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!

Chocolate Banana Muffins

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As you all probably know, Fridays are my baking days. Baking days are easy when you have a kitchen stocked with butter, sugar, flour, baking pans, etc…but when you’re missing some of the ingredients, your baking options DROP. That’s what happened to me. We only had two sticks of butter, so that meant no cupcakes+frosting. It made room for cookies….but we ran out of granulated sugar. We were low on bread flour, so that meant no pretzels or rolls and whatnot. And yes, the market is literally a 5-10 minute walk, but I really wasn’t in the mood to go out. And when that happens…I scrounge.

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I’m so glad I stumbled across this recipe. The only oils needed were 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, which we had. BUT THE BEST PART IS THIS: the only sweeteners are honey and bananas (and a couple of chocolate chips, but you can just omit those if you really wanted to). Just mash up those overripe bananas sitting on your counter that you know no one will eat and will eventually end up in the trash can and throw them right into the batter along with some honey–those are your sweeteners. No powdered sugar, granulated sugar, brown sugar, nada. No added sugars, and you still get a super moist and delicious muffin. I guess you can say this is probably the healthiest thing I’ve made so far! :)

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Chocolate Banana Muffins
Makes 12 cupcakes
From Tutti Dolci

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
6 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
(I used regular chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg, honey, oil, vanilla, banana, and buttermilk (you can use substitute buttermilk with milk and vinegar. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup, then add enough milk to bring it to one cup. Mix, then let stand, and use however much the recipe calls for). Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

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Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter; sprinkle some chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins (I used 4 semi sweet chips per muffin top).

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Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then enjoy! The muffins will keep in an airtight container for up to two days, or store in the fridge. I like them better when they’re cold :)

Before:

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After!!

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I spent the longest time in the beginning of this post figuring out how to word stinginess and how it’s often just correlated with money. And it’s true–I am stingy with my money. Particularly with baking, sometimes I don’t like going out to buy another ingredient just because I don’t like spending money. But I think stinginess doesn’t just only apply to money, but also to time, efforts, patience, love, discipline, and ultimately pursuit for Christ likeness and growth in Christ. I always have some excuse ready as to why I don’t do these things…I am such a sinner. And it’s crazy to think about why God would send his son Jesus to die for someone like me. To save my sins? When I lack prayer, quiet time with God, joy, love, and patience? When I don’t trust in the Almighty Creator and fail to recognize His sovereignty? That’s nuts. God loves me, and His unconditional love is all I need. So this “stinginess” factor that I have, it’s gotta go. It’s selfish and definitely not God-honoring. It’s a struggle, but with God by my side, I think I’ll be okay. :)

Until next time (and hopefully soon because midterms are OVER! Err…at least next next week…),

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