Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scones

I have a confession to make: I use our blog as a place to store recipes! So I often refer back to my old posts to bake a certain flavor of scones or figure out a macaron recipe. Sometimes, a post will just be a reference for me so that I can find a recipe again. That is likely what this post will be. Perhaps later, I will be able to improve on these scones to really make them pop. I am thinking maybe some cinnamon chips or a cinnamon brown sugar filling.

There is nothing very spectacular about these cinnamon scones, but they are definitely yummy if you like cinnamon! I baked these for an order but wanted to have two types with glaze and two types without glaze. Sadly, these cinnamon-y scones ended up being the unglazed ones. I think they could be brought up a notch with some vanilla glaze though!

I have been baking scones a LOT lately, but that is okay. I’ve been baking different flavors of scones and I am getting to where I can probably start making the basic scone recipe from memory!

I do plan on making July macaron practice month though if I can. So expect a lot of macaron recipes at that time… if I can get my macarons back to where they were before the new oven that is!

cinnamon scones

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scones

  • Servings: 16 servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Vanilla glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tsp milk/water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl; flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Fold everything together just to incorporate as much of the flour as possible; do not overwork. When you have shreds of dough, pour the dough out onto a floured surface and finishing working the dough into a ball there.

Pat the dough out into a rectangle. Using a bench knife, cut the dough rectangle in half, then each half in half. Cut down the middle to form 8 squares and then cut each square on the diagonal to form 16 triangles.

Transfer each triangle to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, leaving an inch or two of space between each wedge. Bake for 12-17 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

Stir together the powdered sugar, milk/water, and vanilla to make the glaze. Add a teaspoon of milk/water at a time until the glaze is desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled scones.

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When Life Hands You Lemons: Make Lemon Scones

I have been sadly absent from the blog the past month! Many, many thanks to my hubby, Josh, for keeping the blog going. I mentioned at the beginning of May that three of our kids have birthdays in May (plus there is Mother’s Day to think about) so I was concentrating on those things as well as a big model rocket launching birthday party we had out in the desert on May 13th. That was definitely one of the more unconventional birthday parties we’ve done!

As Josh said, we have an overabundance of lemons coming from our lemon tree. And that means finding ways to use them other than in lemonade or lemon curd, although lemon curd is definitely something I want to make!

I had been wanting to make blueberry cheesecake scones for a while, but then I realized that they would be even better with lemon added as an extra layer of flavor. I also nailed down my recipe for lemon poppy seed scones. I had never actually written it down in recipe form.

So here are two new scone recipes for you all!

Let’s start with the lemon blueberry cheesecake scones. The most difficult part of making these scones is… how do you get the cheesecake part in? These aren’t the prettiest scones in the world, and I actually thought they tasted just okay. But… I’m not the most reliable taste tester right now as nothing really tastes good to me! So I have to depend on what my family tells me. Josh said these were yummy and I should post about them! They probably could have used some glaze just to make them look prettier but I don’t think the glaze would have added anything in flavor since the cheesecake filling was there to add a punch of lemon.

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The cheesecake filling was just 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of sugar beaten together until smooth. The filling was too much for one batch of blueberry scones so I ended up making two batches. I attempted to keep the filling from oozing out of the scones too much by patting the each batch of scone dough out into a rectangle, spreading half of the filling over the rectangle, and then folding the dough in a gate fold like you would with paper

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Then, I sealed up all the open edges as best I could. Mostly, the sealing is to prevent the filling from coming out while patting the dough out again and then cutting the dough into wedges. One batch made 16 small scones.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Scones

You can easily double all the ingredients to make 32 scones if you want to use a whole brick of cream cheese.

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream + juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries, soaked in water and drained
  • 1- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream for brushing tops of scones
  • Coarse white sugar, optional

Cheesecake filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

If possible, rub the lemon zest into the sugar before adding the sugar to the dry ingredients.

Sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest. Using pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make well in center and pour in heavy cream and lemon juice. Fold everything together; do not overwork. Fold in the dried blueberries until you have what looks like shreds of dough.

