starbucks knock-off: maple nut scones

I spent the better part of my working life at Starbucks. What started out as just a college job turned into something that felt like a forever job. While I was there I saw a lot of products come and go – for some reason the ones that went always happened to be my very favorite! So I’ve had to take matters into my own hands and make some of them myself. For example, the Maple Nut Scone. They just have a fally-wintery feel  that I have been craving the last couple of weeks so I made a batch and as far as I can remember, they were a match! Ahh, Maple Nut Scones, how I’ve missed you.Starbucks Maple Nut Scones
via Eating Out Loud

Ingredients

{Scones}
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup oatmeal, finely ground
1/2 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter
1 beaten egg
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 chopped pecans

{Egg Wash}
1 beaten egg
1 Tablespoon heavy cream

{Maple Glaze}
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract

Directions

{Scones}
In a large bowl, dry ingredients, cut in butter until pieces are smaller than the size of peas. Stir in the chopped pecans. *Because I hate cutting in butter I use a food processor for the entire scone process. I start by grinding 1/2 c oats finely, add the rest of the dry ingredients (reserve pecans for later) along with the butter cut into small cubes. Pulse a few times and the butter is perfectly incorporated. 

In a small bowl, stir together heavy cream, egg, and maple syrup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the mixture. Stop when the liquid is absorbed and the dough is just coming together. *If you chose to use a food processor I pour the wet ingredients in and stop as soon as the mixture comes together. Add the pecans now and knead together. 

Empty dough on to a floured surface and knead until it holds together. Pat the dough in to a circle about 1 1/2″ thick and cut into 8 wedges. Place scones onto a greased cookie sheet. Brush tops and sides with egg wash. Bake at 375F (190C) for 20 minutes. 

While the scones bake, mix glaze. Start with powdered sugar, maple extract and maple syrup. Slowly add heavy cream until the glaze reaches your desired consistency – you may not use all of the cream. After baking, allow scones to cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Glaze while still a little warm so glaze melts into all the cracks and crevasses. Let glaze harden slightly before eating.

*My pregnant brain always wants to make me think that eating two scones is a good idea. It’s not. I rarely give in and listen to it but the way I get back is to cut the scones in half before baking making 16 small scones instead of 8 large ones. That way I can still eat two! And they some how disappear a lot slower when there are twice as many. There is still time to enter this week’s giveaway!

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adventures in game cooking: elk stew

If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I ever saw my self scouring the internet for recipes for game meat I would have scrunched up my nose and said absolutely not. I knew I always wanted to ‘live off the land’ as far as eating went but I always pictured it looking more like raising our own cows or chickens and having a giant vegetable garden. I wasn’t really thinking along the hunter-gatherer lines. Well, things change and I married into hunting. Duck, deer, elk, pheasant, turkey, basically if it moves and you can buy a tag for it, my husband wants to hunt it and so do most of his family and friends. I’m not against the hunting as long as we actually eat what comes home, which means I am always keeping an eye out for recipes or asking other wives of hunters how they prepare the find of the day.

A friend gave us some elk shoulder not too long ago and I have had absolutely no idea what to do with it, until I came across this post from one of my new favorite food blogs. I decided swap out the beef for elk and pair it with biscuits from an old favorite food blog. The result was absolutely DE-LICI-OUS. I was very pleasantly surprised, the meat was so melt-in-your-mouth amazing! So heres one for all you fellow wives of hunter-gatherers! Enjoy!

Balsamic Elk Stew
recipe slightly modified from Baked Bree

Ingredients

2 lbs. elk shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks (I used yukon gold but fingerlings or red potatoes would also work)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions
Place elk in a large ziploc bag with flour, salt, and pepper and shake until coated. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add elk and cook until browned on all sides. Once browned transfer to a plate and set aside. Add onions to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft add garlic and cook until just fragrant being careful not to burn. Pour in red wine and beef stock and add bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. (I tied mine up in a little cheesecloth pouch to make removing later easy) Place the browned elk back into the pot, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until elk is fork tender. Add the carrots and potatoes bring to a light simmer and cook covered for another 30 minutes or until tender. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture and balsamic vinegar to stew. Remove and discard herbs. Serve stew hot with cheddar chive biscuits.

Cheddar Chive Biscuits
recipe slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
3/4 shredded cheddar
1 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in 3/4 cup chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in chives and cheese. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. *I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of heavy cream because my mixture wasn’t holding together and I ran out of buttermilk. Drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Serve fresh out of the oven.

pumpkin coconut bread

Fall completely snuck up on me this year! But now that it’s here I have been doing my best to fill our home with all of its wonderful smells, flavors and colors. What could be more fall than pumpkin bread? And this one has a delicious twist, coconut. I know it sounds a little crazy but really, it is absolutely amazing.This recipe is super easy and very budget friendly which makes it the perfect go-to when it’s your turn to bring a tasty treat to a fall party.

Ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (3 1/2oz) instant coconut cream pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin, canned or fresh cooked and mashed

About 1 cup of powdered sugar and a splash of milk for glaze.

Directions:

  1. Combine eggs, sugar, and oil in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer hand-held until well blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, pudding mix, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon; add to sugar mixture alternately with the mashed pumpkin, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove loaf to wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Mix powdered sugar and milk in a separate bowl and drizzle over cooled loaf.So delicious!

