Baking Through the Alphabet: H is for Honey Cranberry Orange Scones

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I’m sick.

Headache, runny/stuff nose, slight cough, burning eyes (a little), fever, and slight nausea.

But after sucking it up at work for 7 hours and finally caving in at 3 to use my sick hours and to just go home, and after some meds and a good nap, I’m feeling much better! I think. Hopefully I’m well enough to go in to work tomorrow. (Edit: I didn’t make it to work. POO.)

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But seriously. Sick hours = :) :) :).

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I’ve been really slow with the alphabet recently because I’ve been baking other things outside of this alphabet project. I’ve made…thin mint cupcakes (which will probably be for T), chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes, baked parmesan eggs, Andes mint chocolate cookies, and other baked goodies just for friends and the apartment. Cream cheese was on sale at Albertsons for a buck again, so I’ll try to find things to make with those. I bought 10 blocks HAHA.

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I made these scones about 3 weeks ago. I knew I wanted to do something with honey for T, but I was having a reaaallly hard time finding something. I wanted to make some baked good that hasn’t been a part of this whole alphabet thing yet. I settled on this honey cinnamon scone recipe until Sam gave me the idea to make honey cranberry scones.

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I really wish the honey flavor stood out more though, but I love the citrusy combination with the fluffy scones and tart cranberries. I used this honey that Sam got from a farmer’s market, but take my advice, use honey instead of sugar. I made it once replacing the honey with 3 tablespoons of sugar, but they just came out so much drier. Also, the flour called for in the original recipe wasn’t enough; my dough was sooo sticky. Just keep adding flour until it’s manageable; I gave an estimate in the recipe below. Don’t add too much because the scones will turn out dry. Oh, I also used milk instead of cream to save some fat and calories. The scones still came out delicious! So yummy that I made them again three times after that. =)

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Honey Cranberry Orange Scones
From Inspired Taste
Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or 2 1/2 depending on how wet the dough is)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup cold milk, plus 1 tablespoon for tops of scones
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange zest (I used the zest from one orange)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw…I used
half of those packets you can get a coffee shops)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. I used my silicon baking mat and it got stained.

2. For the dough, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few small crumbles of butter the size of peas. Alternatively you can do this by hand in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips. I just find that a food processor makes it so much easier.

3. In another bowl, combine the milk, honey, and orange zest and stir until the honey is completely incorporated into the cream.

4. Pour the flour/butter mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries. Pour in the honey-milk mixture and mix until a dough forms. If it’s too wet, add a little flour just until it’s easy to work with, but not too much or else the scones will come out dry.

5. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3 to 5 times. Form it into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 triangles.

6. Place the scones onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with the milk and lightly sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.

7. Bake scones in the preheated over for 12 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Scones are best eaten fresh, but they can keep at room temperature for a few days. Perfect for breakfast. Enjoy!

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Perfect with some coffee (sorry, I lied in the picture because I really don’t drink my coffee that black…), a journal, and the word of God. :)

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Happy Thursday!

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

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Baking Through the Alphabet: A is for Apple Pie Pull Apart Bread

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I had an epiphany a few months ago…but I never went through with it. Cheryl and I actually bought ingredients for it, but we never did it.

The epiphany came back a few days ago.

I’M GOING TO BAKE THROUGH THE ALPHABET.

Yaknow, desserts that start with A, then B, then C, and so on. What’s going to happen when I get to Q or X? We’ll see. Maybe I’ll cop out and make a Chinese dessert/baked good. It’ll be a surprise for me, too.

So, first things first: A. A IS FOR APPLE PIE PULL APART BREAD.

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Think…apple pie meets cinnamon roll. It’s SO GOOD. I found this recipe while scrolling through foodgawker (during class, probably), and I thought it was such an interesting combination! My only issue with the apple pie pull apart bread recipes that I found was that they used Pilsbury refrigerated biscuit rolls as the bread, and in my book…that’s a no-no. It’s no fun when you don’t get to play with dough and make it from scratch! Maybe I’ll change my mind when I get married and have kids, haha!

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But I decided to use the bread recipe from Joy the Baker’s cinnamon sugar pull apart bread. I made some adjustments for the filling, crossed my fingers, and hoped that it would come out okay. And it did! The bread and filling was gooey and cinnamon-y, and the baked apple slices between the bread slices tasted just like an apple pie.

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Oh, and the GLAZE that went on top of it was yum-o! I had considered not making the glaze, but my roommate convinced me otherwise, and she was right! Not only did the bread look much better, but it also brought all the flavors together. Delicious fall flavors–all in one loaf! =)

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Apple Pie Pull Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze
Makes one loaf
Adapted from Joy the Baker and The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used a Fuji apple)

For the Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and set aside.

In a medium bowl, melt together the milk and butter in the microwave (you could also do this in a small saucepan on the stove). When the butter has just melted, add the water and vanilla extract. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs, and stir until the eggs are incorporated into the dough. The dough will be extremely sticky; try not to add too much flour or else the dough will come out too dry.

