Gingerbread Scones

 
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Good Morning Y’all! Happy Monday!

It’s always crazy to me how quickly December comes every year. I basically beg for the year to hurry up so that December 1st will be here so I can start my chocolate advent calendar (yes, I’m a child), display all of our Nutcrackers, watch FAR too many YouTuber’s Vlogmas (not-so-secret obsession), and basically just radiate Christmas for 25 days. And now it’s already December 4th.

WHAT?!

Yeah, it’s a shock to me, too. That means there’s 3 weeks until Christmas…4 weeks until the New Year…insert every panic sound, face, reaction that you can.

Enough of the fear, and let’s get back to this wonderful holiday season that’s upon us!!

With that, I decided to change-up my little gingerbread obsession! Fun fact: every year growing up, my brothers and I would build gingerbread houses. My mom would make everything from scratch, build them all herself—sometimes I would help—and, while the houses would sometimes have a crooked roof or a falling-in wall, they were always amazing, delicious, the perfect vehicle for gummy bears. My brothers and I, and in later years our nieces and nephews joined in, would cover our houses with chocolates, cereal, candy canes, every sugary candy, sprinkles, you name it! Yeah, I’d eat about ½ of the decorations, but totally worth it!

Now, with those great memories coming up again, I am just craving everything gingerbread and spiced. And, because I’m not my mom with her patience and skill, I’ve decided to throw my need for molasses into an amazing breakfast pastry—scones!

More recently, I’ve realized that scones are probably one of my favorite pastries. At the bakery I work at, we make some of the most delicious—ginger apricot, everything, bacon cheddar—ugh I love them all. They’re slightly sweet, has some dryness, very dense and filling, oh man just give it all to me!! These Gingerbread Scones are no different! It’s basically a gingerbread cookie, minus the adorable man-shape and icing all over, with a bit more moisture and it’s acceptable to eat for breakfast! These scones are filled with lots of spices, some warm brown sugar, and a nice turbinado sugar crunch on top!

I’ve been enjoying them daily with a cup of coffee, and you can’t get any better than that! I mean, maybe put on your holiday tunes, light up that tree, wear your warm cozy onesie and you’ve got yourself a wild start to your day or night! 

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ingredients

Butter—4 oz, or ½ C

AP Flour—14 oz, or 2 ½ C

Brown Sugar—2.25 oz, or ¼ C

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Ground Ginger—1 tsp

Ground Clovers—½ tsp

Baking Powder—1 TBL

Salt—1 tsp

Eggs—2

Molasses—5.5 oz, or 1/3 C + 2 TBL

Milk—2.75 oz, or 1/3 C

Turbinado/Coarse Sugar—to sprinkle

 

process

Cut the butter into small cubes and put into freezer to keep cold.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, spices and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, molasses and milk.

Work the cold butter into the dry with either your hands or a pastry cutter. Rub the butter into the dry until the butter is about pea-sized, and this entire mixture is homogenous.

Add in the wet, mix until just combined.

Now, you can either shape the scone dough into a large circle and cut into pie-like slices, or, like shown, use a small scoop for your scones.

*Note: These scones do grow in size a bit, so when putting them onto the sheet pan, make sure to give enough space between them!*

After you cut/shape your scones, put them all on your sheet pan, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and put into the freezer to firm up before you bake them! You can do this while you preheat the oven!

Preheat your oven to 425˚ F.

Bake your scones for ~15 minutes, until the bottoms have browned slightly.

Allow to cool (if you can resist!) before enjoying!

 

Bon Appétit!

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Apple Bacon Bread Pudding

Happy Holiday Season, my friends!

We have made it past Thanksgiving, so I can officially be as annoying as possible with my over-the-top Christmas spirit! Yay! Woo! Candy Canes! Gingerbread!

As I write up this blog post, I may or may not be snuggled up on the couch with Mr. Raleigh, wearing a shirt covered in gingerbread men, listening to some Christmas tunes while drinking coffee with a candy cane swirling around in my big mug…

If you don’t recall from last holiday season, this time of year just speaks to me—it’s truly the time when everyone’s love just comes out, no questions asked, and that makes me even more warm and fuzzy than usual! And if you’re at my house for Christmas, it’s going to be gingerbread house making, Bad Santa watching, spiked eggnog and Cognac drinking, and I-spy Christmas ornament playing. Things get pretty wild up there.

