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Archive for September, 2013

My husband is brilliant. Not that I didn’t already know this interesting factoid, it’s why I married him after all. But he showed his brilliance once again recently when he was cleaning out the garage.

I had put an old spice-rack in a yard sale pile thinking I had no need for it. It was full of spices I didn’t use and, as much as I liked how cool it looked on my countertop (it made me feel like a better cook than I actually am), I figured I could get a little cash for it since I honestly didn’t use it. But DH saw it when he was cleaning and organizing our junk and thought of a great idea for it.

You see, when we had our house tented for termites this last summer, we had to bag everything. It was a horribly tedious project that happened to highlight how many sprinkles I have acquired over the last few years. I have a couple dozen little cups of sprinkles in all the colors of the rainbow. And when DH was cleaning the garage he saw the old spice-rack and for some reason thought of the sprinkles.

And that’s how my brilliant husband came up with the brilliant idea to use the old spice rack to store my colorful sprinkles beautifully displayed instead of hidden away to be forgotten about. .

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Don’t they look pretty?

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Pumpkin Scones

This week, I had the pleasure of hosting Mommy Group at my house.  A couple moms from church came over and we let the kids play while we enjoyed each other’s fellowship.  So, I of course, jumped at the chance to bake one of the many many wonderful things I’ve seen on Pinterest.  I have been told that Starbucks is not bringing back their pumpkin scone, so I decided I better figure out a recipe that will stand in.  And I have found one for sure!

As is my habit, I will share my variations and then send you off to the original source.

  • The biggest difference is that I used cake flour for these guys.  I had read somewhere (probably on a blog I found through Pinterest) that cake flour makes for lighter pastries.  So, last time I went to the market, that’s what I bought.  And, since that’s what I had, that’s what I used.  These scones, therefore, had a nice light, almost spongey texture.  Scones are typically very thick and dense and even border on dry.  But not these puppies.  I think that’s because of the flour.
  • I also made them in my food processor instead of by hand.  The instructions said to cut in the butter, well, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  So, I threw my flour/sugar mixture into the food processor, and added cold cubes of butter and pulsed away.  It took all or thirty seconds to mix beautifully.  I left it in there when adding the wet ingredients, too.  I think this actually helped with keeping the final product really soft and fluffy.  Working the dough too much makes it tough.  So by using the food processor, the dough mixed quickly without danger of being over worked.  This is the food processor I use, by the way.  DH gave it to me for my birthday a couple years ago.  It matches the Kitchen Aid Mixer he gave me a few years earlier.  He really loves me, I know.
  • The next variation had to do with the glaze.  One, I took a basting brush and bathed the scones in melted butter BEFORE baking them.  And then, for the first glaze, I used about a tablespoon of melted butter with about half a cup of powdered sugar and I only added a teeny tiny bit of half and half.  I wanted the glaze to be thick like a paste because I knew it would melt and spread over the hot scones.

These things turned out SO GOOD.  I loved them so much that I decided to drive out to my mom’s house and deliver a few just so she could enjoy them too.  Here’s the recipe I followed.

Pumpkin Scones

I have to share this one more picture I took when the mommies were here.  This sweet little girl is Natalie and she has a brand new baby brother at home.  She will clearly be a good mommy because she’s practicing her skills right now by giving Snoopy and friends tummy time.  She is as sweet as the pumpkin scones!

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My husband is a teacher and had back to school night this week.  When he asked me to provide some sort of baked good that he could offer to his parents, my mind started spinning.  I see SO MANY recipes on Pinterest that I am always dying to try that I jumped at the chance to make something new and special.  I decided on some cute Allsorts inspired cookies because they were so cute and colorful.  And because I thought they would be easy for parents and students to grab as they come into and out of DH’s classroom.

So, before I give you the link to the recipe that I used, let me tell you what I changed and what I will change for next time.

  • First off, I am not super familiar with Allsorts candies because I’m not super crazy about licorice.  Therefore, I had to check back a couple times to remember what colors to use and how to stack and slice them.  I also took liberties and some of the cookies I ended up with (while still really pretty) didn’t resemble the the candies AT. ALL.  Oh well!
  • I did not have any white food coloring, but I would love to get some and use it in the future.
  • For the chocolate section of the dough, I would half the amount of coco powder she called for in her recipe.  She called for 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of coco powder, next time, I will use 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup coco powder.  The flavor was too strong for me.  I will add a little black food coloring to make sure it’s nice and dark still.
  • I added almond extract and coconut extract to the colored doughs.  I like those flavors and I think it gave them a nice touch.
  • Be sure to freeze the dough after forming/cutting your cookies before baking.  It kept them from changing shape in the oven.  And, for that matter, freezing between rolling out and cutting really helped keep the dough workable.

And that’s it.  I loved these cookies and look forward to making them again. Here’s the recipe I used.  Aren’t her cookies and pictures absolutely gorgeous!  Her photography is amazing and you can see why I was inspired to make some of these little guys.

Don't the red round ones with chocolate centers look like dog treats, lol?

Don’t the red round ones with chocolate centers look like dog treats, lol?

The cube ones with three colors are about 1/4 x 1/4 inch and the round one with sprinkles is about 1 inch round.  Cute and tiny.
The cube ones with three colors are about 1/4 x 1/4 inch and the round one with sprinkles is about 1 inch round. Cute and tiny.

 

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