Place the dough into a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. Alternatively, you can also let the dough rise until doubled in size, then refrigerate overnight to use in the morning. I did this and it came out just fine =)

While the dough is rising, make the filling. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. Coat the apple slices in the cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture and set aside. Keep the leftover sugar mixture and set that aside too.  Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

When the dough has risen, deflate it and knead it with a little flour. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12×20-inch rectangle. Spread the melted butter across the dough. Take the leftover cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg mixture and sprinkle it over the dough.

Slice the dough vertically into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another, and then slice the stack into six equal slices again. You should end up with six stacks of six squares. Place the dough squares into the lined loaf pan like a flip book. Take the sliced apple slices and stuff them between the squares. I stuffed 1-2 apple slices between each square. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and let it rise until doubled in size (I skipped this step because I was running late for class, but it came out fine!).

Place a rack in the cetner of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is very golden brown.

While the loaf is baking, make the vanilla glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. When the loaf is done, let it cool for 20 minutes, and then drizzle the glaze over the warm bread, and ENJOY!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Six-Banana Banana Bread

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I am super picky when it comes to bananas. I only eat bananas when they’re still slightly green. If there are brown spots, then nope. Sorry. For some reason, ripe bananas make me want to sneeze. And I hate the smell! My parents like buying bananas, but I think we go through phases. They either go out really quickly, or they just sit there and rot. So oftentimes we always have a whole bunch of bananas that are starting to brown that no one will eat, and I always feel so wasteful when they get so bad that we have to throw them out. I know the bananas are getting old when my mom starts asking when I’ll be making “banana cake.”

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Now don’t get me wrong, I love my banana crumb muffins recipe. It was the first post that got me onto foodgawker! But that recipe only uses three bananas. Then I stumbled across this recipe, which uses SIX (!!!!!!!) bananas in the banana bread. Amazing. This bread is so easy to make (you don’t need a mixer or anything! No creaming involved), and I think I’m still amazed at the fact that it uses so many bananas. That’s all the rotting bananas in my house! It’s super easy to put together, and the flavor is great. I like how it uses vanilla pudding mix in the batter; I think that’s what makes it so moist. Lots of banana flavor, super dense and soft, and it stays moist for days. It does take a little long to bake (mine took a little over an hour, I think), but it’s totally worth it. If the top starts to brown before the bread is done, just put a piece of foil over the top and it’ll be A-OK. This is my new go-to banana bread recipe; hope y’all enjoy =).

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Six-Banana Banana Bread
Makes one loaf
From Averie Cooks

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek Yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s Honey Greek Yogurt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 medium/large very ripe bananas, mashed (2 1/2 cups)
one 3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix (make sure it’s not cook ‘n serve)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare the loaf pan by spraying with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan. Depending on the size of your loaf pan, you may need a muffin pan or mini loaf for leftover batter.

2. Whisk together the melted and cooled slightly butter, eggs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, greek yogurt (or sour cream), and vanilla.

3. Add the mashed bananas; stir to incorporate. Add the pudding mix (don’t actually make the pudding, just add it like a dry ingredient), flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold with a spatula, being careful to not over mix.

4. Bake the loaf for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs). If your bread is browning before it’s done, tent it with a piece of foil. Like the creator of this recipe, Averie, says, “watch your bread, not the clock.” I like that phrase!

5. Let the bread cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to one week, but hopefully they’ll be gone before then =)! Enjoy!!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins with a Lemon Glaze

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Happy Tuesday!

There’s only a little over a month of summer break left. I think I’ve done my share of baking this past summer already, but I still have a long to-do list before school starts again. I have about 9 macaron orders on hold and two birthday cakes to do in September. I’m tired…but I still like it. I will admit that I get really lazy at times (hence the 9 backed-up orders) and get tired of making the same thing, but at the same time knowing that someone wants my baked goodies makes everything so much better. I’m getting there!

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Summer’s not over yet, so I won’t make a post on that just yet. But what is almost over is blueberry season. It’s sad because blueberries are my favorite berries! I’m trying to take advantage of blueberry season, so I keep buying blueberries…then as I result I have to keep finding new recipes to use up these pints and pints of blueberries. I’m not complaining, though =).

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After gawking (hehe) through foodgawker, I found these doughnut blueberry muffins with a lemon glaze. I’ve made regular doughnut muffins, and I was pretty pleased with the results. Doughnut muffins are kind of like cake doughnuts in muffin form and not fried. It’s definitely less greasy. I loved these muffins (even though I did sort of overbake them a little bit). I loved the flavors and the combination of the lemon zest and blueberries, and the glaze was perfect with the rest of the muffin. I think I’ll probably try using lemon juice instead of water for the glaze, just because I love the extra tartness =). Yummy, and totally perfect for this summer season!