ANYWAYS! Let me stop rambling about the upcoming excitement in Maine, but instead about this even bigger thrill of the recipe below! Bacon. Apples. Spices. Bread. Crumb Topping.

I think I should have had you at bacon, but had to add in the crumb topping incase you’re nuts and your mouth doesn’t water at the thought of bacon.

Alright, so I have a small confession…the idea of bread pudding hasn’t always appealed to me. I see it on a brunch menu, a dessert menu, I’m kind of like well…pancakes, waffles, chocolate cake…they’re all higher up to me. But then after the past few weeks at work of making savory bread pudding almost everyday, I decided to put aside all of my past feelings and give it another shot. See, at work, we use day old savory pastries—croissants, gougeres, ham puffs—and that’s when I realized it can’t be that bad if there’s flaky, buttery pastry in it.

What bread is in my sweet variation? Cinnamon bread and challah, thank you very much. Luckily, homemade OR store bought is just fine, and day old is even better. And then I just added almost every favorite ingredient of mine: bacon for some savory-salty action, apples for a tart crunch, cinnamon and nutmeg—I mean, it’s Christmas, brown sugar for that wonderful sweetness, and a buttery, big crumb topping for even more little flavor bursts.

After making my own bread pudding and seeing how fun it is to experiment with flavor combinations, there’s absolutely no reason why this incredible custard shouldn’t move up in your ranking, too! One of the best parts? You can make this and let it sit overnight in the fridge, and then bake it fresh in the morning—hello simple brunch!

Oh, and I heard Christmas is on a Sunday this year, the day of brunching…so here is one less thing you need to plan!

crumb ingredients

Brown Sugar—1 oz, or 2 TBL

Flour—0.75 oz, or 2 TBL

Cinnamon—¼ tsp

Nutmeg—pinch

Butter, cold+cubed—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

 

process

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

Either using a fork, a pastry cutter, or, my favorite, your hands (!!), work the butter into the dry ingredients.

You want to have large and small crumbs of the topping, this will give you little buttery, spicy pockets once the bread pudding is baked!

When you are ready to bake your bread pudding, sprinkle this all over the top before putting into the oven.

 

ingredients

Bacon, cooked—8-10 pieces

Apple, diced—1

Bread—10 oz, or 4 C (packed!)

Milk—8 oz, or 1 C

Eggs—4

Vanilla—1 tsp

Brown Sugar—2.5 oz, or 1/3 C

Salt—¾ tsp

Cinnamon—2 tsp

 

process

In a large bowl, combine the bacon, diced apple, and bread.

*For bread, using day old is great, really soaks up the liquid. You may also use whatever type you’d like—but a sweet challah or cinnamon raison are the perfect flavor combinations!*

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Pour your liquid mixture over the bread and mix well.

Once thoroughly mixed, pour all into a baking dish—I used a pie dish, makes it look pretty!

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the refrigerator to soak for at least 2 hours to overnight!

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Sprinkle the crumb topping (recipe below) over the bread pudding.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until you can see that the custard has set and there are no more runny eggs.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

Tahini Apple Coffee Cake

Okay, so I have SO MANY NEWSES!

·      15 days until Thanksgiving

·      16 days until the Gilmore Girls reunion

·      6 ½ weeks until Christmas (woah…)

·      WE HAVE A NEW FAMILY MEMBER—Mr. Raleigh, the handsome little Chihuahua terrier, is the newest man in my life…and I’m obsessed beyond words with him! He loves walks, playing with his Cat In The Hat toy, peanut butter, puzzle pieces (learned that when I found one in his mouth…).

·      Oh, and hey, here’s a new recipe for you below!

It’s been quite a week if I must say. It all started with last Thursday when I went to the animal shelter to just look, and then I fell in love with Raleigh and adopted him right away! I may have just called Roberto and been like, hey dear...I got a dog...that okay? THANKS! I mean, little Raleigh was hugging my arm, yes hugging my arm. I didn’t know dogs could do that, but he did and I never want him to let go!

Yes. I am one of those dog obsessed people, and this is the first pup I’ve gotten outside of family dogs, so I’m even MORE excited! Prepare for Raleigh to be in every single post, all over Instagram, all over everything! I just can’t get enough of his little face and snuggles.

