Lemon & Cranberry Scones

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Good heavens, I have not baked in months, and I am back already!

My Mom’s had a rough go for the last while, but is on the mend!  The woman never asks for anything, ever! When she requested some Lemon & Cranberry Scones I got in the kitchen real fast!  Her kitchen, I might add, so the lighting is horrible!

This is another repeat, you can see the original version here, but it’s been years and it could use an update.

My ‘go to’ scone recipe is from Ina Garten. Check out her original recipe. She makes some amazing desserts.  I’ve yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve tried of her’s.  I’m guessing it’s the insane amount of butter she uses.  Mmmmm!

I halved the recipe, and made the other half plain…coming soon

Lemon & Cranberry Scones

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest*
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice*

*I am a lemon freak, so I added a lot more lemon then recipe called for

Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest.

 

 

2. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.

 

3. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture.

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Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!

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4. Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

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5. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface

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6. Knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and press the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Cut the dough into desired shapes or use a cookie cutter

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7. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash

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8. Sprinkle with sugar

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9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

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10. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

Glaze

Combine icing sugar and lemon juice and whisk until smooth

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These scones are always a huge hit!  Mom was thrilled.  The house had an amazing aroma of lemon and a few smiling faces.  Everyone said they were delicious!

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If you are looking for a scone recipe, this is a must try!  It is very versatile and works with many different flavour profiles.

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Turtle Cheesecake

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I baked! It was fantastic!!

It has been forever and a day since I have baked anything, other than the cakes I post, and the holiday cheesecakes which I will also post, soon!

I will give a brief explanation. For the last 14 months I have been off sugar…(quickly ducking and arms are up in fear of what will be virtually thrown at me, as well as avoiding those darting eyes). I know, I know…how can someone who bakes and eats as much sugar as I did, stop eating sugar? I’m not here to preach, recruit or pass judgment. It’s what is right for me right now. So, I have not been baking, just to bake. Let me tell you, I miss baking immensely!!

Anyway, back to why I am here. I was asked to make a Turtle Cheesecake. My Aunt’s Dad turned 80 and he LOVES my cheesecakes. Whenever he comes to holiday dinners, I get a big hug with the quick ‘Merry Christmas’ or happy Thanksgiving’ followed with a very serious…’what’s for dessert, what kind of cheesecake did you make??’ I admit, I don’t do a whole lot well, but dammit, I make an amazing cheesecake!! I have posted about Turtle Cheesecake years ago (check them out here and here), but I has been a while and well, it miss doing this!

**there are pictures missing for some of the steps, it’s been a while…I forgot to take a few.  I think I was just so excited to bake, I got a little to wrapped up in it! Bare with me while I ease back into this**

Turtle Cheesecake

Crust

1 1/4 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar

1. Melt butter and add cookie crumbs and sugar. Combine well

2. Press mixture into the bottom of your cheesecake/spring form pan.  I like mine to come up the sides a bit.

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3. Bake at 350ºF for about 8 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool

Caramel Layer

I cheated a little here.  Normally I would make my own caramel sauce.  Unfortunately, things were a bit hectic and I was short on time.

Melt caramels with some heavy whipping cream over a double boiler (I did not count, I did not measure – told you I was out of practice!) Set aside to cool slightly

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Cheesecake Filling

*this recipe is what I started with, but I don’t share my additions/Changes.  A girl can’t give away all her secrets*

3 sticks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)

Additions for this flavour

8oz semi sweet chocolate
6oz white chocolate
caramel – homemade or other
extra cream
pecans

 

Before starting the batter, melt your chocolate slowly over a double boiler.  Allow it to cool while preparing the rest.  Warm chocolate and cold batter does not mix well. I learned this the hard way.  (White chocolate not pictured)

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1. Preheat oven to 350º F  and Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth.

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3.  Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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4. Add heavy cream, vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Do not over mix!

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5. Divide your batter between the 2 melted and cooled chocolates.  Put a little less in the white chocolate.

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It will take a bit of stirring, and you will think it is never going to combine.  Be patient, good things take time.  Look at that, it is a thing of beauty!  It will be the same with blending the white chocolate…again, no pictures

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Assembly time

6. Pour the cooled caramel over your prepared cookie crust

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7. Layer as many pecans as you like – It’s about now that I started drowning in my own saliva

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Side note – I cook all my cheesecakes in a water bath.  This is totally optional.  I believe it makes for a better cheesecake, it bakes more evenly and much less risk of cracking.  The only important thing to remember is to wrap your pan!  Soggy cheesecake is not great.  I wrap my pan with heavy-duty/wide foil (Dollar Store stuff is just fine).  Make sure to bring it up the sides and have a bit of a lip.  Don’t wrap it over the pan, it will condensate and drip in.  This way it drips back into the water.  Again, learned this the hard way.

8. Layer your batter, I started with white chocolate to contrast the cookie crust

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Epic fail on the layering!! Not sure what happened…

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So… Chocolate swirl it is!!

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9. Place your foil lined pan in a larger roasting pan and add boiling water about half way up the side of your pan

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10. Bake on the lowest rack for approx 1 hour 20 minutes (this time will vary depending on what kind of cheesecake you are making).  I honestly do not bake according to time, it fails me ever time.  I need to see and feel it.

Deciding when it is done can be tricky. You don’t want an over or under baked cheesecake. (My worst fear is that when someone buys a cheesecake, when they cut into it there will be a soupy inside, leaking all over their table!)  You are looking for the cake to be still jiggle when you shake the pan, like Jello.  At this point close the door, turn off the oven and leave it for an hour.  It will continue to cook as it slowly cools.  After at least an hour, remove from oven and water bath and let it cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge, to chill over night

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The next day I decorated it up a bit.  Topping it with more pecan, caramel and chocolate.

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I was not at the party, so I did not get to see how the inside turned out, but there were rave reviews!

When they brought it out to him, he looked up and gasped ‘Erica’s?’ haha!  It’s that kind of thing I miss about baking!  Baked goods bring people together and make so many people happy!

Anyways, it was all gone and apparently was delicious!

Wrapping this up… That was a very rambley , unorganized post!  I will do better next time.  Hopefully there will not be years between the next one!!

Fishing Cake

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When I was asked to make this cake, I panicked a little. Cake, I can do.  Character/figures, not so much. If you have been around a while you may remember the Rocky Horror Elsa from the Frozen cake, I attempted.  After that, I have avoided them at all cost!

In true Erica fashion, I procrastinated until the very last-minute, thinking if I just keep putting it off, maybe they will cancel!  Nope!

I hounded a friend of mine, who also does cakes, and is amazing at figures for some tips. She was a great help!!

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He is by  no means awesome, but  much less scary looking!  I didn’t hate it.

I have not been posting many cakes, but they are continuously being added to the cake page.  I liked this one, so it got a post.

60th Anniversary Cupcakes

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I had the honor of making yet another 60th Wedding Anniversary cake within a month! Such an amazing accomplishment.

I can only take credit for the baking.  They made this beautiful display, it’s just gorgeous!

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Fireworks Cake

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A birthday cake for someone who really likes fireworks.  A carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I didn’t like how this one turned out.  But I hear it was tasty!

Wedding Shower Cupcakes

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I really like decorating with the chocolate.  It just add so much more to a simple cupcake.  It also personalizes it.  I was given a list of words to use.  Fall colours, for a fall wedding.

Congrats!