Back to the Drawing Board: Pumpkin Scones

I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to experiment with pumpkin scones again this week. I did actually get to it this time! Unfortunately, I was not happy with how these turned out.

I made two changes to the previous recipe. I reduced the pumpkin puree from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, and then I increased the heavy cream from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. I guess this wasn’t the right way to go! The scones were a little bit dry, and they didn’t taste pumpkin-y enough!

This didn’t seem to matter to my kids. They ate them all up at breakfast the day after I made them.

But, they aren’t good enough to sell, so I’m going to go back to the 3/4 cup pumpkin puree and the 1/4 cup heavy cream and work from there. With my next batch, I will keep the 3/4 cup pumpkin and increase the heavy cream, since it seems like the dough is too dry.

I know that there are great recipes out on the Internet for pumpkin scones (I keep seeing the copycat pumpkin scone recipe for Starbucks!), but it seems like most scone recipes use eggs! I don’t want to use eggs, just because I love the original recipe so much that I want to keep that texture.

I did drizzle some maple icing on the scones, but even that was too sweet. I think I might need to temper it with some butter.

I also cut these scones the wrong way. Oops! I should have used the rectangle method instead of the circle method. These scones definitely need to be bigger and fatter!

So basically, I liked my first attempt better than my second attempt. But that is why this section of the blog is called Kitchen Experiments. I get to make mistakes and try to correct them! Thanks for reading!





Packards Coffee Shop and Dudley’s Famous Bakery

I am putting these two businesses together in a post because I didn’t take enough pictures at either place! I will be sure to take more pictures when we go back, since I think both of these places will be a regular stop for us when we are in the area.

Packards Coffee Shop is a small coffee shop in Ramona, CA. The main reason we wanted to stop there? The big blue box in the front!

Josh took this picture during a job in the area
We were just passing through, so I wasn’t able to try their crepes. I think the next time we are there, I will definitely have to order some! You can take a look at their menu on their Facebook page.

Josh and I picked up some iced Vietnamese coffee, said hi to the 11th Doctor, and took a few pics of the kids with the Tardis out front. The coffee was refreshing as an iced drink and very strong! Just the way we like it.

The folks in the shop were really nice! I’d definitely stop in there again. Packards is located at 680 Main Street, Ramona, CA 92065.


Another stop we made was Dudley’s Famous Bakery in Santa Ysabel. It is in the same marketplace as Julian Pie Company off of Highway 78.

Usually, we stop at the Julian Pie Company to get some apple pie and a dozen cider donuts to take home. This time, we stopped in at Dudley’s to eat lunch. When you walk in, there is a little gift shop to the right (my kids were immediately drawn to the rocks). The deli and shop area were straight ahead, with restaurant booths along the wall. We ordered our sandwiches at a small counter and then sat down to wait for our order. Our family of 7 took up two booths! While we were waiting for the food, I couldn’t help noticing the multiple racks of bread set up nearby, or the stacks of boxed apple pies on the table right by us! The sandwiches were really yummy, but it was the bread selection to take home that floored me. There were so many different kinds! I wish I had taken a picture of all of them in their neat rows. There were also sweets like three different kinds of streusel and cinnamon pull-apart bread. We ended up taking home this…


Really good pie by the way, but I missed the cinnamon ice cream.

We took home these too. There was a promotion to buy 4 loaves get 1 free. I’m kind of a bread fanatic so I couldn’t resist.


Dudley’s bread is sold in a lot of the grocery stores in our area, but I don’t think all the kinds we saw are available at every grocery store.  The rosemary and olive oil bread disappeared quickly as did the Hawaiian sweet bread. The bread in the bottom right corner is Pecan Maple and that was really, really good as a french toast! I froze the Russian Pumpernickel, which reminds me… I should probably go get that out!

Dudley’s bread can be found in about 70 locations in California. The particular location we went to is at 30250 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070.

Homemade Non-Naan Bread

My whole family loves naan bread.  We love it with Mediterranean food, as pizza crust, or just with hummus. So yesterday, I thought I would try making it at home. I was probably a bit too ambitious and tried to double the recipe I used from Half Baked Harvest. Since the bread in this recipe is baked in a cast-iron skillet, I was in the kitchen for a while, standing at the stove. I also made quite a few mistakes during my preparation.

The dough before I mixed the yogurt/milk/yeast mixture into the flour mixture.
The first part was easy. Proof the yeast for 10 minutes, and mix up the flour and other dry ingredients.

This might be where I made my first mistake. I did not have Greek yogurt in the fridge, just plain yogurt, so that is what I used. Maybe I should have gone to the trouble of draining the plain yogurt to get the Greek-style texture.

The dough was very, very sticky! I don’t like working with sticky dough, so I added a little flour to make it more workable.
Maybe the moisture of the plain yogurt threw off the proportions of the rest of the ingredients.