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Blueberry Doughnut Muffins with a Lemon Glaze
Makes 12 muffins (I had enough for an extra mini loaf)
From My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup powdered sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon warm water

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.

2. For the muffins: In a bowl, mix together the lemon zest and sugars (granulated and brown). Use your fingertips or a fork to incorporate the zest and sugars together. (It smells great huh!!)

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and lemon sugar (from step two) until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Make sure everything is throughly combined, being careful to not over mix. Fold in the blueberries.

5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling the cups until they are 3/4 full. Bake them for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown , or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Meanwhile, for the glaze: mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and water. Whisk until smooth.

7. When the muffins are slightly, dip the top of the muffin into the glaze, and set on a wire rack (make sure you put something under the rack because it will drip!) and allow the glaze to harden. If you have extra, double dip and glaze your muffins twice!

8. Serve warm, or let them cool completely on a rack. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

Bacon Egg Cups

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Hello all!! Sorry for being MIA! These past few weeks have just been crazy–two big baking jobs, one missions trip, and a lot of things to be thankful for.

1) My first birthday cake! I should elaborate that it wasn’t just any ordinary birthday cake. It was a birthday cake for J’s second cousins, but here’s the catch: it had to feed 50 guests, and it had to be milk, nut, and egg free because of the boys’ allergies. It was a challenge, but I did it! I’m thankful for the challenge because I was able to go out of my comfort zone and I was able to learn a lot about cake making and decorating.

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I ended up making a two tiered cake covered with marshmallow fondant. The bottom tier was a rainbow cake with vanilla “buttercream,” and the top layer was a chocolate and Oreo cake with Oreo frosting in between. The theme was puppy pool party, so I used this picture of another cake from Pinterest that the mom sent me as a guide. I don’t have any other pictures of the cake, but once the mom sends me them (she’s a photographer!), I’ll be sure to make a post on it. I’m pretty proud of my work; I’m glad it turned out okay =) . I hope they liked it!!

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PowerPlant 2013 AKA P2 Missions in Phoenix, Arizona. It was definitely a blessing to be able to serve Crosspointe Church in Tartesso, Arizona by hosting a basketball camp for the kids in the community. I worked with the preschoolers and kindergarteners, so we had our own curriculum–we did games, crafts, and bible stories. I think it was a little difficult to get their attention, but it was still a joy to see them eager to learn about the Gospel (maybe because the evangecube was so interesting, I don’t know). We spent the last two out of four days of the camp sharing the Gospel with them, and it was encouraging to hear them tell me about what they learned by the end of the week. I’m only going to post one picture:

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This is Phoenix, Arizona. We climbed up to this place called South Mountain that overlooked the city, and it was pretty cool to see the city and the sunset. God’s creation is simply amazing. What’s sad is that so many people in Phoenix don’t know Christ–there are so many people there, but so few are saved. It’s pretty breathtaking. I’ll end this on one note: P2 Missions may be done, but the mission itself is never ending.

3) My first wedding dessert order! Jess and Aaron got married this past Friday, and it was a joy to see such an amazing couple become united in marriage. I thought it was cool how they asked their friends to take on big roles in the wedding; they asked me and two other friends to make “black and white” themed desserts, and I decided to make Oreo cheesecake bars. After 12+ hours, 611 Oreos, 9.75 cups of sour cream, 78 eggs, 5 sticks of butter, 26 cups of sugar, and 21 lbs of cream cheese, and lots and lots of help, patience, and encouragement, I succeeded! 460 Oreo cheesecake bars, at your service. There were a lot of leftovers, but I’m glad that people enjoyed them. I’m even happier for Jess and Aaron! Thanks for the opportunity! Congratulations you love birds =)!!!

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That’s my short update. It’s been a crazy past few weeks, but I’m glad to be back at work, back in the apartment, and back in the blogging world (not that I was really gone, hehe. ALTHOUGH the WordPress dashboard did change! I like it!).

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BACON. EGG. CUPS. Easy peasy, and sooo good. I’ll be honest; I was never really a fan of bacon…until I came across these. I made these for J’s birthday last year, and I’ve been making it ever since. Cook some bacon, line it in a cupcake tin, crack an egg, add seasonings, and bake away. 30 minutes, tops! Hope you all try them! The recipe comes from a YouTube video.

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Bacon Egg Cups
Serving Size: Depends
Adapted From Recipe Cards on YouTube

Ingredients:

Bacon
Eggs
Seasonings of your choice

1. On medium heat, fry bacon on a skillet until lightly browned on each side but still pliable. Make sure it doesn’t get crispy because it will continue to cook in the oven and it needs to be able to bend. Drain on paper towels and let cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line the muffin tins with bacon slices. To make it easier, line the tin with the meat side on the bottom and the fat on top. Cover the bottom of the muffin cup by placing a chunk of the bacon.

3. Crack an egg into each cup. Sprinkle with herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake until set, about 15-20 minutes. Loosen from cups and remove. Enjoy!!!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!