Okay, well, besides all of that excitement, I start a new job today—hello 4am baking shifts, woo! If ya’ll are ever in Atlanta, check out Little Tart Bakeshop, so jazzed to be a part of this incredible team! Hmm, I also am part of that annoying Puts Christmas Decorations Out on November 1st club. So yeah, what’s up Nutcrackers, Christmas lights, pine tree candles, Christmas Spotify…we’ve got it all here in this apartment! I totally appreciate Thanksgiving and all it has to offer, but I want to enjoy the entire holiday season for 2 months…so I basically throw up holiday music, decorations, food, you name it, until January 1st!

So, my friends, now let’s get to the slightly less exciting part of the post—this coffee cake! I only say less exciting because I want to continue to talk about Raleigh for another 500 pages, please.

This all started when I saw tahini at Trader Joe’s and decided to get over my fear and just buy it. My darling culinary school girlfriend, Alex, is obsessed with this. I mean, maybe it’s because she’s Armenian, or maybe it’s because it’s SO freaking good! I was a hater for years, and then after eating a spoonful of this, I yelled at myself for missing out on it for so long. Next I thought I would spice this up, literally. After receiving my copy of Molly On The Range—her blog, and cookbook, are must reads!—I was inspired beyond belief to make some hawaij and use it in something (the recipe for it below can be found in her cookbook!).

Note: hawaij is a beautiful combination of every good spice that you can imagine! Literally, think of holiday spices, and boom, you've got hawaij! The combination of nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger and cinnamon will make you believe in love.

So, that’s when tahini + hawaij = DING DING coffee cake!

There are also some apples throughout it to add another level of flavor and moistness. This cake is totally different from your typical coffee cake…but it pretty much is a perfect match with coffee (kinda like Raleigh and me!). But don’t worry, there is still that crazy buttery, sugary, yummy crumb that should be in and on every coffee cake ever—I could never leave that out!

Now, as we celebrate all of the exciting things to come in the next 7ish weeks, you have this new recipe to try out as well! It will pair amazingly with any Thanksgiving table, Gilmore Girls party, holiday gift shopping breakfast, brunch…oh I can go on and on! So stop being an idiot like I was so long, get a few jars of tahini, and get to baking!

crumb ingredients

Flour—2 oz, or 1/3 C

Brown Sugar—1.15 oz, or 2 TBL

Salt—1/8 tsp

Hawaij (see below)—1 tsp

Butter—3 oz, or 6 TBL

Oats—1.5 oz, or ½ C

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, hawaij, and oats.

A tablespoon at a time, add the butter.

Mix until the butter is about hazelnut size.

Set aside until ready to use for the cake.

 

hawaij ingredients

Nutmeg—½ tsp

Cardamom—2 TBL

Cloves—½ tsp

Ginger—2 TBL

Cinnamon—½ tsp

 

process

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container until ready to use.

 

cake ingredients

Butter (room temperature)—4 oz, or ½ C

Tahini—3 oz, or 1/3 C

Sugar—6 oz, or ¾ C

Eggs—2

Vanilla Extract—1 tsp

Yogurt—4 oz, or ½ C

Flour—8.25 oz, or 1 ½ C

Baking Soda—¼ tsp

Baking Powder—¾ tsp

Salt—½ tsp

Hawaij—½ tsp

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Apples (sliced)—2

 

process

Preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter, tahini and sugar.

Once light and fluffy (after about 5 minutes), add in the eggs and extract.

Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, hawaij and cinnamon.

Alternating with the yogurt—I use full-fat—add in the flour.

Once all of the ingredients have been added, spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Put about half of the batter in the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle with some of the crumb that was made before—about ¼ of it.

Lay half of the sliced apples on top of the crumb.

Use whatever your favorites are! I used a Granny Smith and a Gala, a nice contrast of tart and sweet.

Sprinkle about another ¼ of the crumb on top of the apples, followed by the remainder of the batter.

Layer the rest of the apples on top and sprinkle with the rest of the crumb.

Place in your preheated oven for 35 minutes.

After the 35 minutes, cover the pan with aluminum foil so that the top will not brown any more, and just the cake will bake.

Bake for another 25 minutes—test with a toothpick to check doneness.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, and enjoy with a lovely morning or afternoon cup of coffee!

 

Bon Appétit!

