Paper and Ink Imaginings

just playing with paper and ink


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Irish Scones – Third Try

I am back with my third try at scones. This week, I really just tweaked the recipe from last week – changes are indicated in blue. I did not knead the dough this time, just pressed it out to the thickness I wanted.

Traditional Irish Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (cake flour)
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • For egg wash:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add egg, buttermilk and heavy cream, and combine until dough forms.  On a  floured surface, pat out into rectangle that is 1/2 inch tall. Cut with biscuit cutter, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops of unbaked scones with egg wash. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  (Mine took 19 minutes. FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.)

The verdict:  PERFECT!! The right flavor, the right texture, the right crust.

Shout out to my family for being the quality control team – they liked all 3 versions. Offspring3 did agree that version 3 was what we had in Killarney, Ireland.


Irish Scones – Second Recipe

Since I still had heavy cream and buttermilk in the fridge, I tried another traditional Irish scone recipe over the weekend. (This one is a combination of 3 recipes I found online.)

This recipe contains an egg, and I used a combination of cake flour and all purpose flour (trying for the soft texture, didn’t have enough cake flour for the entire recipe – oops!).

Traditional Irish Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I used equal parts cake flour and all purpose flour)
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add the remaining ingredients and combine until dough forms.  On a floured surface, knead dough a few times, adding flour if dough is still wet. Pat out into rectangle that is 1/2 inch tall. Cut with biscuit cutter, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops of unbaked scones with heavy cream. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  (Mine took 18 minutes. FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.)

The family reviews were great. The taste and texture were almost identical to the ones Offspring3 and I had at The International Hotel in Killarney. They are beautiful, but they still look more like a Southern buttermilk biscuit than a scone. I finally went and watched a few YouTube videos to see what I am missing. I have been working my dough more than I should for scones. (too much pressing and folding!)

the brushing of cream made the tops nice and shiny

I think I will make this recipe once more while I still have heavy cream and buttermilk on hand, but I will use all cake flour (not a mix of cake and all purpose), add maybe 1 teaspoon more of sugar, not work the dough much at all after I have dumped it from the bowl, and use an egg wash to brush the tops before baking. I promise to post the results.


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My First Try at Irish Scones

While in Ireland, Offspring3 and I had some lovely scones (specifically, International Hotel in Killarney, and a larger version at The Cliffs of Moher snack bar). I have been googling recipes, and this is my first try. I combined 2 of the recipes to make these, and these do not contain egg. The dough handled very much like the buttermilk biscuits that I make.

They stayed nice and lofty when they came out of the oven! The taste was very similar to the ones we liked in Killarney (but mine were much taller!). And next time I use this recipe, I am going to try an egg wash (instead of melted butter) on the dough before it goes into the oven.

Irish Scones

  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk (might need extra – I did)
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (brush tops before baking)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (sprinkle on tops before baking)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Add buttermilk and cream, stir into stiff dough. Add extra milk here if necessary (I still had dry ingredients not mixed into the dough.).

Dump dough onto floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes, adding extra flour if too wet.

Roll out to 1/2 inch thick, cut with glass or biscuit cutter. Place on parchment covered baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter, sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.  (The tops of mine looked great at 15 minutes, but the bottoms needed more browning – I moved them to the bottom rack for another 4 minutes. Total bake time for me – 19 minutes.)  FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.

HUGE scone and chocolate muffin @ The Cliffs of Moher

I have several other recipes that I will try (need to use up the buttermilk and heavy cream that I bought!) soon.

Sláinte!

 


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Russian Tea Cakes

russian-tea-cakes-finished

It is time for holiday baking to commence!

Russian Tea Cakes are something my mother baked for Christmas when I was a child. Her cookbook named them “Nut Butter Balls” (this was published during the Cold War…I am sure anything named “Russian” got a new name!). They are also called Mexican Wedding Cakes.

I usually only make them for Christmas. It keeps them special.

