Blueberry Almond Cream Scones

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Scones and biscuits are seriously one of my weaknesses. Fresh from the oven, I find them to be crazy-irresistable. I know that a biscuit is somehow not the same thing as a scone (if you have an explanation, I’d love to know!), and vice versa, but they must be cousins or something because either one hits the carb-spot every time.

These particular scones don’t contain any egg in the dough, but they do contain a good dose of cream along with a bit of butter. The cream makes for an ultra-tender, dream of a scone.  I’ve added a bit of almond extract to the dough, as well as a sprinkling of almonds across the tops for some texture and crunch. The blueberries are there because I like almond and berries together and, because I cannot get enough berries these days. Each bite of these dreamy beauties contains the scent of sweet almond, a little nutty crunch, and a burst of juicy berries. These scones are pretty amazing on their own though, a smear of butter and blueberry jam doesn’t hurt a thing.

Blueberry Almond Cream Scones

Adapted from this recipe.

Makes 12 scones.

I baked these in muffin cups, scooping the batter instead of patting it into a round and cutting out. I saw scones done this way on Donna Hay and I thought they were pretty dang cute. Frozen blueberries hold up better when mixing this dough, but if you don’t mind some blueberry streaks, go ahead and use fresh.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

for the tops:

1 egg

1 tablespoon cream

sliced almonds and sugar

Preheat the oven to 425˚F and place paper cupcake liners in 12-cup muffin tin.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, pinch in the butter until there are bits of butter throughout and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Toss in the blueberries and coat with the dry mixture. Pour in the cream and almond extract and gently fold to create a dough–the dough will be a bit wet, but not as wet as a muffin batter. Don’t over mix, it’s better to err on the side of under mixed with some dry bits throughout. Divide the dough between the 12 muffins cups using a levered scoop, about 2 scoops per cup

Whisk the egg with the 1 tablespoon of cream. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg-cream mixture, sprinkle with almonds and sugar. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until the tops of the scones are just golden. Remove from the oven and (try to) cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

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Yesterday, I shared some sriracha-maple pecans on my Instagram feed. The pecans are coated in a mixture of maple syrup and sriracha, making for a sweet-savory combination that is seriously addictive.

Seriously. I cannot stop eating them.

The pecans are delicious enough on their own, as a snack, but I had to put ‘em in some banana bread. This spicy situation began this weekend when we went to Salt & Straw for a waffle cone with Sean’s brother and girlfriend, who are visiting this week. This month at Salt and Straw they have a spicy banana walnut ice cream…gah! it’s so good! It’s so good that Sean and I both got a scoop. Which is major since we almost never order the same things–so we can share, obvs. As we were enjoying our treats, I immediately told Sean I wanted to make a bread version using pecans.  Thus, this banana bread.

Plenty of chopped pecans get folded into the banana batter–that also contains a bit of sriracha for a little background hint of savory-spice. The sriracha isn’t super pronounced here, it just brings a bit of salty-heat that plays so nicely with the sweetness of the bananas in the bread and the maple syrup on the pecans. Then, more of those spiced pecans stud the top of the bread so you get a bit of sweet-crunchy-spice in every bite.

Spicy Pecan Banana Bread

Adapted from this recipe.

For the pecans:

2 cups whole, raw pecans

1 tablespoon sriracha

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the bread:

4 very ripe bananas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil spray or other cooking spray. Line the sprayed loaf pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides, secure the overhang with binder clips. Set both pans aside.

In a bowl toss the pecans with the sriracha, maple, and cinnamon until evenly coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and toss with the 2 teaspoons of sugar to coat, cool slighty. Chop 1 cup of the pecans coarsely and set aside while you make the batter.

In a bowl mash the bananas well and mix with the cooled butter, sugar, beaten egg, vanilla, sriracha, and milk until well combined. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and arrange as many whole pecans (from the remaining 1 cup of pecans) on top of the batter as you’d like. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the pecans begin to get too dark part of the way through, tent the bread with foil and continue to bake until done. Cool on a rack before slicing and serving.

Blueberry Almond White Chocolate Banana Bread

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So, last week I was perusing the internets, looking at blogs and scrolling through my Pinterest feed…like ya do. I came upon this Plum-Blackberry Cream Cheese Bread with Oat Streusel…oh, my…by Stephanie from Girl Versus Dough…and I remembered, in that moment, that I needed a quick bread in my life ASAP.

Inspirational, man.

So, I made this banana bread and filled it with lots of crazy goodness like blueberries, almonds, almond extract, white chocolate chunks, AND topped it off with a sugared almond topping. I mean, I really don’t have to tell you that this bread was capital-G, Good…you guys know stuff.

At it’s core, this banana bread is familiar, but the almond extract hints at the fruitiness of the bananas and blueberries, while balancing out the rich little pockets of white chocolate chunks. But, the real star is that sugared almond topping. It’s crunchy, sweet, salty, and just the kind of topping that will have you sneaking bits and leaving bald patches all over the top of the bread…not that I would do something so rude (lies…yes I would).

Blueberry Almond White Chocolate Banana Bread with Sugared Almond Topping

Adapted from this recipe and this one, too.

Batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

4 ripe, freckly bananas, mashed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (granulated will work as well)

3/4 cup blueberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup white chocolate chunks

Topping:

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a loaf pan with parchment, leaving a 1 inch overhang on two sides, secure with binder clips and grease the pan and parchment well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the topping ingredients until the almonds are evenly coated. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the mashed banana, melted and cooled butter, greek yogurt, egg, extracts, and sugar until combined well. Fold in the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the blueberries, white chocolate, and almonds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the sugared almond topping mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool on a rack before serving.