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.

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.

Bake for Their Sake: Echoing Good Bake Sale

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BakeForTheirSake_Flyer

This Friday I am participating in Echoing Good‘s online bake sale on their Facebook page. I am super excited to be participating in this event as the importance of good nutrition for children has always been a  part of my life — my mom, aunt, and grandmother have all work(ed) in school nutrition. I know that there are children, in this country and others, whose best, most nutritious meals come from their school lunch programs. It breaks my heart to know that there are children in this world who wonder where their next meal will come from, who go to school eager to fill their minds while their bellies stay hungry.

From Echoing Good:

Echoing Good is a nonprofit organization that supports small-scale projects that are community led and inspired. Through the funding of these projects Echoing Good empowers communities to create their own meaningful change.
 
In Gulu, Uganda, where malnutrition is depriving many children of the chance to get an education, Echoing Good is working directly with the local community to develop farms that enable lunch programs in primary schools. The crops grown provide pupils with daily nutritious meals and excess crops are sold to generate money that is reinvested back into maintaining the farms. This one meal eases the financial burden on families to provide their kids with every meal, prevents hunger and malnutrition, and ultimately keeps the children in school. Echoing Good’s program currently feeds over 1,400 kids every day.
For the sale I made some Almond Chocolate Chunk Coconut Oil Granola. It’s a riff on my favorite coconut oil granola, made a little more decadent with lots of chocolate and toasty almonds. It’s crunchy, sweet, and satisfying.
To bid on this (I will send your winnings straight to your door, in cute jars to boot!) go to Echoing Good’s Facebook page and “Like” them, then this Friday July 19th, get your bid on! There are several talented, amazing bloggers participating (including my girls Megan and Nicole), so head over to check it out, put your money on some tasty treats, and help Echoing Good continue to do the good stuff they do!