Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cookie buzz

As far as caffeinated morning beverages go, coffee (in its many variations) is not my cup of tea. =)   I like the smell, but not the taste.  I don't care for most coffee flavored things (e.g. ice cream) either.  But as a result of all my baking, I have come to appreciate instant espresso powder.  In particular, I love the little boost it gives to chocolate desserts.  But in most of those recipes, you don't really taste the espresso, it just intensifies the chocolate flavor.  So I was a bit uncertain when I saw this week's Tuesdays with Dorie pick.  Donna of Life's too short not to eat dessert first chose Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies for us to make this week.  But with the addition of chocolate, I figured they were worth a try, especially since I love shortbread.

Shortbread cookies have a pretty short list of ingredients and are easy to mix up.  You start with lots of butter, some powdered sugar, vanilla and all-purpose flour.  I added salt (1/2 a teaspoon).  These particular cookies are flavored with instant espresso powder dissolved in a bit of boiling water.  Finally, mini chocolate chips are folded into the dough.  

Where things get interesting is in the shaping technique for these cookies.  You put the dough in a gallon-sized ziploc bag, and flatten it out.  You roll out the dough inside the bag until it pretty much fills it.  Then you chill the dough for a few hours.  When ready to bake, you simply slit the bag open and cut the dough into squares.  I was being a bit lazy and made bigger squares than usual (2" square before baking).  I baked them for 17 minutes and ended up with about 2 dozen.  To dress them up, I tried dipping some of my cookies in chocolate.

The verdict?  I liked these more than I expected to, since coffee isn't my favorite flavoring.  They were well-received by everyone I shared them with (I took some of them to work).  The humidity around here had a bit of a negative effect on the texture of the chocolate dipped ones (I really need to learn to temper chocolate), but they were still tasty.  I don't know if I'd make these again just for myself, but I can certainly see making them again as gifts.  I do want to try Dorie's alternative of Oatmeal Spice Shortbread--I completely missed the variation until someone mentioned it on this week's P and Q.

If you'd like to try these for yourself, head over to Donna's blog for the recipe.  And check out this week's Links to see what everyone else thought of these cookies.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Strawberry cupcakes forever

I've been really good lately.  I haven't bought a new cookbook in ages.  (Ages meaning a couple months.)  Then I broke my streak by buying two in two days.  The second one was this morning--I ordered Dorie's new book on Amazon.  (Surprisingly, my order said I may have it by the end of the week. Wow. And cool!)  The first cookbook I bought yesterday at Half Price Books--a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.  I have several friends who are members of the MS Cupcakes Club, so I've heard lots of good things about it.  In fact, I thought about buying it back when it came out, but decided that I just don't make cupcakes often enough to justify it.  But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it for half price.  Now I just have to restrain myself and not go crazy buying cool cupcake papers and other decorating stuff.  It seems I have the same love for decorating supplies that I have for office supplies.  Which is why I do my best to stay out of both Michael's and Office Depot. =)

So of course I had to make something right away.  After flipping through the book, what caught my eye right away was the lovely pink Strawberry Cupcakes--strawberry cake with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  (I have to say, one of the things that appealed to me about this book is that Martha uses a lot of Swiss meringue buttercream, which is a favorite of mine.  Gotta do something to use up all those egg whites leftover from making ice cream!)  Since I just bought a bunch of strawberries when grocery shopping, these cupcakes seemed like a great place to start.  

The recipe makes a lot--it gives a yield of 34--but since I only have one muffin tin and didn't need a huge number of cupcakes, I made a third of it.  It wasn't too difficult to cut the ingredient amounts in thirds, especially since I converted everything to grams first.  I couldn't find any notes in the book about what weights Martha uses for flours, so I went with a fairly standard 4.5 ounces (about 125 g) for AP flour and 4 ounces (about 115 g) for cake flour.  The batter is made with the creaming method, and finely chopped strawberries are folded in at the end.  I ended up with 11 cupcakes.  The frosting is pretty standard as well.  Even though I knew I wouldn't need that much, I made a full recipe of plain Swiss meringue buttercream, since it's kind of hard to make a small amount in a stand mixer.  I just froze half of it and added fresh strawberry puree to the rest.  I originally added the strawberries to a third of the plain frosting, but I think I had too much puree, because the frosting broke and wouldn't come back together no matter how much I beat it.  I think I added too much liquid for it to handle, so I added in some more of the plain frosting and beat it all together.  That solved the problem.  So now I have a bunch of plain frosting and a little extra strawberry frosting in my freezer.