Russian Tea Cakes

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • Confectioner’s sugar (for rolling after baking)

Cream butter/margarine with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Wrap dough in plastic wrap (I shape into a rectangle, maybe an inch in height), and chill for at least 2 hours. (I mix up the dough after dinner, and don’t roll the dough balls until the next day.)

Roll dough into balls that are a little less than 1 inch in diameter (if you chilled the dough in a rectangle, you can now slice the rectangle into small cubes to be rolled – easy peasy).

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 15 minutes (bottoms should be golden, tops might be just starting to crack).

Let cool on pan 5 minutes, then start rolling them individually in Confectioner’s sugar and placing them on wax paper to cool.

Let cool on wax paper several hours.

Roll them in Confectioner’s sugar again, as you are placing them into the storage container. (And I re-roll them in Confectioner’s sugar as I put them out on Christmas day – just so they look pretty!)

Note: You can substitute most any kind of nut. I have made them with pecans, I am sure I have had the same recipe shaped like crescents made with almonds.

Here is what a batch of dough looks like on a sandwich plate:

russian-tea-cakes-rolled-dough

Here’s a dough ball I saved for one of the offspring:

russian-tea-cakes-dough-ball-for-offspring

This dough has no egg in it, it was always considered safe to eat.

AND…here is the new warning label (new this year – after the e-coli outbreak caused by one specific flour processing plant in July 2106) that tells me that I should not eat raw flour products:

flour-warning

Sorry, no lectures please…I am #TEAMCOOKIEDOUGH all the way. The dough is sometimes even better than the cookies!

 


New Star Wars movie, celebrate you must!

star wars dough

There is some Star Wars geekiness going on in this house. With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opening in theaters this week, I had to break out the Star Wars cookie cutters!

Basic Sugar Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups flour

Cream together butter/margarine & sugar. Mix in liquid ingredients, then work in the dry ingredients. Wrap well, chill overnight.  Roll out to desired thickness (the Star Wars cookies are much thicker than my usual sugar cookies, so the details would stay visible after baking). Cut with desired cookie cutters. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 8 minutes (longer if cookies are large and/or thick).

star wars cookies

My cookie cutters came in 2 separate sets – characters and vehicles, and were purchased at Williams-Sonoma in our local mall 5 or 6 years ago. I checked online, they currently sell a single set of 8 cookie cutters, but some are different from what I have.

Here is a link to the current product:

Star Wars Cookie Cutters at Williams-Sonoma

May The Force Be With You!


Reese’s Minis and Mini M&M Monster Cookies

monster cookie

A few years ago while flipping channels, I stumbled upon Ree Drummond (“The Pioneer Woman”) making Monster Cookies.

Here is her recipe – Monster Cookies by Ree Drummond .

Hmmmm…too many suggested additions in her posted recipe for me. But I do like the cookie base. The first time I tried the recipe, I added regular M&Ms, pecans, oats, and Rice Krispies. But I skimped on the suggested amount of salt.

This time, I dumped in (2) 8 ounce bags of Reese’s Minis (less what I ate as I worked!), a 12 ounce bag of Mini M&Ms, and 2 or 3 cups of Rice Krispies. And all of the salt in the original recipe. The salt is just such a great counterpoint to the brown sugar and chocolate.

Here is what they looked like ready to go into the oven:

monster cookie dough balls

Sorry for the photo quality…I baked at night, this is the best photo to be had in the kitchen in the middle of baking! I used my muffin scoop, and flattened each ball out a bit to help them cook evenly.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Gingersnaps

gingersnaps

I baked these a few weeks ago. We still have a few left in the freezer.

Gingersnaps

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • —————————————————–
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir together first 6 (dry) ingredients (above the line), and set aside.

Cream together butter/margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and molasses, mix until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients (may need to turn off the mixer and switch to a wooden spoon – thick stuff!).

Roll dough into balls about one inch in size. Place on cookie sheet (well spaced, they will spread). Flatten each ball gently with flat-bottomed drinking glass (dipped in ice water).

Bake in 400 degree F oven for 7 – 9 minutes (7 for chewy cookies, 9 for crisp cookies – at least in MY oven! Your mileage may vary.). Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool.