Cinnamon & Spice Oat Scones

These scones are probably one of the simplest and healthiest bakes I know. Really, they just change a bowl of oatmeal into a delicious portable snack. They aren’t that sweet, but I love them perfectly how they are and continue to make them frequently. I’ve noticed my kids will eat them, but not devour them, which is probably a good sign, really, that they are healthful and filling.

They also don’t have any wheat, if that’s a help to you, and they last for a couple of days, making a good on-the-go breakfast. They are from Genevieve Ko’s Better Baking, one of my favorite baking books on the shelf (and I won’t disclose how many that is!). She has a different title for them (she calls them oat soda bread scones), but I think my name better describes them and reflects the way I’ve spiced them.

oatmeal scones ko

Cinnamon & Spice Oat Scones

  • 2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • one packet English breakfast tea leaves (original) or Bengal Spice herbal tea bag (my favorite!)
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. sugar (turbinado is good for sprinkling on top, if you have it)
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I own a scone pan, which I used for the image above. I got it from King Arthur Flour, if you’re looking).
  2. Process the oats and tea leaves in a food processor until finely ground; it’s okay if there are still some small bits of oats. Add the raisins and pulse until chopped. Add the baking soda, salt , and sugar and pulse to combine. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the dough comes together, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  3. Using a 3-T (2 in.) cookie scoop or a 1/4 c. measure, drop the dough by scant 1/4-cupfuls onto the prepared pan, spacing them 1.5 inches apart. Flatten the tops slightly with your palm, then slash a cross in the top of each with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake until the scones are cooked through and the bottoms are light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Slide the parchment paper with the scones onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Buttery Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Smitten Kitchen is a wonderful blog, and although I’ve spent a little time exploring it, I’ve spent much more time looking at Deb Perelman’s cookbook of the same name, which has such terrific ideas and spins on tastes and flavors. Very inspirational. And of course, I’m right on board with her when it comes to baking. This is one of my favorite bakes from this cookbook. I made it last weekend for my sister’s baby blessing, and am happy to share the recipe here for those who were wanting it! Such a simple cake, but just delicious, and perfect for brunches or breakfast or dessert. Interestingly, this is not the same recipe that is on her blog! 

Buttery Blueberry Crumb Cake

Streusel
6 tablespoons (40 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold is fine
Pinch of salt

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries, clean and dry
1/3 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8-inch square baking pan (with at least 2″ sides) and dust it lightly with flour, or line it with a round of parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until combined, and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Add eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and the zest and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by all of the sour cream; repeat with another 1/3 of the flour, mix, and then combine the blueberries with the remaining flour mixture and fold this blueberry-flour mixture gently into the batter.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is relatively flat. Prepare the streusel by mixing the flour, cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then mash in the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the cake with the prepared streusel. Bake in heated oven for 40(ish) minutes (mine has taken 50 minutes, but the original recipe suggested 35), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. You can let the cake cool completely in the pan on a rack, or just cool it in the pan for 20 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper lining, and flipping it back onto a plate. Enjoy!

 

Watermelon Sparklers

Watermelon Sprinklers2
There’s of course so many riffs on the American flag when it comes to cakes, cookies, pies, and jello, but I felt like our 4th of July celebration needed something not so sweet. This was my favorite pinterest idea. So pretty, so festive, and one more good thing to eat. Happy Fourth! Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pies and ice cream cake to eat as well.

Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake

Chocolate Coconut BreadI had this recipe clipped, and I finally tried it two weeks ago. Though not nearly the hit that its companion of the afternoon was (French Lemon Yogurt Cake–I’ll be posting that recipe soon!), I love that it uses coconut oil and has quite a nice, tender crumb, and that the texture even becomes silky the next day. Definitely keeps well, and freezes well, too. You’ll also note by my photo that I didn’t take the time to put in parchment, and it was fine. (I’m also posting it by request. Hope you enjoy it, Mom!). Taken from Bon Appetit, March 2014.  

Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, plus more
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour [I used whole wheat]
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. virgin coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I cut this down to just 1 c.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8×4″ loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil, 1/4 c. butter, and 1 1/2 c. sugar until pale and fluffy, 5–7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume, 5–8 minutes. Add vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (do not overmix; it will cause cake to buckle and split). Scrape batter into prepared pan and run a spatula through the center, creating a canal. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake cake, tenting with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done (it should be very dark and toasted), until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan 20 minutes before turning out.