The verdict?  Well, Brianna and Gillian certainly gave them two thumbs up.  =)  I think they were excited to see cupcakes for dessert, since we hardly ever have them except for birthdays.  I'll have to report back with my verdict later, since I'm way too full from dinner to eat one now.  Well, and because I might have sampled just a bit of the frosting before dinner... The frosting is definitely delicious.  Edited to add: Okay, I finally tried one. Yum! It's nice to have non-chocolate cake for a change.  (Everyone here but me likes chocolate/chocolate the best.  I prefer vanilla cake/chocolate frosting.)

If you'd like to try these for yourself, you can find the recipe here.  I can't wait to see what other fun cupcakes I can find to make.  Gillian has already put in a request for the monkey ones for her birthday. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Too hot

Well, the school year is officially underway.  I still find it strange that school starts so early around here, since we always went back after Labor Day.  And lucky us, Mother Nature decided to celebrate the first day of school with our hottest day of the year so far, with a high of 104 degrees.  Fortunately, it looks like things are supposed to "cool off" this weekend, with highs in the high 80s or low 90s.  Have I mentioned how much I hate the month of August in Texas? =)

You might think that the heat is the reason for my lack of blogging in the past week--that it's been too hot to bake.  Well, that's not entirely true.  (Thank goodness for air conditioning.)  Last week was mostly taken up with a single project, a 50th birthday cake for a friend of mine.  I spread the frosting making, cake baking and assembly over several days, and delivered the cake to the happy birthday girl on Friday afternoon after work.  Friday was exciting for another reason, too.  I had the chance to meet one of our fellow Tuesdays with Dorie members!  Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes was in Texas to visit family, and happened to be driving through my part of Texas on her way home.  She stopped by my branch at lunch time, and the fun part was explaining to my coworkers that no, I hadn't met her before, but I "know" her from one of my baking groups.  (They know a little bit about TWD because they get to eat a lot of the completed recipes.)  It was a very brief visit, but it was so great to put a face with the name and the blog, as she put it. =)  

And speaking of TWD, I'll be taking a lot of this week's tart to work with me today.  Rachel of sweet tarte picked Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart for us to make this week.  Despite the heat, I baked the tart and several other things over the past couple of days.  (I took Monday off for back to school and to enjoy some peace and quiet.)  I've just had to adjust my schedule to do my baking in the morning and evening to avoid heating up the house (even more) in the afternoon.  I also had to adjust the tart based on available ingredients.  While we had some fantastic peaches a few weeks ago, the few that were at the store this week didn't look all that great.  I ended up bringing home some nectarines instead.  Close enough, right?  Amazingly enough, I did use almonds in the crust and streusel, since I had some leftover from last week's birthday cake (which featured almond praline in the filling).  For the tart crust, I used my favorite crust from Alice Medrich, with a few tablespoons of chopped almonds added.  My only change to the custard was to leave out the almond extract, since I don't really like it.  Not quite all of the custard fit in my pan, since I used my rectangular one (which has slightly less volume than my 9" round one).  I also adjusted the baking time, baking the tart for 8 minutes at 425 degrees, 15 minutes at 375 degrees, and then another 15 minutes at 375 after adding the streusel.   

The verdict?  I really wanted to like this, but it wasn't quite my thing.  (I would have been happier just eating it the way it is in the picture up above, with just fruit and crust.)  I'm just not a big fan of custardy things (except for ice cream).  I'd like to try making a peach tart with the almond cream from this tart instead.  And my crust ended up way too dark, which didn't help.  I know that's probably mostly due to my change in pan size, but I do wonder about baking anything with eggs/custard at such a high temperature to start.  If I make this tart again, I'll probably just stick with 375 degrees for the whole time.  

If you'd like to try this recipe for yourself, you can find it on Rachel's blog.  And to see what everyone else thought of the tart, check out this week's links to the other TWD bakers.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Almost fall?

It's hard to believe that Brianna heads back to school in less than a week.  I'm still not used to the idea of school starting in August--we always went back after Labor Day.  I think of the beginning of school as the start of fall, and the weather here is anything but fall-like.  I think we're pretty much ready, though.  School supplies are all purchased.  (That whole thing still bugs me--I'm amazed at the amount of stuff that parents are expected to supply at the beginning of the year.)  A new backpack is ordered and should arrive by the end of the week.  (We're trying one from Lands' End this year; the ones we've bought in the past don't last long enough.)  She has a new outfit for the first day. (Just one for now--all her spring/summer clothes still fit and it won't be cool enough for fall/winter stuff for quite some time, by which point she may have grown some more.)  She even has new shoes, thanks to my wonderful husband.  I've finally learned my lesson--no more attempting to shop for shoes with just me and the two of them.  That never ends well.  We split up this time; I took Gillian shopping Sunday morning, and Jamie took Brianna Sunday afternoon.

