But Sugar is Sweeter

Posts tagged “Sugar

Cinnamon Chip Scones

IMG_4701
The end of last week marked the end of my 14th week of AHECs (also known as rural health rotations).  We are required to do 8 weeks in a rural health setting as part of our medical school curriculum, but I have had such good experiences in these small towns that I chose to do another 6!  This last one was definitely no exception.  I got to work one-on-one with probably the second nicest radiologist I’ve ever met (father-in-law will always be first!),  who taught me something new everyday, and really helped me to feel prepared for residency by letting me go through films on my own when we had free time.   The staff was all so welcoming and made me feel like part of the team,  and the patients are just so sweet and so in need of good healthcare in these rural areas.

IMG_4706

I had seen this recipe for cinnamon scones almost a year ago and hunted down some cinnamon chips shortly after; but then never actually made these.  Then randomly, I saw 2 of my favorite bloggers post scone recipes within days of each other, and I took it as a sign.  Scones were clearly the answer of what to bring for my last day of my last rural health rotation!  I ended up going with the original  recipe I found,  because I already had a lot of the ingredients on hand, and I liked that I didn’t have to buy a lot of heavy whipping cream or buttermilk.   You can certainly use the method I used in the lemon blueberry scones, and freeze these unbaked, and then bake from a frozen state whenever a morning treat is calling.  I am confident they would turn out wonderfully, as cold butter is one of the key ingredients to good scones.   I’m certainly glad I had some wonderful staff members to share these with because free time + baked goods is not a good combination around here :-).

Cinnamon Chip Scones

– Makes 16-24 scones

  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Cinnamon Chips
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Heavy Cream

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  (Unless you chose to freeze and bake later*)

2) In a large bowl, mix together flour, granulated and brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and baking powder. Cut butter into pieces, then cut into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 knifes until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cinnamon chips.

3) Mix together cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour into flour/butter mixture, stirring gently with a fork to combine.

4) Turn onto work surface (mixture will be very crumbly and falling apart.) Divide the dough into 2-3 equal portions.  Gently press together  the sides as you roll the top of each.  Form either into either 2 large circles  (to make 16 scones) or 3 medium circles (to make 24 smaller scones).

IMG_4696

5) Mix together topping ingredients, stirring with a fork. Sprinkle over the top of the dough, lightly pressing.

6) Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Serve with coffee.

*If freezing, flash freeze for 20 minutes, then wrap individually and store in freezer.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375º and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman 

Advertisements

Soft “Store Bought” Sugar Cookies

IMG_1344

There’s something about those store bought, frosted, cake-like sugar cookies that just makes you want to eat one.  I actually remember the first time I tried one I thought to myself, “This might be the most artificial tasting cookie I have ever eaten”, yet for some reason I continued to eat them, with their chemical preservative taste and all.  I think they must put something in them that just makes you fall in love, despite the fact that you are eating a “fresh” cookie with a shelf life of 3 months.  Well, if you have become addicted to those cookies, consider this your saving substitute.  These cookies taste like a better, preservative free version of the store bought cookies.  Granted, there is still quite a bit of artificial dye in the frosting :-).

I made these to take in for my last day in the hospital on my family medicine rotation (sad to leave that place!).  My motivation for making these was in part because I really did want to thank everyone who was so helpful on my rotation, and in part because I love having big groups of people to eat my baked goods!  I enjoy the actual process of baking even if I don’t eat the end result,  but with just the 2 of us here, baking becomes a dangerous habit.  I chose blue and aqua for the colors because I wanted something summer-ish and these colors reminded me of the pool.  With a heat index nearing 115°, I think we all have water on the mind.

You can really pick any mix-match of colors to dress these cookies up for just about any holiday, but I do have a few suggestions as far as the actual cookies are concerned.  First, I substituted 2 oz of cream cheese for some of the butter, mostly because I don’t think you can ever go wrong with cream cheese; however, if you happen to only have butter, or you aren’t a cream cheese fan just use 3 full sticks of butter and leave the cream cheese out.  Secondly, I was trying to plan ahead, so I made the cookie dough the night before and refrigerated it for about 24 hours. If you decide to make the dough ahead of time, just  make sure to flatten the cookies out to the desired shape before baking because they will not spread on the pan if the dough is too cold.  Finally, for some reason, I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough icing… so I went kind of light on some of the cookies.  Then I ended up throwing away a bunch of leftover icing.  Don’t skimp like I did.   After thinking back to the ones at the store, the icing should be almost as thick as the cookie.