To make the cheesecake filling, use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth.

Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough gently as if you were making pie crust, until the dough comes together to form a smooth ball. Pat the dough out into a rectangle. Using a spatula, spread the cheesecake filling over the rectangle, leaving some room at the edges for sealing. Fold the dough in a gate fold and pinch or fold over the edges to seal. Don’t forget to seal the middle where the folds meet. You will now have a square of dough. Carefully pat the square out into a rectangle again and using a bench knife, cut the rectangle in half. Cut each half in half again, then cut down the middle of the rectangle so that you have 8 squares. Cut each square on the diagonal to get 16 triangles.

Using the bench knife, transfer each wedge to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure there is an inch or two separating each wedge. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle sugar on the scones if desired. Bake for 12-17 minutes on the middle rack or until golden brown. Allow scones to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

The lemon poppyseed scones are pretty straightforward so I will just post the recipe. I will note that instead of drizzling the glaze on, I brushed it on so that each scone was covered evenly in the glaze.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream for brushing tops of scones

 

Lemon glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water or milk, until desired consistency

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

If possible, rub the lemon zest into the sugar before adding the sugar to the dry ingredients.

Sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Using pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make well in center and pour in heavy cream and lemon juice. Fold everything together; do not overwork.

When you have what looks like shreds of dough (almost like when you are working with pie crust), pour the dough out onto a floured surface and finish kneading it there until the dough comes together and forms a smooth ball. Pat the dough out into a rectangle and using a bench knife, cut the rectangle in half so that you have two squares. Cut each square in half, then cut down the middle of the rectangle so that you now have eight squares.  Cut each square on the diagonal to get 16 triangles.

Using the bench knife, transfer each wedge to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure there is an inch or two separating each wedge. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.

Bake the scones for 12-17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow scones to cool completely before brushing with glaze.

To make the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add water or milk and continue stirring until desired consistency. Brush the glaze onto the cooled scones.

I know that finishing the dough on a floured surface does add one step to the usual scone method, but this extra step helps me very much not to overwork the dough. It usually only takes 5-10 kneads before the dough comes together, smooths out, and forms a ball.

Also, baking time is very important! 2-3 minutes makes a big difference between a moist scone and a dry scone! Once the scones are golden on the edges and still pale on top, they only need about 2 more minutes to be perfect. There is also the burnt scone! Which I have done before.

 

Lemon Sorbet

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Our lemon tree is going crazy right now.  The only problem with lemons is most people don’t want to eat them as is, they need to be made into something.  With a large pile of lemons in the house, and many more to come soon we had to come up with things to make out of lemon.  Lemonade is always a good option, but I wanted to do something different, something I have never tried before.

Since summer is fast approaching and the weather is warming up, I knew I wanted to do something cold.  I was thinking ice cream, but that can be heavy and filling.  I wanted to do a nice light summery recipe.  Finally, I landed on the idea of lemon sorbet.

I had never made sorbet before, but it was incredibly easy.  In fact, it is vastly easier then ice cream, and something I want to make again later in different flavors.

There are many lemon sorbet recipes on the internet.  I saw many that use lemon zest or peal.  I chose to omit that because I didn’t want bits in the sorbet.  I wanted it to be nice and smooth. My sorbet ended up being only three ingredients: water, sugar, and lemon juice.

The longest part of this recipe was juicing the lemons.  I doubled the recipe to have enough for all the family and needed to get 1.5 cups of lemon juice.

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After I juiced the lemons, I made a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar into water.

simple syrup

Then I let the simple syrup cool to room temperature before adding my lemon juice.

unfrozen lemon sorbet

I put the lemon mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow it to get cold and make the freezing process faster.  At this point you freeze the sorbet according to your ice cream makers instructions.

I did find that the sorbet didn’t freeze as quickly as ice cream.  I think I had it churning in the maker for 40 minutes, the ice cream is usually done in 25-30 minutes.  I think it might be because the ice cream I make is custard, and is rather dense.  That allows it to conduct the cold much faster.  The sorbet wasn’t much thicker then water when I put it in the ice cream maker.  The sorbet came out of the maker about the texture of a slushy.  I put it into a container and then into the freezer.