My biggest mistake! Expecting these uncooked flatbreads NOT to stick together. I thought sprinkling each side with flour would keep them from melding together but it didn’t work. 
Next time, I will definitely keep them all separated. I don’t think there is enough room in my kitchen to put 16 naan breads on a flat surface, so I will make a smaller batch.

Since my two little piles had collapsed together into a mass of dough, I just oiled my palms, pulled off a hunk of dough, and patted and stretched it using my hands into a rustic-shaped bread with an estimated 1/4 inch thickness. I think my estimate was a little off though. Then, into the skillet they went. After cooking the second side, I brushed the top with olive oil and sprinkled coarse salt over the bread.

The finished product! They are nowhere near perfect but at least, they got made!
My kids loved these!  “They taste like pancakes with salt on them, Mommy!” Um… no, I don’t think they’re supposed to taste like pancakes… but I’m glad you like them anyway! Hence the name of this post: Homemade Non-Naan Bread.

What did we do with these? For dinner last night, we ate them with Korean BBQ (Bulgogi) and fresh lettuce from our garden to make a kind of Korean BBQ flatbread. The Korean BBQ was very easy. I might write up a separate post for that. For lunch today, I turned them into cheesebreads with Havarti and Provolone for lunch. Tonight for dinner, I made a pasta casserole and I used the naan left to make garlic naan. And now the naan is all gone. Boy, that was fast!

I think my next attempt at these I will bake them. It is much easier to bake 16 at once than 16 one at a time!


Note:this is the look I am aiming for. 😊 more work to be done!


Just a quick post…

I’ve been AWOL yet again with posting about baking! There are a few things I’d like to share even though I have no good pictures or yummy recipes to link.

First, the Hawaiian Sweet Bread I use, yes, the one that makes 3 loaves of bread, makes decent cinnamon rolls! I baked Hawaiian dinner rolls for Easter Sunday lunch at my  wonderful In-laws’ house and using the whole recipe for dinner rolls would have made way too many! I’m sure my kids wouldn’t have minded if I made too many, but I think they liked what I ended up baking much better. 

Josh said I would regret not taking pictures of the breakfast rolls, and he was right. I should learn to listen to him, shouldn’t I? I was kind of in a rush though on Saturday and wanted out of the kitchen as soon as possible!

I made 3 kinds of breakfast rolls: cinnamon, maple, and chocolate chip. I also made them mini sized so that the kids could try each flavor without getting too full. 

I used one third of the recipe for the dinner rolls and the other two thirds I used for breakfast rolls. I just estimated on most of the ingredients. Here is what I used for each after rolling each part into about a 12″ x 6″ rectangle. 

Cinnamon rolls – butter/margarine spread onto the rectangle, sprinkle with brown sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Don’t be shy with the sugar! Roll up jelly-roll style and slice. Place rolls in a greased baking pan, allowing sides of rolls to touch.

Maple rolls – butter and margarine spread onto rectangle, sprinkle with maple sugar and raw sugar. This one was probably the lightest on flavor; I need to figure out how to get more maple flavor into it. Roll up and slice. Place in pan.

Chocolate chip rolls – butter/margarine spread onto dough rectangle, sprinkle with raw sugar and mini chocolate chips. Roll up and slice. Place in pan.

Since I had never made these before, I had to figure out the baking time myself. The oven was set at 350 degrees F and I think I baked them for about 20 minutes. It could have been as long as 30 minutes. I was looking for the tops of the rolls to brown. 

Once the rolls cooled, I frosted them with the Cream cheese frosting I used on copycat Cinnabons.

This batch of dough made about 46 mini rolls. Some of those went with me to the church nursery Easter Sunday morning for the workers and the rest we had at Easter Sunday breakfast. My kids had fun picking out the flavor they wanted to try.

I will probably make these again since I love making Hawaiian bread. I will try to come up with a better post with pictures then and possibly a recipe.


Second, I am hoping to attempt a 3-day macaron marathon sometime soon. I wanted to do that this week since I have given my kids a week off from homeschooling, but I am not sure if it will happen. The macarons are calling me though so we will see!


My Mom’s Pan de Sal

I had always thought that pan de sal means “bread of the morning,” but it actually means “salted bread.” This is interesting because these rolls are anything but salty. They’re sweet, covered in breadcrumbs, and are really yummy for breakfast, lunch, snack, or as a corned beef sandwich.

Usually, my mom will either make me some of her pan de sal or she and my dad will go by a Filipino bakery and pick up a brown paper bag full of hot pan de sal just for us. There are also other goodies that they will pick up for us, but that is probably a whole other blog post!

My mom is out of town for the next few months though which means no pan de sal unless I go by the bakery myself. I barely have a chance to go grocery shopping, so my next option is to try making pan de sal myself.

I used my mom’s recipe, which starts the dough out in a bread machine. I was so glad for that. I didn’t have much motivation to make bread by hand yesterday.