Besides finishing up the back-to-school stuff, I did get a chance to do some baking this weekend.  Sandwich bread, cookies, and a new focaccia recipe (hopefully to be blogged soon; I need to make it again and follow the directions correctly this time...).  I was on the fence about whether to make this week's TWD recipe.  Natalie of Oven Love picked Oatmeal Breakfast Bread for us to make this week.  It just didn't sound all that appealing to me, despite the fact that I really like "fall" flavors like apples and raisins and cinnamon.  I might have just been a bit tired of oatmeal, too, since I've made several things with it lately.  I asked for opinions on Twitter, and everyone responded positively.  I decided to sleep on it.

Monday morning, I decided to go ahead and make the recipe to take to work with me.  I decided to go with muffins so I'd be able to get them baked before I had to head out the door.  As with most quick breads, the batter is fairly quick and easy to mix up.  For the applesauce, I actually reverted to using a couple of the single serving cups I had in the pantry.  For the fruit, I used regular raisins, since I like them with anything apple-y.  The only change I made was to the topping--I substituted the streusel from our new favorite plum cake (using pecans).  I scooped the batter into my muffin tin, and had enough for 12 muffins plus a bit left over, which I put in a mini loaf pan.  I baked them for about 24 minutes, then let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to cool.

The verdict?  I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed these muffins--though I shouldn't have been, since I like all the things that went into them.  And they were a huge hit at work--everyone was surprised to learn that they're fairly healthy (lots of fiber from the fruit and oats and not a lot of fat).  I did leave a few at home so the girls could try them this morning.  Gillian liked the muffins except for the nuts on top.  Brianna took one bite, discovered the raisins, and requested toast for breakfast instead.  Oh, well, can't win them all.  =)  I'll definitely be making these again. 

If you'd like to try this recipe for yourself, you can find it here on Natalie's blog.  And to see what everyone else thought of this week's selection, check out this week's links.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In the eye of the beholder

As I was eating one of the granola bars I made last weekend, the combination of chocolate (thanks to B&G insisting on adding chocolate chips) and oatmeal reminded me of something.  It took me a minute to figure out what it was.  The taste was reminiscent of some cookies that I used to make with a junior high friend of mine.  Her family called them ugly cookies, because, well, they were not very attractive to look at.  But the taste?  Fabulous.  Chocolate and peanut butter, with some oatmeal to hold everything together.  I made them at her house a bunch of times, but for some reason never wrote down the recipe for myself.  It wasn't until I was in college that I encountered them again.  My first husband Nate (then just my boyfriend) had a bunch of recipes from his mom.  One of them was for something called no-bake peanut butter cookies.  It wasn't until I actually made the recipe with him that I realized that these no-bake cookies were my old favorite ugly cookies!

These aren't traditional cookies, as you might guess from the title.  They're more like peanut butter fudge, with some oatmeal mixed in.  Not that that's a bad thing.  You boil together sugar, cocoa powder, milk and butter, then mix in peanut butter and oatmeal.  I did tweak the recipe slightly from the original that Nate had.  I added more cocoa (more chocolate is generally good) and a little salt.  I've tried making these with rolled oats instead of quick oats, too.  It works, but I find that I have to add more oats, since the quick oats seem to bind the mixture better.  I used to spoon the finished mixture onto foil, but now I use parchment paper since I have it around all the time.

The verdict?  Brianna and Gillian seemed to like these, although they both complained about the oatmeal a bit.  It does tend to give the cookies a very chewy texture at first.  The oatmeal softens a bit by the second day, though.  As always, I loved these, and Jamie agreed that it had been way too long since I'd made them.  The only question now is whether to take some to work.  I might have to, to remove the temptation of eating them all myself. =)

Ugly Cookies (aka No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies)
(adapted from Laverne Morrison)

400g (2 cups) granulated sugar
20g (1/4 cup) natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
110g (1/2 cup) milk
110g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
130g (1/2 cup) smooth peanut butter
225g (about 2 1/2 cups) quick oats

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or foil and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until no lumps of cocoa remain.  Whisk in the milk, then add the butter.  Heat the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then boil it for one minute.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Whisk in the peanut butter, then stir in the oats.  Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls (I used my #40 disher) onto the parchment lined pans.  Cool until fully set, 1-2 hours.  Makes about 2 dozen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Going green

I never gave much thought to pregnancy cravings.  When I was pregnant with Brianna, the biggest food issue I had was actually an aversion, rather than a craving.  I didn't want much of anything to do with meat.  Any kind.  I can remember sitting in our living room on Thanksgiving (at 7 months pregnant), giving direction to Jamie and our friend Paul as they were in the kitchen trying to cook the turkey.  I had more or less told them that if they wanted turkey, they'd have to make it themselves.  It was interesting.  =)  I did have a bit of a craving toward the end, for Nestle butterscotch chips.  Normally I find them incredibly sweet, but I went through several bags over the last couple months before Brianna was born, eating them straight up (not even in cookies or anything).

With Gillian, though, I really got a taste of the whole crazy craving thing.  I was pregnant with G during a Texas summer.  So it wouldn't seem unusual that I might eat a little ice cream.  Well, it's safe to say I ate more than a little.  Not that I ate a lot at one time, it was just a scoop or so a day.  For months.  Like, about four months.  Only one flavor--HEB Creamy Creations mint chocolate chip.  It's a lovely pale green color, with the best bits of chocolate in it.  I ate that ice cream every single day for months.  I'm afraid to even think about just how many gallons of it I consumed over the summer, one scoop at a time.  Jamie would suggest other flavors once in a while, but the only one I really wanted was mint chocolate chip.  After G was born, the craving went away, and I've only occasionally eaten it in the four years since.

Now to be fair, part of that is because I hardly ever buy ice cream anymore.  It's too much fun to make my own. =)  This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe gave me another good opportunity to play around with ice cream.  Katrina of Baking and Boys picked the delicious Ganache Ice Cream for us to make this week.  I know it's delicious because I've made it several times before.  The first time was almost exactly 2 years ago, when I blogged about it as part of an event for World Breastfeeding Week.  Since then I've made it quite a few times, playing around with different additions.  I was having a hard time deciding what variation to make for this post, then I had a great idea.  Chocolate mint chip.

No, that's not quite the same as mint chocolate chip.  In this case, I added mint chips to chocolate ice cream, rather than the other way around.  The idea was partly inspired by my blogging friend Tracey.  A while back, she mentioned that she likes Guittard Green Mint Chips, but has a hard time finding them.  That reminded me that I had some stashed away in my pantry.  (I can sometimes find them here, mainly during the holidays.)  Ever since then, I've been looking for something good to use them in.  They seemed like the perfect addition for this ice cream!  The only thing that worried me was that full-size chips can be hard to eat--literally--in ice cream.  So I used a tip that I learned from Alice Medrich for making homemade chocolate chunks.  You melt the chocolate (I used 115g, or about 4 ounces), spread it on a sheet of parchment paper, and freeze it.  Then you chop the sheet of chocolate into small bits and keep them in the freezer until you're ready to add them to the ice cream.  The only other addition I made to the ice cream was a couple tablespoons of rum.  I find that most chocolate ice creams freeze very hard, and a bit of alcohol helps make it easier to scoop.

The verdict?  Mmm, we really enjoyed this flavor.  The chocolate ice cream itself has a really great texture.  (It's almost pudding-like when melted.)  Jamie said that he thought it had a nice balance between the chocolate and mint flavors.  I don't feel the need to eat this compulsively, but it won't be at all difficult to eat the rest of the quart.  Brianna and Gillian like all chocolate ice cream, and this was no exception, so I'm sure they'll help with what's left. =)

If you'd like to try this recipe for yourself, you can find it on Katrina's blog.  And be sure to check out this week's links to the other TWD bakers to see what fun they had with this ice cream.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Lots of people would probably think I'm crazy, but I really like baking my own stuff.  Not just the usual sorts of stuff that lots of people bake, like cookies or cupcakes.  No, I'm talking about the more interesting (some might say difficult) stuff, like croissants and bagels.  Part of it is certainly that by making my own, I know exactly what goes into it.  But it's also fun and gives me a sense of accomplishment to say that I did it myself.  I guess that's why other people work on their own cars and build stuff around the house. =)  I just prefer working with flour and sugar.  

