Raspberry Scones

It’s a low-key weekend in the Stembridge household, which means getting caught up on housework… and baking! And since telling you all about the yummy raspberry scones I just made is much for fun than housework, alas, here I am, and the housework can wait!

I first made these scones for my daughter Berkley’s tea party birthday back in December. I was a scone newbie, and so I scoured Pinterest for what appeared to be a delicious – and beginner-appropriate – scone recipe. I lucked upon this recipe and it delivered on its promise to be easy and so good. I made these again for a brunch baby shower, and then a random weekend morning. And as I was prepping my grocery list and thinking about what to bake, these little beauties popped in my mind. I’m here to report, they are just as good the fourth time around. Hope you all enjoy!

Raspberry Scones

1 stick of unsalted butter, diced into 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces, placed back in refrigerator
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup frozen raspberries

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and lemon zest.
3.) Add butter to dry ingredients and toss it to coat with the flour. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse meal.
4.) Add frozen raspberries and toss to coat with a large fork. Drizzle heavy cream, and continue to incorporate raspberries, cream and butter. Using your hands, begin to kneed the dough until it starts to come together.
5.) Pour out the dough on the parchment lined baking sheet, and press to form an 8 to 9-inch square that is around 3/4-inch thick. It will look imperfect and rough around the edges, but that is OK!
6.) Using a large knife, cut the square into 9 square pieces. Then cut each of those squares in half to create 18 small triangles. Gently separate each triangle to have space for baking. TIP: coat your hands with flour so you can separate the scones and re-form some of them if needed without the dough sticking to your hands.
7.) Bake for 13 to 14 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Recipe from http://www.flourarrangements.org/2016/05/raspberry-lemon-scones/

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

When our family first started going gluten free, one of things I was most bummed to give up were pancakes. Sure, I’d come across gluten free pancakes at the store, but what I longed for were my homemade pancakes. At the time I hadn’t cracked the code to turn my normal recipes into gluten free ones without compromising the taste or consistency. Well my friends, thanks to King Arthur’s gluten free multi-purpose flour and some tips on their website, I did crack the code! Add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and an extra egg and voila! Behold, I give you really delicious gluten free pancakes. You’re welcome. 😉

Pancakes on griddle

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (King Arthur’s works great)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted (plus more for the griddle)

1.) Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together GF flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps. (The lumps are important – they will be very flat if you beat out all the lumps!)

2.) Grease the griddle with about 1/2 tbsp butter before each batch. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, pour pancake batter, in pools about 1 inch away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

3.) Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in a 175 degree oven. Serve warm.

Xanthan Gum

Gluten free multi-purpose flour

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Baking – ohh, how I have missed you. Ever since earlier this year when we learned my youngest son Beckett had food allergies (the most serious being gluten), I’ve put my baking on hold. Weekends used to mean homemade muffins and pancakes and biscuits, but trying these things without regular flour was more hassle than I felt like dealing with. It was unknown territory, and frankly with the baby, I didn’t have much time for experimenting. But a few weeks ago I wanted real pancakes and so I googled “how to substitute gluten free flour for regular flour” and was amazed by what I found – it’s actually pretty simple. Add xanthan gum and egg to almost any recipe and voila, you have gluten-free baked goods that don’t taste gluten-free. They rise and they have the same consistency. So with a new found excitement and hope about eating normal again, I’ll be baking – hallelujah, I’ll be baking! I’ll be testing out my old recipes and seeing how it goes. I’ll share my successes, and hope that if you are also gluten impaired that you’ll too be able to enjoy some of your old favorites again.

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 very ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1.) In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, brown sugar, oil, buttermilk and eggs until well combined (banana chunks are OK).
2.) In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Slowly stir into wet ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Stir until just combined – do not over-stir.
3.) Pour batter into lined muffin tins (I use a scoop), and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 21 minutes.

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GF Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins4 Xanthan Gum   Gluten free multi-purpose flour

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Crispy Belgium Waffles

I love waffles, but admittedly it’s more often than not the frozen variety. It’s something about the crispiness of a waffle right out of the toaster where you can spread your butter and get a little bit in every square. I just love it. And since I like to cook from scratch, I decided that I needed a waffle iron in my kitchen arsenal and I sought out to make homemade waffles. However, instead of my homemade version far surpassing the instant option, my waffles were a little lackluster – they were too sweet and worst of all, they were soggy. Such a bummer.

So the other day I was home from work with the boys in the morning, and Brogan’s breakfast request was waffles with my waffle iron. Determined to not succumb to soggy waffles, I searched Pinterest for crispy waffles. The trick, I learned (and had never before tried), is to incorporate a lot of corn starch in the batter and to make them with stiff egg whites (an extra bowl and some extra work, but worth it in the end). The recipe called for buttermilk (which I always prefer) and amaretto liqueur (which I omitted due to Brogan’s nut allergy). I didn’t supplement with vanilla instead because frankly I think it makes the waffles too sweet, and I prefer getting my sweetness from the maple syrup I top them with. The recipe yielded 4 large Belgium waffles, which coincidentally were gone pretty fast. I have definitely found my new go-to waffle recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Crispy Belgium Waffles

2 eggs, separated
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1.) Using a stand mixer, combine egg whites and sugar. Use the whisk attachment and start off whipping the eggs on low. Increase speed every 2 minutes or so until you are at medium-high speed. Beat them until they form stiff peaks (took mine about 8 minutes) while you are preparing the other components. (You can use a hand-held mixer, but you won’t get the benefit of prepping the rest while the eggs finish.)
2.) In a medium bowl, mix egg yolks, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, stir together flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Don’t over-stir and make sure there are still lumps. Gently fold in egg whites, making sure you don’t deflate them.
4.) Using a preheated waffle iron, lightly spray with cooking oil. Add 1 cup (heaping cup) of batter to the center of the waffle iron. Close the iron, and immediately flip it over. Cook for 3 minutes and then carefully remove. Top with butter and maple syrup.

Recipe adapted from Fifteen Spatulas’ 5 Secrets to Crisp, Flavorful Golden Waffles. 

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Crispy Belgium Waffles

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Buttermilk French Toast with Strawberry Syrup

An upside to being in the midst of yet another winter storm… I’m home with my babies… and get to make them a big ole homemade breakfast. Breakfast just may be my favorite meal of the day. During the weekdays it’s a boring Greek yogurt and banana, but when I’m home, I love to do it up big!  This morning, Brogan requested some strawberry syrup (just like Ihop, mommy). Okay. What to go with syrup… French Toast! Sounded good to Brogan so it was decided! As I started pulling out the ingredients, I was a little hesitant to use a lot of my milk (because we’ll likely be iced in for a while), but then I saw the buttermilk. Hmmm. I use it in my pancakes (and most other baked goods these days). Why not? The more I thought about, the better it sounded. I love the sour flavor it adds, especially paired with something really sweet.

So the verdict on this – incredible. It is the best French Toast I’ve ever made (go ahead, laugh, I know I say this a lot), but seriously it is. I served it with butter, the homemade strawberry syrup, a little bit of maple syrup, dusting of powdered sugar, and of course, some bacon on the side. All of these flavors were just magical together – so, so good.

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Buttermilk French Toast

12 pieces of bread (I used whole wheat because I had it on hand, but any would do)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Butter (for griddle and for serving)
Strawberry syrup (see below)
Maple syrup
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

1.) Heat a griddle to 350 degrees.
2.) In a pie plate, beat together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and cinnamon.
3.) Add about a tablespoon of butter to griddle and spread it around. Dip both sides of each slice of bread in the buttermilk mixture. Place on griddle. Cook for about 2 minutes (or until nicely browned). Flip over and cook another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining pieces of bread.
4.) Serve with butter, strawberry syrup, a little bit of maple and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Strawberry Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups strawberries, quartered

In a saucepan, heat water and sugar to boil. Add strawberries, return to boil and then reduce heat to medium high heat. Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Strawberry syrup

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Buttermilk French Toast1

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The cool thing about using buttermilk is the cinnamon stays equally distributed throughout the mixture, unlike milk where it floats to the top! 

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It used up the all the buttermilk mixture perfectly – I love efficiency! 

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Buttermilk French Toast

Blueberry Muffins!

This morning I decided on a little impromptu muffin making because I was seriously craving some blueberry muffins. I wanted a little tartness to go along with the blueberry, so I added sour cream, buttermilk and lemon zest (a little trick I learned from Ina Garten). Aside from the fact that I couldn’t manage to get equal amounts of batter in my muffin liners (despite using a scoop!), they turned out really, really good. Beckett and I ate 4 of them right out of the oven in about 10 minutes. And I’d like to blame it all on Becks, but this girl ate some muffins. They turned out light and tangy and were exactly what I was craving.

Blueberry muffins

Blueberry Muffins

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries

1.) Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin tins with 18 liners.
2.) Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth, continue beating and add vanilla, eggs and lemon zest. Next add salt, baking soda and baking powder, and then pour flour in very slowly while mixing on the lowest setting. Add sour cream, and buttermilk and beat until batter has a silky consistency. Stir in blueberries.
3.) Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned.

Yields 18 muffins

*I topped each muffin with sugar and lemon zest, but next time I make them I will leave off the zest. It got too brown while baking and didn’t add much flavor. 

Blueberry muffin batter

Blueberry muffin batter in liner

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

I decided to take my new mini-loaf pan for a spin this morning with a new recipe. The three browning bananas on my counter have been calling my name but I thought I’d go for something other than your standard banana bread. And as I was thinking about bananas, old memories of peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches came to me, and so that was my inspiration for this bread. I added chocolate chips, because well, I like chocolate, so why not?

