Food & Drink

Madeleines

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Madeleines are probably the easiest cute-looking dessert you can possibly make.  From beginning to end, the process only takes about 45 minutes, and you can have really great madeleines for tea time, dessert time, anytime.  In order to make the cute shell shape, you are going to need to invest in a madeleine pan.  You can get them at any finer kitchen retailer (Sur la Table, Macy’s home, etc.)  They typically run about $10-15 per pan, but I got mine at a Japanese dollar store, Daiso.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Yield: 18 madeleines

Ingredients
– 2 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– pinch of salt
– 1/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup butter

For decoration:
– 2 tbs granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Butter & dust flour madeline molds.
2. Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, and salt on medium until pale in color.
3. While mixing, slowly add the sugar.  Continuing beating until the mixture is thick and pale.  Do this test: turn the beater off and try to form ribbons, when ribbons form, the mixture is ready.
4. Sift flour into the egg mixture slowly.  Fold in with a rubber spatula.
5. Stir in lemon zest and melted butter.  Fold in to the batter.  Your batter will deflate a little bit, but that’s okay!  Spoon the batter into the madeline pans.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from madeleine pan immediately using the tip of a knife.
7. Optional: sprinkle sugar on the madeleines, melt the chocolate chips and dip the madeleines however you like.

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Food & Drink

Cranberry Muffins

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I’ve been baking a lot with cranberries lately.  I don’t know what it is.  But cranberries really hit the spot for me when it comes to baked goods.  It has the perfect combination of sweet & tart.  It is the perfect addition in these lovely muffins.  These muffins are so incredibly moist (thank you, sour cream!), and are great any time of the day.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3/4 tsp baking powder
– 3/4 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 large egg
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1/4 cup butter, melted
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, butter, and vanilla extract.  Fold the dry ingredient into the egg mixture until well-blended.  Fold in the cranberries.
2. Butter or spray muffin tin.  Evenly divide the batter into the 12 cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, using a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

Note:  the batter might seem a bit dough-ey and dry and less like cake batter.  Don’t worry!  You also don’t need to smooth the batter down.  During the baking process, the batter will even itself out.  Trust!

Food & Drink

Scones

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I used to hate scones as a kid.  My mom would buy some from the Asian supermarket that were always kind of dry and mealy.  In grad school, I had one that was quite wonderful, and I started scouring the internet for the perfect scone recipe.  After tweaking and tweaking, I have the perfect scone recipe!  It is buttery, not over-whelmingly sweet, and hits all the right spots.  In fact, it has been approved by one of my British friends.  Yay!

I’ve made mine with a mix of chocolate chips and cranberries.  But you can really add whatever you like.  Raisins, berries, chocolate, nuts, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serving: 12

Ingredients
– 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 tsp baking powder
– pinch of salt
– 1/2 cup butter (cold)
– 3/4 cup chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, etc. (add-ins of your choice)
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 tbs butter, melted

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the cold butter into small pieces.  Using your hands (or a pastry cutter), cut the butter into the dry mixture until dry crumbs form.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk.  Pour the mixture into the dry mixture until a dough forms.
3. Using a spatula, mix in your add-ins.  Roll it out to a floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two and knead until a ball forms.  Flatten into a disk.  Cut into 6 even pieces.  Repeat with the other dough.
4. Brush the melted butter on the tops of the scones.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until a golden brown form on the tops.

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Note: If you don’t want a savory, buttery top, in lieu of the butter, beat 1 egg with 1 tbs of milk and do an egg wash instead.

Food & Drink

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

One of my favorite things to bake is banana bread.  Here is a super easy, one-bowl recipe, and you don’t even need an electric mixer!  I made a chocolate chip banana bread here, but feel free to add walnuts, raisins, or any other add-in of your choice!

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Ready in: 65 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients:
– 4 ripe bananas
– 1/3 cup melted butter
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1  1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– pinch of salt
– 1/3 cup chocolate chips

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Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork or potato masher.
3. Add the butter and sugar.  Mix with a spoon or spatula.
4. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and vanilla.  Pour mixture into the large bowl, mix.
5. Mix in baking soda, salt, and flour.  Lastly stir in the chocolate chips.  Mix well and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
6. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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