Rosemary Raisin Crackers

Rosemary Raisin CrackersI’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s Rosemary Raisin Crisps, but Trader Joe’s isn’t very close to my home, so I’m committed to figuring this recipe out myself. This is my first attempt, and it’s good, although not an exact likeness (not quite as dry and has wheat germ–tastes a little more like a graham cracker, and also wasn’t sliced in squares). The flavor is so similar, though, that I have to write this down, so I remember it, even if I continue tweaking it! 

Rosemary Raisin Crackers

 

  • 1 1/4 c. whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 c. toasted wheat germ
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. raisins, minced
  • 1 T. fresh (or 1 t. dried) rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. nonfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, wheat germ, sugar, sunflower seeds, raisins, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (you may also just do this with a whisk, by hand). Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal (or use your fingers and do the same). With machine running, gradually add buttermilk; process until dough comes together and is moist (if doing by hand, switch to a wooden spoon and mix until the dough just comes together, adding a little extra buttermilk, if needed).

Transfer to a lightly floured surface or to a sheet of parchment paper precut to the size of a baking sheet. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. Roll until 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.

Cut dough into diamonds or rectangles using a pastry knife (or butter knife). Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Pierce each cracker liberally with a fork. Bake until hard, about 16 minutes. Transfer crackers to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight plastic container, at room temperature, up to 1 week.

Not-as-Sweet Pumpkin Bread

 

Pumpkin Bread less sugarLast time I made pumpkin bread, my mouth was ringing for a bit afterwards. It just had way too much sugar in it. So, since I’m trying to cut sugar in non-conspicuous ways (I’m not against it, but I just don’t think we need to use quite so much of it!), I changed this recipe a bit, hoping it would still be sweet enough that my kids would eat the whole loaf without question. Totally worked. They didn’t suspect a thing, the loaves were beautiful and delicious, and for me, better, because without so much sugar, the cinnamon and the pumpkin tastes were heightened. I wanted to make sure to write this variation down, before I forgot it. 

Not-as-Sweet Pumpkin Bread

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (the original calls for only all-purpose, which works great, of course, too)
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 c. white sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two loaf pans (Pam works fine here).

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and soda. In another bowl (or in a standing mixer), beat eggs and sugars for one minute, then add the oil, combine, and then the pumpkin. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until combined, then add nuts and chocolate chips, if using.

Spoon the batter evenly into the two pans, and then bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a rack, and let the loaf cool for another 20 minutes or so before slicing.

Yields 2 loaves.

Healthy & Happy Pancakes

I was pleasantly surprised at the amazing reception these pancakes have had at my house. Usually my kids can sniff out “healthy” food before they try it, and the idea of something being good for them is so completely revolting, that they then won’t eat a bite. Luckily, these pancakes have a very normal appearance, and my kids reported that they LOVED them. I was so glad. We have had them four times in the last two weeks! I’ve intentionally doubled the recipe, and then refrigerated the leftover batter, because they are just as delicious cooked up the next day. This recipe comes from The Frog Commissary Cookbook

Healthy & Happy Pancakes

1/2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut (you can pulse this as well, for a finer texture)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. old fashioned oats (I’ve blended these for a few seconds and left them whole–depends what type of texture you want!)
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. corn oil
2 c. milk
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. sunflower seeds or chopped pecans (optional–my kids didn’t love these, so I left them out)

Whisk together the coconut, wheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg, vanilla, and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, and cook on a hot griddle (375 degrees) until browned on both sides.

Serving suggestions: Honey butter (terrific! We love just the honey butter with these), sauteed peaches or apples, or maple syrup.

Pineapple Upside-down Pancakes

These pancakes are quite excellent. Published in March 2012 Bon Appetit (from a restaurant in New York called Moderne Barn), I knew they were something we would love, but I wasn’t expecting the divine smell that lingered in our home the entire day. It was almost better than the pancakes themselves. So, a must try, but with cooking the pineapple, these pancakes took upwards of 30-45 minutes to complete–not really a fast breakfast, but great for a special one. The last time I made them, my husband was out of town, so I can’t wait to make them again 🙂

Moderne Barn’s Pineapple Upside-down Pancakes

1 T. unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 large pineapple, peeled, cut into eight 1/2″ rounds, cored
3/4 c. dark rum (I don’t have rum on hand, so I used a little rum extract with about 1/2 c. water, but apple juice may be better)
1/4 c. (packed) dark brown sugar

1 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Melt butter with cinnamon stick in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple slices; cook until light golden brown, 4–5 minutes per side. Remove skillet from heat; add rum and brown sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until juices are thick and syrupy. Transfer pineapple to a plate; let cool. Reserve syrup.

