Cranberry Orange Scones with Ground Flax

cran-orange scone with flax

I saw a giant bag of ground flax at Costco and decided it would be great for adding fiber, protein and omega-3s to my family’s diet. Of course, it’s a 3 POUND bag of ground flax. Um, yes, that’s a whole lotta flax!  So how am I going to use it?

Last night as I was getting ready to make scones I decided to add some to my recipe. They turned out great! There is no noticeable difference in the flavor or texture. And I like the fact that the scones have a little more nutritional value.

Yield: 16 scones

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes per batch, 30 total

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

2 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

8 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes

2/3 cup dried cranberries

zest of one orange

1 cup milk

2 eggs

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Get out two baking sheets and a pastry mat (or flour a smooth work surface).
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, flax, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add cranberries and orange zest.
  5. Lightly beat eggs, add to milk and then pour into the dry mix.
  6. Mix until dough comes together, turn out onto floured pastry mat and knead a few times.
  7. Divide dough in half. Working one half at a time, pat out into a disc 3/4″ thick. Cut into 8 wedges (like a pizza). Place 8 scones on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
  8. Move to cooling rack, store in a sealed container when cooled.

Quick Rise Cinnamon Roll Recipe

These cinnamon rolls are awesome. No, I mean really awesome! My mom found this recipe and made it for us when we visited. I’ve made it twice since then for guests. It has now replaced our old standard cinnamon roll recipe.  This recipe allows you to make real yeast bread cinnamon rolls in about an hour. Amazing!

The recipe comes from Better Homes & Gardens, called Crowd Pleaser Cinnamon Rolls.

Ingredients

For Rolls

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package fast-rising active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For Cream Cheese Icing

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. In small saucepan, combine milk, water, the 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and salt. Heat; stir over medium heat till just warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F).
  2. Add milk mixture and egg yolks to dry mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl often. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that’s smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  4. Roll out dough to form a 14×12-inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter or margarine. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from long side. Seal seam. Slice into 12 pieces. Place in greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place till nearly doubled (20 minutes). {I only let mine rise for about 10 minutes, and they turn out great}
  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly; remove from pan.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter or margarine, vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in milk. Gradually add powdered sugar until icing is spreading consistency.
  8. Frost warm rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Serve rolls warm or cool on a wire rack. Makes 12-14 rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Scones

apple cinnamon scones

Apple Cinnamon Scones just sound like autumn, right? I decided to give the can’t miss combination of apples and cinnamon a try in scone form. It worked beautifully and was a hit with my family. I encourage you to give it a try. It will make the house smell great and give you that “autumn is in the air” feeling!

This recipe uses fresh chopped apple. The scones will be moist. Store any leftover scones in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 TBSP baking powder

3 TBSP sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6 TBSP chilled butter

1/2 cup whole milk or half & half

1 egg

1 small sweet apple such as Gala or Fuji

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 TBSP milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until pieces are the size of peas or smaller.
  3. In a separate small bowl whisk together whole milk (or half & half) and egg.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk-egg mixture.
  5. Using a fork, blend the wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Cut apple into small dice, leaving skin on is fine. Mix into dough.
  7. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead a few times.
  8. Pat into a 10″ circle and cut into 8 wedges.
  9. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Transfer to cooling rack.
  11. Mix powdered sugar and 1 TBSP milk to form glaze. Mix with whisk. Add additional milk, 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Glaze should be thick. Drizzle over cooled scones and allow to dry.

Tart Cherry Scones

Tart Cherry Scones

I whipped up a double batch of these this morning. So warm and flaky – just right for a rainy morning.

Here’s what you need for a single batch, which makes 8 large scones:

2 cups flour

4 TBSP sugar

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP baking powder

6 TBSP cold butter

2/3 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup half & half

1 egg

 

These are very easy to make, you just need a pastry blender to mix in the butter.  This is what you do:

  1. In a medium bowl mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cut in butter
  3. Stir in dried cherries
  4. Measure the half & half. Break one egg into the measuring cup with half & half, beat until well mixed.
  5. Pour into the dry mix and stir with a fork until combined.
  6. Turn out onto a floured board. Knead a few times until dough stays together.
  7. Pat out into a circle 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut into quarters, then cut each of those in half to make eight triangles total.
  9. Place on unbaked cookie sheet and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

I like to buy the big bags of dried fruit at Costco. Our store usually has dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries. You could substitute any kind of dried fruit you prefer for the cherries. Happy baking everybody!