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I was afraid the sorbet would be hard like a chunk of ice.  Thankfully, it scooped very easily.

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This lemon sorbet is quite tart.  It made my mouth pucker up a little bit, but it is so good.  It is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy.

The recipe will still work well halved.  I made a sugar free that was half sized.  I will be posting about that one later.

Lemon Sorbet

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups lemon juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar, and boil until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions. When the sorbet has frozen (it will still seem quite soft), transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve. The sorbet will solidify in the freezer.

-Joshua

Black King Pansy

I figured this flower is pretty enough for its own post.

Black King Pansy

It is called a Black King Pansy.  I bought the seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  This is the first time that I have grown pansies from seeds, and this flower is well worth the effort.

-Joshua

Wednesday in the Garden: 05/24/2017

Our little garden is growing really well right now.  This is a great time in San Diego County for plants.  The sun shines for well over 12 hours a day, and the temperatures are generally mild.  We did have some fairly extreme temperature jumps this week.  Last Wednesday our high was only 67 degrees, but by Sunday it was about 95 degrees.  I had to make sure I kept the soil from drying out and allowing my seedlings to die.

I also had a problem with something digging in my garden beds.  I have some sort of beetle grub that lives in the soil.  The grub seems benign, but occasionally there will be holes dug all over the garden beds when some animal decides grubs are on the menu.  At least I think that is what is going on.  When I find dug up spots, I just attempt to put the dirt back in place and resettle the plants.  Generally, the plants do OK, but I do miss out on seeds sprouting when they are disturbed.

 

Our lemon tree is growing and putting out many lemons.  Three years ago the lemons looked diseased and were inedible, now there are more lemons then we can keep up with.

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I think we might actually get blood oranges for the first time. The fruit seems to have set and is growing larger right now.

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The key lime tree I bought at Costco has blooms all over it.  I planted it near the end of the summer last year, and got a few limes off of blooms that were on it when I bought it.  I think we will get a lot of limes this year.

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My Anna Apple tree is blooming again.  I was surprised to see more flowers on the tree.  It is the first year I have this tree, so I have no idea what to expect from it.

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The almonds continue to look good.  They really don’t look like almonds at all though.  The part we eat is safely protected inside of its large fuzzy shell for now.

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I really hope this plant is an artichoke and not some lesser cousin.  I think the seeds blew in from my neighbors yard, but I haven’t been able to ask them yet.

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This garden bed has a large cauliflower plant in it that I think is finally going to give us something to eat.  There are also green beans, carrots, Desi Squash, Patty Pan Squash, Long Beans, Pok Choy, and Swiss Chard.  I had some Kale plants, but lost them when that part of the bed got dug up.  I might have a couple pepper plants going, the seedlings look like peppers, but I planted the peppers so long ago that I am not sure.

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The large plants you see in the bed are New England Sugar Pie Pumpkins.  We grew this type last year and got 19 pumpkins out this small area.  There are also 3 kinds of peppers in the background, and green beans in the foreground.

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The brown plants in the back of this bed are my garlic.  They look bad, but seem to be growing well.  There are also three types of flowers, mustard greens, kohlrabi, and some kind of cauliflower.

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This is my long bed.  It has a number of things planted in it. Unfortunately, this one got dug up pretty badly twice.  I probably lost the carrots I planted in here and some of the green and wax beans.

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My 7 year old’s garden bed is growing like mad.  Some of his corn plants have corn on the stalks already.  Earlier this week I harvested two of his beets to make room for the other beets.  One of his cauliflowers was eaten by caterpillars so I replaced it with two chard plants that I bought.  His other cauliflower is getting chewed up by caterpillars too, even though I try to look for bugs to kill on it every day.

