Baking with B: Garden Herb Scones

Guys, I know you think I’m all fancy-like but when I say these scones do not take up a lot of time it is the absolute truth. You’d think a treat associated with something as fussy as a tea service would be complicated but they are not. The hardest thing about baking these is going to be deciding what you’re going to put in them. I used fresh herbs from my garden (because they’re running amok, please, someone come help me) but you could put in grated cheese, raisins, nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruits…see? I told you it was going to be hard.

Garden Herb Scones (makes approx. 12)

4 tbsp butter, softened

1 egg, beaten

1/4 tsp salt

2 c. flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

5 tbsp. milk

fresh herbs, finely chopped (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Beat butter and eggs together until creamy; set aside. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, alternating with the milk. Mix in your herbs (in this case, I used rosemary, basil and sage). Using your hands, form a ball shape then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use your fist to flatten the tops gently, but not enough to take away that nice rounded edge. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve as soon as they’re cool enough to eat!

B’s Tip: Nobody’s perfect, and sometimes your measurements may be a little bit off. Adding the milk a little bit at a time allows the batter to form without getting too slimy or wet. If you find you’ve reached the perfect consistency before you’ve added all the milk, you can stop right there. Mixture still feeling a little dry? Go ahead and put it all in!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

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My childhood home was within walking distance of my elementary school and because my parents ran their own business they were often around during the day and I was lucky enough to go home during the lunch hour and decompress before heading back to class for the afternoon. This lasted all the way through high school, so I consider myself pretty lucky to skipped the ritual of navigating the cafeteria and its famously terrible food throughout most of my grade school career.

Seeing all the kids going back to school made me a little nostalgic for ye olden days, so I decided to make these cupcakes reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich. (I realize this assertion dates me but give me a break here- when I was younger we had zero peanut butter allergies in our school and these would have totally been allowed.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes (makes 18)

Cupcakes
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. smooth peanut butter
3 large eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
strawberry jam, for topping

Frosting (makes about 3 c.)

6 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. icing sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter and sugar in medium-sized bowl. Add peanut butter, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla (in that order, thank you very much) and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Mix in with wet ingredients gradually until well-combined.

Grease muffin pan or line with liners and use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back to the touch. Place on a rack on cool completely before icing.

B’s Tip: You can make the frosting ahead of time as it keeps for up to 2 days in the fridge. Just bring it to room temperature and mix until smooth to get it all spreadable again.

To make the frosting, cream icing sugar and cream cheese together in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt, and mix in gradually the peanut butter, then the vanilla. Whisk cream in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, then fold into peanut butter mixture. Frost cupcakes and decorate each with a dollop of jam in center. Decorated cupcakes will last in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days.

B’s Tip: If you’re using a jam with a lot of whole berries in it, make sure to macerate any larger chunks of fruit before decorating. Trust me, it makes the whole dolloping experience way easier.

 

These cupcakes are surprisingly moist and cake-y and probably are just as great for you as the sandwiches were. So why not call a spade, a spade, and eat your PB and J in cupcake format? The consensus is that strawberry jelly is the way to go, but my personal favorite is raspberry. What’s your jam? (See what I did there?)

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Best-Ever Bran Muffins

KBB_baking_bran_muffins Days like these when the sun is bright and the weather is warm it’s too tempting to go outside instead of staying indoors and doing something boring like eating breakfasts. In the mornings when I’m feeling like I want to go, go, go it’s great to have these around to take to the library, to work or even for a snack on a particularly long dog walk. Don’t limit yourself to this basic recipe either- make it your own with dried or fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter, cream cheese, etc. The list goes on and on, like these endless early summer nights.

Bran Muffins (makes 12)

1 1/2 c. wheat bran

1 c. buttermilk

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1 egg

2/3 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk and let stand for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla. Add to the buttermilk/bran mixture. Sift together dry ingredients, then stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.