I've been doing the BYOB thing with bread for a while, and plan to continue.  Over the past couple of years I've tried my hand at a lot of non-bread things, too.  It's funny--I've been taking the girls to the farmers market fairly often this summer, and they like to sample prepared foods (including a lot of baked goods) from the various vendors.  I think they're a bit disappointed when I tell them that I'm not going to buy something because I can make it myself at home.  But they're happier when I offer to let them help.

This morning's project is a good example of that.  They were bugging me in the grocery store last night, asking if I would buy them granola bars.  Problem is, the ones they really like (and I'm willing to feed them) are rather expensive and I can only get them at Central Market.  Most of the stuff on the shelf seems to be more candy than healthy snack.  (Not that I'm anti-candy, but there's a time and a place...) I've been meaning to try making my own for a while, and decided to finally do it.  I figured they'd be a good snack to take with us to the splash park this morning.  I did a bit of searching in my Google Reader and found a few recipes that might be good to try.  I put out a request on Twitter for ideas, and Nancy suggested looking in the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book.  I was feeling lazy and checked the KAF website instead.  Sure enough, I found what looked like a great recipe for Chewy Granola Bars.  

I had one small problem--the recipe calls for KAF Sticky Bun Sugar, which I don't have.  But there's a helpful substitution for it in the sidebar, so I went with that.  I'm not a big honey person, and wanted a brown sugar flavor in the bars, so I used golden syrup both in the sub for the sticky bun sugar and in place of the honey/maple syrup.  I used melted butter in the substitution and canola oil for the main part of the recipe.  For the nuts, I went with cashews, since I knew the girls would happily eat them.  I let them pick out the rest of the mix-ins.  They started by pulling all the dried fruit they could find out of the pantry.  I didn't realize we had so much--raisins, plums (aka prunes), apricots, peaches, cranberries and mangos.  They settled on dried plums (a favorite for both of them) and apricots.  And of course we had to add chocolate chips.  Since I don't like cinnamon with chocolate, I added dried ginger instead.  To try to make it easier to get the baked bars out of the pan, I lined it with non-stick foil, and baked the bars for 25 minutes.

The verdict?  These were quite delicious.  The girls agreed.  In fact, Brianna kept asking if she could have more while we were still at the park, but since these bars have a lot of calories packed into a small package, I told her she'd have to wait until later.  I did have a little trouble with the granola not wanting to stay together in bar form, though the bits were nicely chewy.  (The granola stuck to everything else though, including the non-stick foil!)  There may be a couple reasons for that.  One could be that I didn't have the KAF sticky bun sugar.  I may have to finally break down and place an order from them.  Also, after I made the bars, I realized that the recipe called for quick oats, which I didn't have.  I typically use regular rolled oats for everything.  I'll have to pick up some of the quick oats when I go shopping and see if that makes a difference.  But I really like the combination of flavors that Brianna and Gillian picked.  And I can't wait to try some others.  

If you'd like to try these for yourself,  you can find the recipe here on the King Arthur website.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bunny food?

Oops, just realized that it's Tuesday evening and I still haven't finished this post!  I guess that's kind of an odd way to "start" a post, but that's because I seldom write a post in order from start to finish.  Especially if I'm having a hard time deciding what to write, I'll start at the bottom, with the verdict.  And usually my baking notes are pretty straightforward to type up.  So all I had left after this morning was this first section.  I've been trying most of the day to come up with something interesting to put up here, but no luck.  So I guess I'll just get right to it...  This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was picked by Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina.  Her selection was Gingered Carrot Cookies.

Since there are a lot of other things on my "want to make soon" list, I decided to just make half the recipe.  As with last week's recipe, I changed the add-ins.  No coconut, of course, and no nuts again.  For the carrots, I went with a technique from my favorite carrot cake recipe, and finely chopped them in my food processor, rather than shredding them.  I think it gives a nicer texture than shreds.  Also for texture reasons, I decided to use some zante currants that I had in my pantry, rather than raisins.  I used about 100g of each for my half recipe.

As with most cookies I make, I mixed the dough by hand.  I started off with creaming together the butter and sugars (brown and white).  The recipe says to mix the ginger and nutmeg in with the dry ingredients.  I'm in the middle of rereading Shirley Corriher's Bakewise, and she recommends adding spices to the fat to bring out their flavors more.  So I mixed the ginger and nutmeg into the butter mixture, then added the vanilla.  Most of the ingredients divided easily, but the original recipe calls for just one egg.  To get half, I weighed the whole egg (out of the shell) and got about 50g.  So after beating the egg a bit, I added 25g of it to the butter/sugar mixture.  Next, I mixed in the flour, salt and baking powder, then stirred in the carrots and currants.  I used my #40 scoop to portion the dough, and baked the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  I ended up baking them for 15 minutes.  