IMG_1337

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

  • 4  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4  1/2  tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  1/4  cups (2.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 oz cream cheese (about 1/4 cup)  *Low-fat is fine
  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Icing: 

  • 5 cups (1 lb, 8 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 T. butter, melted (3/4 stick)
  • 1 T. vanilla extract (use clear if you want white icing)
  • 7-8 T. milk plus more if needed
  • Food coloring, sprinkles (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Then beat in vanilla.  Slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until evenly incorporated.  Chill dough for 30 minutes, or overnight.

To bake, preheat oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough into your hand and roll into a ball, repeat.  Place balls on a cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart.  Using your hand or the bottom of a glass flatten each dough ball into a circle. (*Again depending on how chilled your dough is, the dough may or may not spread.  If your dough is very chilled, you will need to flatten it into the shape you desire before baking).   Bake for 10 minutes. (Cookies should not look brown).  Let cool slightly on baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack.

Frosting:  Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk or stir on low until smooth.  Add additional milk if necessary.  Tint with gel food coloring if desired. Using a spatula, frost the cookies generously with the icing.  While still wet, sprinkle with desired toppings.  Icing will harden slightly to allow for easier storage.  Keep in an airtight container.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats  who adapted it from Hostess with the Mostess


S’more Nachos

IMG_1015
When John and I took a trip out to New Mexico over spring break, in addition to skiing, hiking and visiting with my in-laws, we got to try this great restaurant called Graham’s Grill.  (Side Note: it’s pretty nice to have parents-in-law that both happen to live in vacation spots :-)). The restaurant  combines the traditional flavors of the southwest but puts it’s own unique spin on them.  The chef, Lesley B. Fay recently came out with a cookbook called Straight From the Heart, and my mother-in-law was nice enough to surprise me at the end of the meal with my very own copy.    I have looked through the cookbook so many times trying to decide what to make but  I finally decided that I couldn’t pass up a recipe combining 2 of America’s greatest inventions – S’mores and Nachos.  (Another side note:  I used to think nachos were from Mexico – then I went there in college and searched every restaurant menu for them only to find out that they don’t actually serve nachos in Mexico… definitely an American creation.)

The original recipe called for deep frying tortillas, but after my recent frying disaster, I chose to make them in the oven instead .  It was actually a good reinforcement that never again do I need to fry anything, because the “chips” still came out crisp and delicious without having to mess with hot oil.  In fact, I think cinnamon-sugar chips would be a pretty great snack on their own – so next time I will likely make a double batch.  The recipe itself is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll have to say Lesley must be some kind of genius for thinking up the idea of “S’more nachos” in the first place!   If you really want to go crazy, you could try using ice cream as a dip for these nachos.   I’m sure this would be fabulous – warm cinnamon chips against cool ice cream –  but you might have to skip dinner all together if you want to try that.  So if you don’t have the pleasure of a campfire this Fourth of July, make this instead….It’s definitely easier than building a fire ;-).

S’more Nachos

Serves 3-4

For the chips:

  • 6-8 small (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 3 T. melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a dish.  Using a pastry brush, spread melted butter onto both sides of the tortillas. Sprinkle 1 side of each tortilla with a covering of cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Using a kitchen scissors (or knife), cut each tortilla  into 8-10 triangles.  Without overlapping, place triangles sugar side up on a large baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges turn up.
IMG_1011

Remove chips from oven and combine into a pile on a small baking sheet or oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle  with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Turn the oven on broil, and place the baking sheet on the middle rack (too close to the heat will catch your marshmallows on fire).  Watch carefully until the marshmallows are browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving dish and drizzle chocolate syrup over the chips.  Serve warm.

Before:
IMG_1012

And the Aftermath:
IMG_1016
– Nachos Adapted from from  Straight From the Heart by Lesley B. Fay.

– Cinnamon Chips adapted from Our Best Bites