Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recipe from another (book) planet

I'm starting to consider rethinking my approach to this blog. I've been cooking quite a bit lately...just not from the Pepin book. Oops.

In any case, I mixed up some mini cranberry orange scones for a baby shower I'm throwing this weekend. I won't be baking them till this weekend (no picture just yet since Troy and I ate the testers before I remembered to snap one). Like the coffee cake from a couple weeks ago, it's a recipe from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbook, which is one of my favorites. The recipe is also available on the Food Network website. I substitued orange-flavored cranberries for the dried strawberries. I meant to add orange zest too, but I forgot to buy an orange, so I used a little bit of Boyajian orange oil instead. By the way, if you've never used Boyajian citrus oils before, I highly recommend them! They are way better than any extract since they are the oil that's in the zest. I use orange & lemon oils all the time. In fact, the lemon oil is sort of the secret ingredient in my lemon cake. Shhh, don't tell!

I actually ended up having to make the dough twice. After baking and tasting my initial batch, I realized that not only were they not sweet enough, they verged on being really salty! Not that scones need to be sweet, per se, but these didn't even have a hint of sweetness. They weren't inedible or anything, but they did need a healthy amount of jam. Texture-wise, I thought they were great.

The second time around, I used 1/4 cup of sugar instead of 2 tbsp, and I also halved the salt (1 tsp). The results were WAY better. Unfortunately, I did forget to add the orange oil the second time, so they turned out to be cranberry scones instead of cranberry orange. Oh well, I guess you can't win every time.

I'm also making the sour cream coffee cake again, this time with cake flour and the proper amount of sour cream. I also used a spoon to swirl the streusel into the batter so that it'd be a little more evenly distributed. I had thought about trying to bake these as mini-muffins, but then I thought, why mess with near-perfection? The cake is so appealing to look at - and much less labor intensive.

More shower-food pictures and posts to come...

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