I decided to add some icing to the cookies to dress them up a bit.  Several people mentioned the idea of a cream cheese frosting or glaze, and I thought about that.  But I decided to go with something different.  I have a wonderful recipe for pumpkin cookies that has a really yummy butter-based cinnamon icing.  I changed the spice to ginger for these cookies.  I whisked together 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 70g of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon of milk.  The icing hardens somewhat as it cools, so it's best to use it quickly and apply it to cookies that are still warm.

The verdict?  I wasn't sure about how we'd like these, but they were quite tasty!  I did try one plain, but I have to admit, I like them better with the icing.  They have a nice soft texture that works well with the currants and bits of carrots.  I'd like to make them again with walnuts or pecans, though I don't know if B or G would eat them that way.

If you'd like to try these for yourself, you can find the recipe on Natalia's blog.  And to see how everyone else did this week, check out the links for this week's recipe.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A peachy start to the month

I was awake entirely too early this morning. 6:20am, which is just wrong for a day when I don't have to go anywhere. But I decided to make the best of it and just get up.  At least it's nice and quiet at that time of day (and Gillian didn't make an appearance until about 7:15).  I sat in the recliner with my laptop, reading stuff online and trying to decide what to bake for breakfast.

I was pretty sure I wanted to make scones.  They're always a big hit around here.  But I'm a bit tired of my usual recipes, so wanted to find something new.  I didn't really want to get up to look through cookbooks.  I started by searching through my Google Reader, but nothing caught my eye.  My next stop was one of my favorite online baking resources, the King Arthur Flour website.  I typed "scones" into the search box, and waited to see what would come up.  I thought about making savory ones, like these scallion cheddar scones, but decided to save those for another day.  But a couple recipes down the page I hit pay dirt.  Peach Nutmeg Scones.  I love nutmeg.  I love peaches, and had some that I needed to use up.  I almost always have vanilla yogurt in the fridge--I buy the 32 oz container, and Brianna and Gillian often eat it with whatever fruit we have around.  I was set!

Like most scone recipes, these are easy to mix up.  First I whisked together the dry ingredients (AP flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, nutmeg) in a large bowl.  In a 2-cup measuring cup, I whisked together the eggs, vanilla yogurt and extracts.  The recipe calls for half a teaspoon of almond extract, but I don't like it that much, so I used a couple drops and made up the difference with vanilla extract.  Then I diced the peach into small pieces.  (I didn't bother to peel it, since I hate peeling peaches and avoid it whenever possible.)  I cut the cold butter into small pieces, then rubbed it into the flour mixture with my fingers.  I poured the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and mixed everything together with a spatula.  Then I folded in the peach pieces.  I had a really hard time getting them mixed in, so next time I think I'll try mixing the peaches into the flour first, then adding the wet ingredients.  

Rather than mess with forming the dough into triangles, I just used my #16 disher (1/4 cup capacity) and scooped the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  I still got 10 scones.  I used wet fingers to flatten the dough a bit.  Since I knew I wanted to add glaze after baking (Gillian had asked if she could do the glaze), I skipped the melted butter and sugar on top.  I can't tell you exactly how long I baked them for, because I forgot to set the timer.  Fortunately, I realized it midway through baking, and just watched them closely, pulling them out when they were nicely browned on top.  I let the scones cool on the pan for about 5 minutes while I mixed up a glaze of powdered sugar, milk, and a bit of vanilla.  I transferred the scones to a rack and put the parchment paper from the baking sheet on the counter under the rack to catch drips.  Then Gillian and I took turns drizzling the glaze on top.

The verdict? Mmm, these are delicious!  B & G agreed.  I'll definitely be making these again.  While I pretty much stuck to the recipe this time, next time I'd like to try them with part white whole wheat flour (in which case I'd increase the amount of yogurt slightly).  If you'd like to try these for yourself, the recipe can be found here on the King Arthur Flour website.  And here's my ingredient list--I converted most of it to grams.  Enjoy!

Peach Nutmeg Scones

250 g unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur, of course)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
50 g vanilla sugar (because the container was sitting on the counter)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't measure, just grated until it looked like enough)
1 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons (85 g) cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
75 g whole milk vanilla yogurt (Brown Cow whole milk)
scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 drops almond extract
1 peach, cut into small dice (sorry, forgot to weigh it)