This is our monster bread machine. It takes up a ton of space but only makes a 1.5 pound loaf. Eventually, I want to get a bread machine that makes a 2 pound loaf.

The dough was very sticky when it came out of the bread machine after the dough cycle was done. I should have added more flour to the dough before I tried to cut it into pieces. I didn’t realize that I didn’t place them on the pans the right way.

The rolls are supposed to look like they have been cut off of a dough log, so their tops should be flat.

The rolls after 30 minutes of rising time. They probably could have used a little bit more rising time, 15 – 30 minutes longer.


My 2-year-old daughter was helping me make the pan de sal. She made more of a mess than helping me, but that was okay. I was glad that she wanted to hang out with me. This is her little bit of pan de sal dough that she got to help me make.


The rolls weren’t as puffy as I would have liked them, but as usual, my kids didn’t care. They love homemade bread in any form, good or not so good. You don’t want these rolls to get too dark, a light crust is best.


Hot pan de sal is yummy with butter, or cheese, or anything else you can think of to put on it. Eat them right out of the oven!


I decided to try some homemade Meyer lemon curd on the pan de sal. Delicious! Probably my favorite way to eat pan de sal though is toasted with a slice of cheese inside, until the cheese is melty.

My Mom's Pan de Sal

  • Servings: around 20 rolls
  • Print


  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 envelopes yeast (I used my bulk active dry yeast, so it was 4½ tsp yeast)


Place ingredients in bread machine in the order specified by manufacturer. Use the dough cycle. The dough cycle on my machine is about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Transfer the dough on a lightly greased and floured surface. Stretch and form into a log. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Slice every 1-1½ inch intervals. Coat each slice with breadcrumbs. Lay on sliced side on baking pan, 1 to 2 fingers apart. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake for 25 minutes.

I will probably be trying this recipe again soon. Especially since I have now made it for my kids and they know I can make it. I get requests from them all the time to make something. Just today, Matthias was asking me if I could make macarons again! I should have told him, “You don’t know what you are asking of me, my child!”


Friday Bakes in 3 Parts – Mini Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon roll dough usually doesn’t like me. If we are going to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I will buy them. One afternoon, in one of my “I don’t know what to make for dinner” panic modes, I happened across a recipe on the back of a Taste of Home magazine from 2006.  I don’t remember now what I made for dinner that night, but I did set this particular magazine aside so that I could make the recipe.

Last Friday, I finally made some decent cinnamon rolls. The dough started out in the bread machine so that saved me quite a bit of time. Another plus, the dough uses maple syrup as a sweetener, not white sugar. Josh is a big fan of anything maple so that is why this recipe caught my eye. The rolls don’t taste particularly like maple syrup but they are definitely sweet!

Mini Maple Cinnamon Rolls – find the recipe here.


I loved the dough. It was very easy to work with once the dough cycle in the bread machine finished. The size of the cinnamon rolls was perfect for kids. Not so big that they can’t eat a whole one, but still makes enough that they can each have a second one (or more!) if they want.

The filling was a little difficult to sprinkle on. It also caused a few of the rolls to separate in the middle. I think I would spread the butter on first by itself, and then sprinkle the filling over the butter. That way the filling would be more evenly distributed.

I also initially did not bake these long enough. They probably could have used 5 to 10 more minutes in the oven. I was afraid of them browning too much though so I took them out at 25-30 minutes.

I loved the maple icing on these. Josh likes cream cheese icing though so I might have to try that next time and see which one he likes better. I do use a Grade A Dark maple syrup so that is probably why the icing turned golden instead of being white.

This recipe is definitely a make-again. And I may tweak it a little bit to make it even better!


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Going Scone Crazy

This post went through quite a few titles. A Madness of Scones. Game of Scones. A Scone Baking Marathon. None of them really seemed to work, so the title is what it is. Because it was scone crazy!

My goal: Bake 40 scones of 5 different flavors in about 3 hours. Am I mad? Yes, probably so.

Some things I learned:

  1. My baking limit for one day seems to be 3 recipes. If I try to make any more than that, I make mistakes!  Lots of them.
  2. Don’t try to do this sort of thing when your kids are still doing their schoolwork. Next time, pick a school day off.
  3. Don’t skip the glaze! They make scones look pretty.

I have a go-to scone recipe that I’ve been using for a few years. I just tried to modify it slightly for each flavor that I made.

The flavors:

  1. Cardamom-ginger with milk chocolate chips
  2. Cranberry-orange with white chocolate chips
  3. Lemon poppyseed
  4. Coconut-almond with dark chocolate chips
  5. Maple cream

The basic recipe:



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


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar. 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. Fold everything together; do not overwork.

Press dough out on lightly floured surface into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. Cut circle into 8 wedges. Place scones on ungreased cookie cheet and brush with heavy cream. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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