Category Archives: tea party

Banana Coconut Scones

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In my newbie travels as a blogger, I’ve come across some really amazing blogs (and some not so amazing, but I digress…).  Edibles & Travels is one of my new faves (I envy the peaks on her muffins 😉 ), and she recently posted a recipe for Banana Coconut Muffins.  Had a nice Caribbean-sounding vibe, brought be back to my honeymoon…you get my drift.  So I thought, hey, I have coconut.  I have a borderline overly ripe banana that’s looking lonely!  And thus, these Banana Coconut Scones were born.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be sipping a Rum Punch, my toes in the sand, enjoying a scone – well maybe not really, but a girl can dream, right?!? 🙂

Banana Coconut Scones

The Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, cold

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sweetened coconut (plus additional for garnish)

1 ripe banana, mashed

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Place the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Work the butter into the flour with your hands until the butter disappears into the flour and it yellows a bit.

4.  Add the honey, milk, and egg to the flour mixture and stir until mixed well.  Add the coconut and mashed banana and mix again until all incorporated.

5.  Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Sprinkle with a little additional coconut, if desired.

6.  Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are slightly golden on top.

7.  Remove the scones and place them on a cooling rack.  They are best when served warm and drizzled with a little honey.  Yum, yum 🙂

Honey Lemon Bars

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Honey Lemon Bars

I’m a huge fan of anything lemon when it comes to baking.  These are amazing, and super simple to put together.  The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering.  A perfectly light, warm-weather dessert 🙂

honey lemon bars

 

The Recipe:

Dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (my addition, but a little more lemon flavor never hurts in my opinion!!)

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The Process:

1.  Heat oven to 350 F (325 F if using glass or dark metal pans)

2.  To make the dough, place the flour and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the cold butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until all the butter disappears and the dough starts to hold together a bit.

4.  Place the dough in an 8″x8″ baking pan and press into the bottom in an even layer.

5.  Place in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes to bake.

6.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the honey and lemon juice.  Whisk together until completely blended.  Add the flour and baking powder and whisk again until smooth.

7.  Remove crust from the oven and pour the lemon filling into the pan.

8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  The filling should not move when you slightly shake the pan.  If it does, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

9.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow 10 minutes for cooling before cutting into squares.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the lemony goodness!

Apple Almond Tea Cake

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Apple Almond Tea Cake

I couldn’t wait to get cracking in the kitchen after receiving the new book (My First Baking Book).  So here’s the first round…Apple Almond Tea Cake.  Super good.  Nice dense cake with just a touch of sweetness.  Love the flavor (and slight crunch) from the sliced almonds in the cake, and the apples on top pair perfectly of course.  Top it all off with an apricot glaze, and you have the perfect brunch (or breakfast…or dessert…) snack!

apple almond tea cake

The Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature (plus extra for buttering the pan)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup sliced almonds

2 medium apples

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:

3 tablespoons apricot jam

1 tablespoon water

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a glass or dark pan).

2.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan.

3.  Put the flour, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to combine.

4.  Place the 1/2 cup of butter and the granulated sugar in the mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy (around 4 minutes).

5.  Break the eggs into the bowl and beat again until blended.

6.  Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until smooth.

7.  Pour in the milk and mix again.

8.  Stir the sliced almonds into the batter until combined.

9.  Pour the batter into the greased 9×13 baking pan and spread evenly.

10.  Peel and core the apples.  Cut in half and then cut the halves into thin, even slices.

11.  Here’s where I took a detour from the original recipe…I placed the apple slices in a bowl and tossed them with a squeeze of lemon, the brown sugar and cinnamon.  The original recipe has you place the apples on top of the batter and then sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture over.  I wanted a more “even” coating, but you can choose your method 🙂

12.  Place the apple slices in 3 long lines, overlapping, on top of the batter down the length of the pan (makes for easier cutting this way).

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13.  Place in oven and bake until the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes (Again, with my oven it was close to 35 minutes, so I would check yours frequently after 35).

14.  Remove from oven and while cake is cooling prepare the apricot glaze.

15.  Place the jam in a saucepan and add the water, stir over medium heat until the jam melts and begins to bubble.

16.  Using a pastry brush (or spoon), spread the glaze over the top of the cake.  Cut into squares and marvel in the apple-y goodness!