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My thirteen year old’s garden bed is also growing well.  His corn is also starting to have fruit on it.  His cilantro didn’t like the mid 90s temperatures from the weekend and looks like it wants to bolt.  Cilantro is very heat sensitive, which I find interesting because it seems only be eaten in places where it is warm.  His Black King Pansies have started to bloom a little.

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Here are some pictures of a tomato plant since that is what my mom and my wife really want me to grow.

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There isn’t much growing right now that we can eat, since I didn’t do well in the transition from winter to spring.  There are a few things that I was able to pick.

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Chioggia Beets

 

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Arugula (rocket)
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Pok Choy

This afternoon we had a decent sized California Kingsnake on our driveway.  I wasn’t able to get much pictures or video of it since it quickly slithered into our ivy.  There are a number of gopher holes near the snake, so I really hope the snake slaughters some gophers.

 

I hope that everyone that read through all this enjoyed the pictures, and I hope your planting endeavors are doing well.

-Joshua

Wednesday in the Garden: 05/17/2017

Today our second oldest child turned 10 years old. Having two kids in double digits makes me start to feel old.

We have had great weather the last week here in San Diego county. Traditionally the month of May is cool and has many overcast days. It is often called May gray, and that is followed by June gloom. The last few years we have not had May gray, but instead very hot weather. In fact, last year there was even some large wildfires in May. This year we are experiencing May gray, and even have had rain this month.

This is great weather for my plants. There is a perfect blend of low 70s temperatures, sun, and some natural dampness.

The pomegranate tree continues to flower.  Many of the older flowers have started to turn into fruit.  I think we are going to have many more pomegranates then we did last year.

I am finally getting somewhere with my tomatoes.  I lost many plants to pill bugs and had to start over.  In one of the pictures there is a clear plastic cup.  I had to put those over some of my seedlings to protect them from the bugs.  Eventually, I had to resort to using a little bug spray to thin their numbers.  In large numbers, pill bugs are seriously destructive to young plants.

I have a large artichoke plant growing in my yard.  It is a volunteer from my neighbors garden.  I have had many of the plants grow in the last few years, but didn’t know what they are so I pulled them up.  I really wish I had know what they were before.

The plants in my 8 year old’s garden bed are growing well.  He had one cauliflower plant get eaten by tiny green caterpillars, so I replaced those with some store bought chard.

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Somehow I got my thumb in the picture of my 13 year old’s garden.  His is also growing well, even the petunias are looking healthy.

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My newly minted 10 year old’s garden is starting to make a comeback.  His has been the bad luck garden bed.  First we had the miscommunication where he cut back most of the plants.  Then he had bug issues requiring more replanting.  I also put some chard and store bought flowers in his bed.

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My own garden beds are finally planted.  I am starting to see seedlings poking through the ground.  Since I got a late start, I planted mostly things that can deal with the heat that could show up at any time.  As the plants take on their individual characteristics I will put pictures of them up.

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I had to trim a few branches off my lemon tree so I could have a shed put in the driveway.  Since it is lemon season for this tree we now have many lemons.  Soon we will have many times this number ripe and needing to be used.  I think we need to do some lemon themed recipes.

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I also was able to harvest a few Pok Choy, strawberries and chives.  I am thinking a stirfry using the Pok Choy and chives would be good.  The strawberries are already gone.

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Happy growing to all my fellow gardeners.

-Joshua

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Wednesday In the Garden: 05/10/2017

May is a crazy month for us. Three of our children were born in May so there is always a lot going on. 

I guess that is why I missed the last two weeks with the Wednesday pictures. I also had a gopher and pill bugs eat some of my plants, so I had less to show anyway. 

Today I only have pictures of the three apples on my Anna Apple tree. I am really surprised by this tree. I just planted it this fall, and it is the only apple tree around. I didn’t expect any fruit at all any time soon, so having three apples is amazing. 

The next group of pictures are not garden related, but they did keep me from taking garden pictures. I spent much of the last two evenings building model rockets with the kids. We are driving 1.5 hours to the desert on Saturday to launch rockets and fly remote control helicopters. If all goes well we will have some videos of the rockets to talk about later. 

-Joshua