Olallieberry (Blackberry) Muffins

Olallieberry (Blackberry) Muffins

I woke up way too early this morning.  No, I mean really early – 4 am and could not go back to sleep. Finally, at 5:30 I decided to head downstairs to the kitchen for some quiet time while everyone else was still asleep…and make muffins!  I wanted to make something easy and fast so muffins were a good choice.  I have two bags of beautiful olallieberries in the freezer from our trip to the berry farm this summer.

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup washed raw sugar

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup fresh or frozen olallieberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Batter will be lumpy!
  5. Fold in olallieberries.
  6. Fill greased muffin tin. Makes enough for 10 muffins.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned on top.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to wire cooling rack.
  9. Serve warm!

Tips & Tricks: White granulated sugar can be substituted for washed raw sugar.  If your berries are very tart you may wish to add two TBSP of sugar to the berries before adding them to the batter. Personally, I like them tart!

 

homemade quick pizza dough recipe

Pizza Dough

homemade pizza doughI have a wonderful recipe for dough cooked on the BBQ grill.  It’s delicious and always a hit, but the dough takes a few hours to prepare with all of the rise time needed.  I was thrilled to find a pizza dough recipe that doesn’t require any rise time.  I was able to go from start to finished pizza in less than an hour.

This recipe is derived from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. I had to alter it to fit my 18″ pizza pan and adjust bake times and seasoning to taste.

2¼ 3¼ c. all-purpose flour

1 envelope of rapid dry yeast

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup warm water (120° to 130°)

2 TBSP olive oil

You will need an electric mixer. I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle beater to mix the dough and the dough hook to knead.  You could also do the kneading by hand. Pre-heat oven to 425°

  1. In your mixer bowl, start with 1¼ cups of the flour. Mix in yeast and salt.
  2. Warm one cup of water in the microwave, use a digital thermometer to test the temperature.
  3. Add water and oil to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix on low speed until combined, then on high for 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  6. Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook. Knead for 6-8 minutes.
  7. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Grease pizza pan
  9. Roll out the dough into a 20-22″ circle.
  10. Place on pan and roll under the edge to build up the edge.
  11. Prick the crust with a fork to prevent large bubbles from forming (from experience!)
  12. Bake for 12 minutes; until the dough is starting to set; may be slightly browned.
  13. Remove from oven and add sauces and toppings.
  14. Place back in oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is browned and completely melted in the center.
Topping Ideas (not to be used all at once!)
Pesto, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, bacon bits, tomatoes, green onion, red onion, artichoke hearts, black olives, sliced mushrooms.
The nice thing about making your own pizza at home is that you can customize it for your family.  I did mine with half red sauce, half pesto; and 1/4 cheese only, the rest with other combinations for the adults.

 

Basic Scones & Variations

 

Blueberry - Lemon Scone

I love scones.  Really, I think I could have a scone with my coffee for breakfast nearly every day.  There are several fun mixes available, and my favorite pre-packaged mix is Sticky Fingers English Scone Mix and comes in a variety of fun flavors.  You just add water and bake, pretty simple.

But I have to tell you that making scones from scratch is very easy and much cheaper than buying a mix.  The basic recipe goes like this:

  1. In a large bowl, measure out 2 cups of flour
  2. Add 3 TBSP of sugar
  3. Add 1/4 tsp of salt.
  4. Add 1 TBSP of baking powder. Stir.
  5. Cut in 6 TBSP of butter.
  6. Measure 1/4 cup half and half (can substitute cream or whole milk)
  7. Beat one egg and mix with the milk
  8. Pour milk/egg into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork
  9. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead a few times.
  10. Pat out into an 8-10 inch disc and cut into triangles
  11. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400° oven.
You can jazz it up a lot by adding the following mix-ins.  Fruits and nuts should be mixed with the dry ingredients after cutting in the butter.  Extracts should be mixed with the milk & egg before adding it to the dry.
Next time try one of these combinations:
  • Dried Cranberry (1/3 cup)
  • Orange zest (1-2 TBSP)
  • Dried blueberries (1/3 cup)
  • Lemon Zest (1 TBSP)
  • Lemon Extract
  • Dried Tart Cherries (1/3 cup)
  • Sliced almonds (1/4 cup)
  • Almond Extract (1 TBSP)
  • Fresh blueberries or raspberries (1/2 cup)
  • Vanilla extract (1 TBSP)
  • Chopped dried apricots (1/4 cup)
  • Chopped pitted dates (1/4 cup)
  • Bacon bits (1/4 cup)
  • Maple Syrup (1 TBSP)
Use your imagination and own tastes to come up with your unique flavor.  For more exotic flavors, consider things like fresh peaches, figs, macadamia nuts, currants or chocolate chips.