Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lemon Scones Recipe


"What would you like me to cook today?" Occasionally I pose this question to the members of my household. Sometimes I ask, "What would you like to cook with me?" Other times, however, I desire to prepare something by myself but enjoy taking requests from my family who range in age from four and a half to thirty nine and three quarters.

Glazed Lemon SconesLast week when I asked this question, three out of five of my family independently answered, "Lemon Scones". (I think it is so cute that a ten year old boy would request lemon scones as the thing he would most like his mom to cook. Awwwwwww!) I remembered that I had a few lonely lemons and some heavy cream hiding in the back of my refrigerator. The other two people in my family who had requested cars birthday cake and sushi were also big fans of lemon scones so we were all happy.

This recipe comes from a page I ripped from "Family Fun Magazine" in March of 2008. Some of my best recipes are from magazines. Before I ever put one of my periodicals in the recycling bin, I rip out interesting recipes. This is a habit I acquired form my mom and I'm so glad I did. Sometimes these clippings hang around my house for years before I actually get around to cooking them. Once I've prepared the recipe I either file it, if I like it, or pitch it, if I don't.



I filed this recipe for lemon scones because it produces a treat that can be made in less than a half hour with simple ingredients and because it is scrumptious. Although it has the texture of a great biscuit, it has the flavor of a delicious lemon cake. The addition of the lemon glaze makes it a favorite with the kids. My family and I often enjoy Glazed Lemon Scones on Sunday afternoons with a pot of hot tea, but they would be great for breakfast or, as Family Fun suggests, as part of a brunch.

Lemon Scones
    (adapted from Family Fun Magazine)

Scone Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch peces
1 cup whipping cream, plus more for brushing
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
2 Tablespoons whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or preheat a baking stone.
  2. Sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into large mixing bowl.  Add the lemon zest and gently toss together.  
  3. Using fingers or pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour in the cream, the yolk, and the vanilla extract.  Use a fork to blend the liquids within the well.  Use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients, just until the dough holds together.  Dough will be crumbly.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface.  Using floured hands, gently knead three or four times until a ball forms.  Flatten the ball int a disk about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut disc into 8 wedges (I use a pizza cutter).  Transfer the pieces to the prepared baking sheet or preheated stone, leaving at least 1/4 inch between them.  Brush the tops lightly with cream.
  6. Bake the scones in the center of the oven until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.  Allow scones to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
  7. While the scones are cooling, make the glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice, lemon extract, melted butter, and whipping cream.   Thin glaze with cream a few drops at a time to create a loose consistency.  Drizzle each scone generously with glaze.
Makes 8 scones.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pancake Puffs Recipe

Pancake PuffsFor my son's 7th birthday he got a pancake puffs pan. . . and he was thrilled! Yes, he also got a video game, some legos, and an iron man action figure, but I chose to give him his very own ebelskiver pan and he truly loved it.

We are a family that cooks and when my four little chefs move to kitchens of their own I want them to be equipped to prepare food for themselves and their friends. My daughter is the proud owner of a variety of cake pans, one of my sons has his own whisk, and another son possesses a pie plate. Also, they each have a personal collection of cookbooks. They share their culinary items with our family while we all live under the same roof, but when they go, their collection of cooking item will go with them.

Months prior to my son's birthday, he told me about a commercial he saw for a new food called pancake puffs. I thought he was talking about something sold at a grocery store like frozen waffles or toaster strudels. After searching the freezer department of my local Kroger and not finding his elusive pancakes puffs, I realized it was actually an advertisement for a pan that he saw. He was quite relieved when I finally understood.

Instead of ordering the pancake puff pan from the television, I purchased mine at one of my favorite stores, Williams Sonoma. As a previous Williams Sonoma employee, I know that this pan is made by Nordic Ware, is easy to clean, and will still be around when my son is cooking breakfast for his own kids.

This pan can be used to create appetizers, desserts, and breakfast treats (also called ebelskivers). I often use the basic recipe "Filled Pancakes" that came with the pan. We fill them with strawberry jam, Nutella, lemon curd, cinnamon sugar, or whatever else we have in the house. This recipe makes about 40 filled pancakes so we always make at least one experimental batch with a filling we've never tried.

This recipe is a labor of love. It's not difficult it just involves time and techniques such as separating eggs, whipping egg whites to soft peaks, and flipping little balls of batter (warning: never attempt to let out the dog, pour a glass of milk, or change your facebook status while making pancake puffs). All these cooking steps require a little more attention than, let's say, pouring a bowl of cheerios. In addition to producing light round pancakes that are filled with warm yummy surprises, this recipes also produces a sink full of dirty bowls, spatulas, and measuring cups, again a labor of love, but totally worth it. Pancake puffs are best attempted on a lazy weekend morning by a very relaxed and well-rested chef. Happy Labor Day!





Pancake Puffs (a.k.a. Filled Pancakes or Ebelskivers)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 Tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for cooking
Fillings: jam, peanut butter, Nutella, fruit, chocolate chips, lemon curd. . .
powdered sugar

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk and the 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy.
  2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks from, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.
  3. Heat the pancake puff pan over medium high heat. With a pastry brush, coat each well of the pan with butter. When the butter bubbles, pour 1 Tablespoon of batter into each well. Put 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tablespoon of batter. Warning: do not let out the dog, pour someone a glass of milk, or change your facebook status, stay at the stove. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 2-4 minutes. Using 2 wooden skewers or 2 mini spatulas, flip the pancakes over and cook until the other side is golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more.
  4. Transfer cooked pancake puffs to a plate. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Repeat with remaining batter and fillings. Can be served with syrup or whipped cream.
  5. Serve immediately. Makes about 40.