The bread turned out really good. It’s moist, it’s heavy, and rich, and the peanut butter makes it stick to the roof of your mouth. My little taste-testers (Brogan and Beckett) also approved.

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

3 (really) ripe bananas
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1.) In an electric stand mixer on the lowest setting, add bananas, butter, brown sugar and peanut butter and beat until smooth. Then add egg, vanilla, honey and buttermilk.
2.) In a medium size bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together and then slowly pour into the liquid mixture. Beat until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
3.) Pour into 8 buttered mini loaf pans or 1 standard loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven; about 30 minutes for the mini loaf pans and about 1 hour for the standard. Insert a toothpick in the center of the bread to test if it’s done.

Peanut butter banana batter

Buttered mini loaf pans
To butter the pans, I placed a little bit of softened butter in each loaf pan and then rubbed it around with a paper towel. The loaves slid out very easily.

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Peanut butter banana bread baked

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My little photo shoot helpers… can you tell they were ready to eat?

Photoshoot helper Brogan

Photoshoot helper Beckett

French Toast Casserole

Breakfast casseroles are a must-have during the holidays. We enjoyed this French toast casserole at my in-laws this Christmas and it turned out delicious! It was really easy to make – we were able to make this the night before and throw it in the oven in the morning. This was my first time making this but it won’t be my last!

French toast casserole

French Toast Casserole

1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread, cut/torn into 1″ to 2″ cubes
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (plus more to sprinkle on top)
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch nutmeg
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1.) Grease a 9″x13″ casserole dish with butter. Add cubed bread evenly to dish.
2.) In a medium bowl, mix eggs, milk, whipping cream, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
3.) In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter until the mixture has the texture of small pebbles. Store in a ziploc bag in the fridge.
4.) When it’s time to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle topping over the bread and then sprinkle some additional cinnamon on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Adapted from Suburban Epicurean’s French Toast Casserole 

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Pumpkin Bread with Tangerine Streusel

It’s been a couple of weeks and I’ve been itching for more pumpkin – it was time for another pumpkin bread. The boys and I love having yummy breads for breakfast, but it can take so long to make in the morning. So I made this bread tonight and we will enjoy it tomorrow without the wait!

I looked to a couple recipes for the inspiration for this bread, but thought I’d jazz it up a little with some tangerine zest. Let me tell you – I had never had pumpkin with tangerine before, but oh. my. gosh. it is awesome! (Okay, so I know this is supposed to be for breakfast tomorrow, but I had to try it!) The tangerine in the batter adds just a little flavor enhancement, but the tangerine in the streusel takes this over the edge. The bread is very moist and the crunch of the streusel is the perfect compliment. Do yourself a favor and try this one out – you will not be sorry!

Pumpkin Bread with Tangerine Streusel

Pumpkin Bread

Dry Ingredients
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar

Wet Ingredients
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp tangerine zest (from 1 tangerine)

Streusel Topping
2 tbsp butter, softened
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tangerine zest (from 1 tangerine)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

1 tsp sugar (to finish)

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
2.) In a medium sized bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Set aside.
3.) Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer), blend wet ingredients until well combined. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Pour into loaf pan.
4.) In a small bowl, combine streusel topping ingredients and mix well with a fork. Sprinkle the batter with the streusel, making sure it is evenly distributed. Finish with a dusting of sugar.
5.) Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Brogan Baking
I had the best little helper tonight!

Buttered and Floured
Trick to greasing a dish – use room temp butter, hold it in a paper towel and rub it all over. Then pour some flour in the pan and move it around until covers the entire surface. Works like a charm!

Pumpkin Bread Batter Pumpkin bread with tangerine Tangerine Streusel Pumpkin Bread with Tangerine Streusel3 Pumpkin Bread with Tangerine Streusel2

Brogan doing dishes
And my little helper even did the dishes (for real!) – I was pretty impressed!

Adapted from Easy Pumpkin Bread and Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin and chocolate – the perfect combination.  I made these muffins for breakfast this morning and between the smell of these fabulous things baking in the oven and fresh brewed coffee, my house smelled like a pumpkin spice latte. Yum.  This is the perfect muffin to kick off the fall with – moist and sweet with the perfect amount of both pumpkin and chocolate, a totally decadent treat.  Happy fall y’all!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 14.5-oz can pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans.
2.) Combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
3.) Whisk together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves until smooth.
4.) Slowly whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
5.) Fill each muffin liner almost full of batter. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.  Yields almost 24 muffins (I like to fill the cups extra full so they rise above the paper, therefore, I only got 22 muffins out of the batter).

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Adapted from The Blissful Table’s Pumpkin Muffins