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Remember when I said that July was crazy? And I promised to never go that long without a recipe again? And then I went missing for two months…

So…hi…

I’m Katie! I love chocolate, dogs and running. I also could go on crunchy leaf walks all day, listen to Christmas music year round, and I thoroughly enjoy eating 4-5 spoonfuls of peanut butter each day.

Did I mention that I have been terrible in this relationship of ours? I promised to give you oodles and oodles of mouthwatering, button popping recipes in return for your love and devotion to my blog. And now we are here, and I am re-introducing myself because I am sure that you have forgotten who I even am!

I’m not going to bother you with long stories of why I was MIA, ohhh just got married, went on a honeymoon, and MOVED...but I am now BACK! And, while it may take some time to get back to my regularly scheduled posting, I promise to never let you down again.

How has your fall been? Full of pumpkins and candy corn and leaves and sweaters and apple picking and warm coffee and cold nights?! Please answer yes to all of those.

If the colors don’t make you obsess about this absolutely incredible season, then I sure hope the fireplaces do, or the fact that you can comfortably wear leggings and huge sweaters because 1. It’s not too cold out and 2. Sometimes a little extra room is needed for all of those Halloween candies that you just had to have.

This is also the time of year that I start to get way too excited for the holidays. I knowwww it’s still October, but sometimes humming a little Jingle Bells gets the best of me. Have no fear! That will all be kept to myself, and I will not start truly decorating and watching Elf on a daily basis until the day after Thanksgiving!

So, my sweet, loving, always-there-for-me friends, I have the perfect fall brunch (or really any day of the week) addition. I threw so many spices and so many apples into the middle of buttery cinnamon rolls, then topped it all with oats, and boom.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls.

Can we read that one more time?! Apple. Pie. Cinnamon. Rolls.

There is no such thing as too much butter, especially when it’s mixed with a crazy amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. The salivating has begun.

When you stuff these rolls with way more apples than it can handle, I mean HELLO! It’s just gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

A glaze is optional, but I have not added it to these simply because I want you to taste every single spice covered, butter soaked, apple bite in these!

While I may have been out of your life for a little while, I promise that the couple of pounds I’m giving back to you through these cinnamon rolls will make up for it!

 

dough ingredients

Milk (110˚-115˚F)—4 oz, or ½ C

Molasses—1.5 oz, or 2 TBL

Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Yeast—1 packet

Butter, soft—4 oz, or ½ C

Eggs—2

Milk—4 oz, or ½ C

Flour—18-20 oz, or 3 ½-4 C

Cinnamon—2 tsp

Nutmeg—1 tsp

 

process

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the milk (warm), molasses, sugar, and yeast.

Let sit about 10 minutes so that the yeast can begin to activate—you’ll notice the yeast bubbling and thickening.

While the activation process begins, combine the eggs and second milk in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine your flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Start with the 3 ½ C of flour, more may be added later.

After the 10 minutes, with the mixer on low and using the dough hook, stream in your eggs and milk.

Add in the softened butter, a tablespoon or so at a time.

Once all combined, slowly begin to add in your flour/spice mixture.

When all added, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and let the dough hook knead for about 10 minutes.

If you notice that the dough is still sticky about 5 minutes in, you may add more flour, about a tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to hold its shape better.

After mixing the dough for 10 minutes on medium-high speed, transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and allow to rise until it has doubled in size.

 

filling ingredients

Brown Sugar—6 oz, or 1 C

Butter—6 oz, or ¾ C

Cinnamon—2 TBL

Nutmeg—1 tsp

Apples—3 medium, diced

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and spices.

Cut up the apples to a small dice.

Reserve both the apples and the butter mixture until you’re ready to use them in the cinnamon rolls.

 

assembly

When your dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

Knead the dough just slightly with your hands and form it into a ball.

Using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 24”x10”.

Spread the brown sugar/butter mixture all over the rolled dough.

Sprinkle the apples evenly on top.

Starting at the bottom, roll up the dough into a large log.

Cut this into 12 (roughly) even pieces—I like to cut it in half, and then make 6 even slices from each half.

Place these rolls into a well-buttered baking dish.

Allow to rise again, until the cinnamon rolls are all squished together.

Now you have two options—you may either 1. Bake right away, or 2. Put in the refrigerator overnight for the following morning.

