Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pumpkin Scones

I decided to make pumpkin scones last month and was perusing one of my Pinterest boards and saw I had three or four different recipes pinned. I gave one a try and decided that one is a keeper, no need to try the rest. I like my scones with a bit of frosting/drizzle on them and found something that sounded good from a different scone recipe and gave it a try. I really liked it, but the girls were not happy I "ruined" their scones. The other major "crisis" was that the first time or two I made these when I patted out the dough it ended up more rectangular so I cut the scones into squares. Apparently that's not acceptable, they need to be triangles so this time I shaped the dough into a more circle shape to get the necessary triangles. Wow, these girls are demanding! Love them anyway. These scones don't last long around our house.

Pumpkin Scones
makes 8

For the scones:

2 c flour
7 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c pumpkin
3 Tbsp half & half or whole milk (or whatever you have on hand)
1 egg

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, and egg then add to the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. It will take a bit of doing to get the ingredients combined and you may have to get your hands dirty to get the last bits all together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1" thick circle and cut into 8ths (I used a pizza cutter for this, made it super easy). Put on a baking sheet and bake at 425* for 16-17 minutes. Remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

For the ginger molasses icing:

1 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
1-2 Tbsp milk
1/4-1/2 tsp ginger (to taste)

Combine all together then drizzle on the scones. Adjust the milk or sugar to get the right consistency, it should be thick but fall off a spoon easily enough to drizzle.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hot Chocolate Cookies

I found these on pinterest probably sometime last winter and wanted to make them for my hot chocolate loving daughter. Never did it last year, but I saw that Friday was National Hot Chocolate Day so decided to make them for her. They're very chocolatey and yummy. I actually had two hot chocolate pins, one for a recipe on Stepable and the other was a link to Rachel Ray's magazine. After reading the comments on Rachel Ray's recipe, I made a few with the extra chocolate and a few without. Basically you make the cookies, bake them, take them out of the oven, top them with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow half then stick them back in the oven to melt the toppings. The issue is that when they cool, the chocolate on top gets hard and it just isn't quite as good. Two solutions are to eat the cookies warm out of the oven or to stick them in the microwave for about 5 seconds if you're eating them later, that's just long enough to soften the chocolate again. Either way, they're good; they're also good if you don't add that extra piece of chocolate. I did find that less is more in this case; that extra piece of chocolate should be small or I found it was just too much chocolate but that's more of a personal preference thing. So on to the recipe.

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Marshmallows
makes 36 cookies

1/2 c butter
12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 c brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
18 large marshmallows, cut in half

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips, stirring constantly just until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.

In a mixer bowl, combine the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until blended; add the cooled chocolate and beat until just combined. Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt and mix on low until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325* and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop and drop the cookies by the tablespoon onto the cookie sheets. Leave about 2 inches between cookies; you should be able to get 12 cookies per sheet. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, place a piece of chocolate, then a marshmallow on top of each, then put them back in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool 5 minutes then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.