You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? --Ratatouille (Pixar, 2007)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Breakfast at Andy's--Chocolate Chip Scones

Which means....
Every morning I can wake up and NOT have to rush out of the house before the sun is even out. Thus, from a cooking standpoint, I can have a good breakfast every morning! With time to experiment in the kitchen before starting my days, I can have slightly more interesting things than Multigrain Cheerios.
So, to begin my summer of more interesting breakfasts, I made a family favorite. Grandma Johnson's Scones isn't a recipe from our grandmother, or a family recipe that's been passed down, it's simply our family's go to recipe for a good breakfast treat. 
The thing that makes these scones special is their secret ingredient...sour cream! Though it may sound strange, sour cream is actually the perfect thing to go in a scone. The classic dish that ends up always becoming too dry, sour cream keeps even the driest of scones moist.

Beyond the secret ingredient--most of the recipe is predictable. The recipe is as follows: 

1 Cup Sour Cream
1 TSP Baking Soda
4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 TSPS Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Cream of Tartar
1 TSP Salt
1 Cup Butter
1 Egg
CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Unless you're a sissy)

HEAT OVEN TO 350, Line two/three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Thankfully, since it's the morning, the recipe isn't too hard. Combine the dry ingredients (EXCEPT THE BAKING SODA) in a big mixing bowl, cut in the butter, then mix in the egg and sour cream and baking soda thoroughly. Mix in the chocolate chips last.

Once you have the scone dough finished, turn it out onto the counter and lightly flour it, and knead it just until it comes together. Roll it or knead it out into a round (similar to a big pizza round but thicker) and cut the dough into as many wedges as you can. Make them with the assumption that they're rise, but don't cut them TOO small. 

Bake the scones 12-15 minutes or until they're golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Hopefully they look like this!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mother's Day--A Pleasant Poundcake Recipe

It's been awhile. Sorry that I've been away for so long to all of my 10 fans who told me they miss my blog posts and wish that I had new recipes for them, but guess what--I'm back!

 I tried a new recipe a little while back for Mother's Day, a holiday annually filled with barbecues and cookouts. My family of course, who would never break from tradition (the way I like it), had a barbecue like the rest of the world. The recipe I tried was for a vanilla poundcake. I mostly wanted to try it out because I had cream cheese in the fridge and needed something to go with my favorite cream cheese icing, but this cake also served another purpose, one I secretly didn't realize i need it to serve. This cake is suppperr rugged. It's not too's nothing fancy..but it tastes pretty good!

 If I have any regrets with this recipe, it's that I insisted on making it in two 9" rounds. This wasn't the best idea, because the cake dried out slightly. Ideally, this should be made in a loaf pan or at largest, a bundt.

 Ingredients are as follows:
 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
 3 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted 2 and 3/4 cake flour to keep it lighter)
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (or 1 cup milk with a tablespoon white vinegar if you forgot  buttermilk at the store, like me :()
 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (You can definitely up this a little, to get a vanilla flavor I used about a tablespoon)
 Preheat the oven to 350. Grease up two 9" rounds (although as I said, this made it a little too dry so if you'd rather, use 1-2 loaf pans. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes depending on your mixer). With the mixer on, beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the creamed sugar/butter batter, trying to begin and end with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, and bake for 26-38 minutes (check it occasionally, you never know). If you use loaf pans instead, it'll be more like 45 to an hour.
When the cakes are done, let them cool for 25 minutes.
Proceed to FROSTING! If you're a longtime Teenwithtaste fan, you'll know that this recipe is the same as the one I use for my Red Velvet Cake's cream cheese frosting. Sucks to have one good recipe, doesn't it? ;)
However, there's one twist. Going into this Mother's day, my sous chef (my sister), and I knew that my mother has a strange taste for jelly. So, we frantically tried to figure out how to put a layer of raspberry jam in the middle of our vanilla cake! Turns out, the internet (which knows everything) gave us two helpful hints:
1: Whip the jelly with a whisk in a bowl first. It thickens it slightly, to keep it from flowing all over.
2: Create an icing ring around the edge of your lower layer. Then, when you pour the jelly in the middle layer, it wont flow out the sides of your cake.
ALRIGHT: Continue with your frosting of cream cheese once your done the middle layer extravaganza. Ice it like you would any normal cake, and get your helpful older sister to decorate it like a madwoman. Cream Cheese Frosting:
 1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Then, add the sugar, mixing for anywhere from 3-6 minutes on high, scraping the bowl down occasionally, in order to make it smooth. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
Slight credits to Ina Garten for trying to make a good poundcake recipe, but not really doing it right. ...and the jelly/icing is all me. :)