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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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!

My Favorite Cornbread

Let me start off by asking, did this month fly by or is it just me?! I can’t believe that it’s already February! Luckily, this is one of the most fun months for me—between Roberto and mine’s anniversary, the Superbowl and Valentine’s Day, there are so many more excuses for me to bake lots and lots of goodies and eat them more guilt free than normal!

But warning! This post is all about the Superbowl and all about my unconditional love (Sorry Roberto) for the Patriots!

First off, the Patriots should be playing this coming weekend, and there are many reasons as to why they lost to the Broncos that are just unfair! There. Done being whiny!

More importantly though, even though the amazing, talented, super cute Patriot men won’t be running around on the 7th of this month, it doesn’t mean I will be sulking and not enjoying the game anyways—I mean there is still the Puppybowl to keep me happy…

As well as strange commercials I always look forward to, a lot of food that will be consumed, oh and the football game too. Whether it’s tacos, nachos, lasagna, chili, cake, cornbread, all of the hearty foods come out to play on Superbowl Sunday! A must have all season long is this cornbread. Roberto makes a huge pot of chili=cornbread on the side; we have some loaded up tacos=cornbread on the side; lots and lots of football=cornbread on the side.

You get the picture!

Besides the obvious reasons, why is this here cornbread the best, most incredibly corny recipe you ever did see?!

WELL! Not only is it oh so moist, but it is just the right amount of sweetness that you crave while shoveling chips, salsa, and wings into your mouth. There’s a slight uniqueness in the flavor because normally I am using a coconut-almond milk blend—it’s just what we use here in the Bem/Henry household—and that minor change just from the milk truly is a game-changer in this recipe.

Not convinced yet? This beautiful recipe below is the perfect vehicle for all of the flavors! I love a little bit of spice in my cornbread, along with cumin and/or cinnamon for some warmth, and let me tell you, this cornbread is beyond welcoming for all flavors! Want to keep it simple? Easy, take out the pepper, cumin and garlic. Feel like truly jazzing it up? Go crazy and add cayenne, cinnamon, chorizo and cheese!

Is this cornbread is as sweet and wonderful as the Patriots? Obviously :)

…Oh yes, I went there!

So, whether you love football, hate it, just watch the Superbowl to be social and eat a lot, or all of the above—this cornbread is an amazing addition, and it’s a staple in my life even after the big game is over! (Hell, it partners with some grilled summer seafood amazingly well, too—you’re welcome!)

I hope that you all are surrounded by the best of people this coming Sunday, and more importantly, that you bring this flavorful and moist cornbread to the party to truly cheer up all of us Pats fans for this Superbowl!

 

ingredients

Sugar—7 oz, or 1 C

Flour—9 oz, or 1 ½ C

Cornmeal—4 oz, or ½ C + 3 TBL

Salt—0.3 oz, or 1 ½ tsp

Baking Powder—0.4 oz, or 2 ½ tsp

Crushed Red Pepper—2 tsp

Cumin—½ tsp

Minced Garlic—0.25 oz, or ½ tsp

Eggs—2

Milk—8 oz, or 1 C

Olive Oil—4.5 oz, or ½ C

 

process

Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

In a bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients—flour, sugar, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, spices, garlic.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and olive oil.

You may either do this with your mixer, or just using a spatula to fold the ingredients together!

Slowly add your wet ingredients until your dry.

Mix only until just combined.

Spray either an 8”x 8” pan or a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Pour your cornbread batter into whichever pan, spreading evenly.

Sprinkle with turbinado/coarse sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for 50 minutes, until it is golden and there are no parts that jiggle when you move the pan. Doing the toothpick test is great as well!

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking it out of the pan, and to cool completely before cutting.

 

Bon Appétit!