Dreamy Hot Chocolate

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Hot chocolate can’t be beat – no matter what the temperature is outside.  I’ll admit, I’m not one for making it from scratch too often (the convenience of those little packages calls to me…).  This recipe is super simple and the method is pretty smart.  The touch of honey and cinnamon make it extra tasty.  Will definitely be making this often!  Warm and fuzzy thoughts to all! 🙂

hot chocolate cinnamon

The Recipe (makes 4 cups):

6 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

8 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons honey

4 cups milk

The Process:

1.  Measure 1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon honey into 4 individual mugs.  Stir with a spoon to make a paste.  Add 1 tablespoon milk into each mug and stir until dissolved.

2.  Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the milk begins to steam and you can see tiny bubbles form at the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat.

3.  Ladle the warm milk into the mugs (about 1 cup each) and stir.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Fruit Skewers (Fruit on a Stick) with Yogurt-Coconut Dip

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Fruit Skewers (Fruit on a Stick) with Yogurt-Coconut Dip

Everything is more fun on a stick – it’s true, you know it.  This makes a great after-school snack, or even breakfast.  The dip is killer, who would have thought something as simple as combining yogurt and a little coconut could make fruit even more magical?

Fruit skewer fruit on a stick

The Recipe (I’m listing the original suggestions from the book, use whatever you have on hand to create your skewers!  I ended up using my kid’s favorites – strawberries, watermelon, pineapple and banana):

2 apples

1 banana

10 grapes

10 strawberries

2 tangerines

1 cup flavored yogurt of your choice

1/4 cup shredded coconut

The Process:

1.  Rinse, peel (if necessary), and dry all fruit.

2.  Cut all fruit into medium sized chunks.

3.  Push cut fruit pieces onto wooded skewers.

4.  Pour the yogurt into a small bowl and add coconut.  Stir until incorporated.  Serve alongside fruit skewers or pour a little over each skewer before serving.

Teddy Bear Pancakes

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My little girl is home sick today, so we were flipping through the cookbook, and her little eyes widened as we turned to the teddy bear pancakes.  How could I say no to that sweet face?  Plus, pancakes on a weekday, so bonus 🙂  All in all, I have to say this is a great recipe to have in my back pocket.  Very little sugar, whole wheat flour (which is immensely surprising for a cookbook written in the ’80’s…)  Hope your kids (big and small) enjoy as much as mind did!

Teddy Bear pancakes

The Recipe (made about 8 good size bears):

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (my addition)

1 egg

1 cup milk

Honey (optional)

Banana slices (optional)

 

The Process:

1.  Heat griddle (or frying pan) to medium heat.

2.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and set aside.

3.  Place the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl.  Add the melted butter and milk and whisk until incorporated (shouldn’t be any lumps).

5.  Brush the griddle or frying pan with butter to coat evenly.

6.  To make the Teddy shapes, spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into the center of the pan for the body and then 1 teaspoon above for the head.  With another teaspoon, make the 2 ears, 2 hands, and 2 feet.

7.  Cook over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form on the top.  When golden brown on the one side, flip over and allow the other side to cook, about 2 more minutes.

8.  Repeat till all the batter is gone!

Pro Tip:  Heat the oven to low heat (200 F) and place the finished pancakes on a cookie sheet with a foil cover to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

Serving Suggestion:  I’m typically pretty boring when it comes to pancakes – maple syrup is enough for me.  However, they recommended honey as a topping, and I thought – what the heck?  So I sliced some bananas, drizzled a little honey over, finished with a dusting of powdered sugar – and holy pancake!  My kid could not eat them fast enough.  Mommy mission “Feel Better” accomplished.

 

Classic Fudge Brownies (with a Peanut Butter twist)

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Here’s your pretty standard fudgy brownie recipe.  I added a little “me” twist by swirling in some yummy peanut butter – just to make them that much more awesome.

Fudge peanut butter Brownie

 

The Recipe

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips since I had them on hand)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 teaspoons butter at room temperature

3 eggs

1  1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla (as per usual, I did 2 teaspoons)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup melted peanut butter (optional)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

The Process

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F

2.  Using a double boiler, melt the 1/2 cup butter and chocolate over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Set aside to cool when completely melted.

3.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×12 baking dish.

4.  Break the eggs into the bowl of your mixer.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy (around 2 minutes).

5.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated into the sugar mixture.   Add half the flour and mix at low speed until mixed in.  Add the remaining flour (and optional walnuts) and mix until blended.

6.  Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish.  If using the peanut butter option, melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave.  Place a dollop of peanut butter at each corner of the pan and 1 dollop in the center.   Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter in an “S” shape from top to bottom, and then side to side.  The tops of these brownies turn out a little light, so the pretty peanut butter swirls got a little lost unfortunately.  But they still tasted amazing!

7.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.

8.  If you can…allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes before diving in.

Choco-holics unite!