If you decide to reserve until the following morning, or at least a few hours, do not let rise a second time and immediately put in the fridge after you put the rolls in the buttered dish.

If you decide to bake them right away, preheat your oven to 375˚ F.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly, and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

Almond Chai Breakfast Pastry

Ever have those days when you’re just craving a Poptart-like breakfast pastry? And then you realize that as an almost-26 year old you really shouldn’t be ooing and ahhing over all of the varieties in that aisle, that maybe you should just be picking up your fruit and yogurt, and leaving the store as quickly as possible.

Yes. That happens to me almost every time that I am in the supermarket. I go up and down the aisle that has Oreos (obviously need to see if there are any new flavors!), and then peak at the Poptarts, thinking maybe it will be the day that I cave, the day when I buy Cinnamon Brown Sugar, S’more and Strawberry Poptarts.

It has yet to happen.

Then I made this wild discovery—I may be skilled enough to make my own Poptarts at home, I mean culinary school should have prepared me for this exact adult moment, am I right? And naturally I’m going to make something a little different, a combination that I am pretty sure I can’t find sitting in a box between the ever so delicious S’mores and Blueberry flavors.

Cue the nuts and spices.

First, making your own chai spice blend is ever so easy, read ingredients below, but I used some from Easy Indian that are so authentic and fragrant—highly recommend! Second, nuts are always optional, but unless you have allergies I really do not suggest omitting them. The added crunch and the toasted flavor really elevate the pastry as a whole, giving them just a few more taste points in my book.

Finally, the pie dough and assembly are what take the most time and have the most steps. Rolling, cutting, chilling, assembling, chilling, egg washing, chilling, baking. Can you tell that chilling the dough and the temperature is very important?! While they are not the most complicated, a bit of patience is required if you want to achieve the most flakey, most buttery, most yummy and most aesthetically pleasing pastry—which is why I have provided very detailed steps and photos, I suggest reading all of the steps before starting!

Literally perfect for ANY time of the day…which just means for me I need to run an extra mile or go to an extra spin class this week in order to feel slightly less bad about eating more of these Poptarts in a day than I probably have in my life!

dough ingredients

Flour—6.75 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Sugar—0.25 oz, or ½ TBL

Salt—½ tsp

Cinnamon—1 tsp

Butter, cold—4 oz, or 1 stick/8 TBL

Milk—2 oz, or ¼ C

Water, cold—1 oz, or ¼ C

 

process

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Cut up the butter into hazelnut sized cubes and add to the flour mixture.

Using your hands, a pastry cutter or a fork, rub the butter into the flour mixture until combined.

Slowly add in your cold milk and water, kneading with your hands or a spatula until you have formed a dough ball.

Wrap tightly in plastic and chill until you are ready to use.

 

filling ingredients

Brown Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Chai Spices*—0.25 oz, or 1 TBL

Chopped Almonds, toasted—1.5 oz, or ¼ C

Milk—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

 

Egg, beaten—1

 

process

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, spices and chopped almonds.

*I used Easy Indian Chai Spice, but to make your own—2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp each of allspice, cardamom, cloves, ginger, black pepper!*

Add in the milk and mix to combine.

Your mixture should resemble slightly wet sand; this just helps it stay together when you are filling your pastry!

 

turnover assembly

Take your dough out of the refrigerator and put on a lightly floured work surface.

Roll your dough out until it is about ¼“ thick.

*To make sure that you get a nice and even dough when rolling, rotate 45˚ after every pass of your rolling pin, making sure that there is enough flour underneath and it is not sticking.*

Once you have rolled out your dough, using either a fluted pastry wheel or regular pizza cutter, cut out rectangles that are 3” x 1½”.

This should make about 6 sets.

Once you have finished cutting out the rectangles, place them on a baking sheet covered with either parchment or a Silpat in the refrigerator to chill.

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

You should have 6 bottoms and 6 tops—egg wash the bottoms completely, this will help your filling stay in place better.

Take about 2 TBL of the filling and place it in the middle of your bottom rectangle.

Egg wash the edges of the top pastry and place wash side down on your filling.

Crimp the edges with a fork so that the top and bottom pastry stick together.

Chill for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to bake, poke air holes in the top so that your pastry can vent, egg wash the top, and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack

 

Bon Appétit!