuts. When we tasted the moist, soft treats, we loved them, but thought about how much better they would be if we made them at home! The next week, the same friend and I made those scrumptious donuts, but in bite-sized form and instantly, a tradition was formed! Now every year we make these, and each year they get better and better!

Make these muffins for a delicious, easy, perfectly flavored snack! They pair perfectly with a tall glass of apple cider, or simply on their own! Hope you enjoy:)

This recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes, and makes about 72 mini muffins.

Ingredients:

Donuts:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ granulated sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, simmer the apple cider until it is reduced to ½-¾ cup. This will take about 20 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in your largest bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, melted butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and ½ of the apple cider reduction.
  4. With a rubber spatula, lightly indent the dry mixture into the sides. Pour the wet mixture into the center, and combine. Gently mix together until just combined, and very few lumps remain. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  5. Pour the batter* into the muffin pans until ¾ full. Bake the muffins for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Combine the sugar and cinnamon to make cinnamon-sugar. Lightly brush the butter onto the muffins and dip them into the cinnamon-sugar. Serve that day, or cover tightly for up to three days! Yum!

*Spray the spoon with non-stick cooking spray before pouring the butter. It will keep the batter from sticking to the spoon!