Preheat oven to 325°. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients; whisk until smooth.

Heat a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with nonstick spray. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto griddle. Cook each pan- cake until golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Top each pancake with a pineapple ring. Flip; cook until pancake is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place pancakes on prepared rack and bake in oven until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Rewarm reserved pineapple syrup. Divide pancakes among plates; drizzle with pineapple syrup.

 

Suzan’s Aebelskivers

This recipe is another morning staple at our home.  A few years ago, Aunt Suzan gave us an aebelskiver pan with her Danish grandfather’s recipe. her family makes

These are stuffed with banana, but you can't tell! You can tell where I've pricked them with the skewer when I flipped them, though.

this recipe at Christmas, but after my kids tasted them the first time, they decided we should have them regularly. My Lucy prefers the aebelskivers (which is a spherical Danish pancake) stuffed with a few chocolate chips, and Henry and I like them best with a slice of banana in the middle. I’ve tried placing jam and jelly in the middle, which is great, but a little messier. I know these pans are available online and Williams-Sonoma has them (usually, I think). There’s also many variations–you can be creative–but another one I’ve loved included placing a sage leaf in the pan first (so it was baked onto the surface of the pancake), and then stuffing them with goat cheese. Beautiful.

Aunt Suzan’s Grandpa Ruel’s Aebelskivers

3 eggs
3 c. buttermilk
6 T. melted butter (for taste) or oil (for convenience–and a little crisper, I believe)
3 c. level flour (or 2 c. all-purpose +1 c. whole wheat)
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda (I usually cut this down by 1/4 t.)
1 t. baking powder (and I cut this one down by 1/4 t. too)
1 t. vanilla

Preheat the aebelskiver pan on medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, powder, and soda well with a whisk. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the wet ones, whisking until just combined. (Grandpa Ruel separated the egg whites, beat them until frothy, and folded them in after mixing the wet and the dry ingredients together. I always omit this step, because of the morning rush, but it’s worth it for the lightness in texture, if you have time!)

Spray the aebelskiver pan with a cooking spray or wipe with oil. When the pan is hot, place about 2 T. batter into each hole. When the pancake has started to firm up on the sides, insert a filling, if desired (chocolate chips, banana slice, jam). Push the filling into the center of the pancake with a skewer tip. Once the pancake releases air bubbles to the surface, about 2 minutes, flip the pancake using the tip of a skewer or a knitting needle or chopstick, so it can cook on the other side for another 2 minutes. Decrease the pan heat, if necessary, to prevent scorching. Continue to bake the rest of the batter. Serve with powdered sugar, syrup, jam, or Nutella, etc.

Makes about 40 aebelskivers.

I didn't fill the whole pan because this was the end of the batter. You can get a good sense for what the pan is--a cast-iron skillet with spherical grooves for the pancake.

Cornmeal Waffles

I’ve been using a waffle recipe from Cook’s Country for the last few months, but last week, I pulled out this one from Martha’s Living Cookbook, and the family loved it. In fact, even my pretty-undiscerning-8-year-old thought they were the best he’d ever had. And I thought they were great, too. They are crisp and light, a little buttery, but not too much. I didn’t make the apricot-cherry compote, but I did heat some frozen peaches and blackberries, which were terrific, too. I also didn’t do creme fraiche; instead, I whipped some cream and added maple syrup to sweeten it. Anyway, here’s a great new waffle to try. This recipe made about 8 waffles in my waffle maker.

Cornmeal Waffles

  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Apricot-Cherry Compote
  1. Whisk together creme fraiche and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to overnight).
  2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Add oil and butter; whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat a waffle iron (preferably Belgian-style). Ladle 1/2 cup batter into each mold. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown. Place waffles in a 200-degree oven to keep warm while you make the rest. Serve topped with compote and sweetened creme fraiche.