Don’t forget to check back on Monday for a One Young Love first! I am really excited and I am dying to share it with you. See you then!

double coconut muffins

I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut. Not so much artificially flavored coconut, but real coconut is one of my all time favorite flavors! These double coconut muffins are absolutely amazing! Not too sweet, so moist and with a delicious toasted coconut topping. I could eat them for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch and dinner, oh, and probably dessert too! This recipe comes from one of my very favorite food blogs. In fact, I think Smitten Kitchen is the first blog I had ever read. I get some of my favorite recipes from her site, if you’ve never visited you should check it out.She also recommended using parchment paper squares in lieu of muffin cup liners. I tried it and I may never regular liners again! Just cut 5″ x 5″ squares of parchment paper, crease the paper around the outside of each cup and fill with batter. The parchment paper peels away so easily, much less messy than the regular liners. And I love the way they look – like they came from a bakery! If you do choose to go the parchment paper route I would recommend piping the batter into the cups. It helps avoid the messy frustration of bits of burnt muffin all over the corners of the paper.Double Coconut Muffins
recipe via Smitten Kitchen
Again, if you have never visited Deb’s blog you should definitely check it out! 

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 sweetened shredded coconut

*It helps if the yogurt and egg are at room temperature to maintain a batter-like consistency. If they are cold, the muffins will still turn out, the coconut oil will get firm up and make the batter hard to mix

Preheat oven to 375. Warm coconut oil until just melted either on the stove or in the microwave – it will liquify quickly. Mix together flours, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, melted coconut oil, yogurt and vanilla. Mix into dry ingredients until combined. Fill muffin cups, sprinkle reserved shredded coconut and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. Begin checking after 15 minutes, muffins are done when a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool.

This is another great recipe to keep in the fridge in a ziploc as described in my poppyseed muffin post. 

poppyseed muffins

When I visited my cousin a while ago she made these amazing poppyseed muffins. They were so delicious, not too sweet, perfectly moist and they even look fancy with their sugary topping. I tried my hand at making them for my moms group last week and I will say, they were good but not nearly as good as my cousin made them. The recipe is the same, the only difference is, I have turned into a horrible baker since I’ve become a mom! No matter how hard I try to pay extra attention I either forget an ingredient or I forget to set a timer for the oven. I used to be so attentive! All that to say, this really is an amazing muffin recipe and as long as you pay more attention to your baked goods than I seem to, you will not be disappointed. Poppyseed Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 c softened butter
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/13 flour
2 1/2 tsp poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time along with vanilla and almond. In a separate bowl combine salt, baking powder and flour. Alternate adding dry ingredients a milk to butter/sugar mixture starting with flour. Mix until just combined and add poppy seeds. Using either a greased muffin pan or cupcake liners, fill muffin cups with batter about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 15 – 18 minutes until a tester comes out clean. (these guys are tricky, the batter is so light in color that they tend to look underdone but a tester will give a good indicator of doneness) Makes about 12 cupcakes.

I also learned after making these muffins that they really are best right out of the oven. However, I find that to be a bit difficult since I think muffins are most satisfying in the morning. I don’t know about you but I don’t have time in the morning to whip up a batch of muffins. So here’s what I’ve come up with to still get that fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin without having to wake up too early. I make the batter the night before and store it in a ziploc bag in the fridge over night. When you wake, up pull the bag out of the fridge and let the batter come to room temperature. When you’re ready to bake the muffins just snip a corner off of the bag and fill your muffin cups and pop them in the oven. Quick and easy, fresh out of the oven muffins with almost no extra work in the morning!

For the pretty sugar topping melt a tablespoon of butter in a bowl just big enough one muffin, fill a separate bowl with white sugar. Quickly dunk the muffin into the melted butter and then roll in sugar. See how pretty?

banana bread with oat crumble

banana breadI love it when food is tied to memories. When the smell wafts through the house or you take a bite and are flooded with reminders of another time or place. I have many fond memories associated with certain foods. Baked macaroni and cheese reminds me of childhood, ebelskivers of my grandparents and family vacations to the mountains, falafels bring memories of my brother and a summer trip to Seattle, vanilla soy mistos take me back to our honeymoon in Hawaii and german pancakes of being pregnant with Everly.recipeBanana bread also brings one of those take-me-back moments. Whenever I see, smell or make banana bread I am filled with fond memories of college and my dear friend Shirley. Shirley was a mom-away-from-home to many during our time away at school. Her home was always open, she was constantly available for a listening ear or a much needed mom hug. Someone to laugh and cry with, and someone to pray with. She had a way of making you feel so loved and cared for and was a sense of calm when everything felt crazy. Shirley was and is today, a very good friend. One of the ways Shirley chose to bless us was through gifting her mom’s special banana bread. She would pass out mini loaves at one of our bible studies or leader meetings. It was always such a gift to have a tasty homemade treat.jarsTo date this is my favorite banana bread. Feeling a bit adventurous this weekend and inspired by a failed recipe I had made a while ago, I wanted to switch things up and add an oat crumble to this already delicious treat. And I have to tell you, it resulted in something wonderful!spoon in drymixing

Banana Bread with Oat Crumble
Shirley’s mom’s recipe with a slight modification

ingredients

1/2 c butter – softened
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
3 or 4 very ripe smashed bananas
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

oat crumble

1/4 c rolled oats
1/4 c brown sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 T chilled butter

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar. Incorporate eggs into mixture and add mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients, once combined slowly incorporate into wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated – do not over mix batter.

Prepare topping in a seprate bowl – I use the same bowl I used for the dry ingredients – combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once combine, cut in chilled butter and mix until butter is the size of small peas. Once your topping is ready grease only the bottom of a large loaf pan. Fill the pan with half of the batter, sprinkle half of the oat crumble evenly over batter, add the remaining batter and top with remaining crumble.

Bake at 350 for an 1 hour and 15 minutes (begin checking for doneness after 1 hour). Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove and place on rack to finish cooling.

loaf

we may have eaten half the loaf before I could snap all my pictures...

mmm…two slices w-cream cheeseTrue confessions – my favorite way to eat banana bread is with a smattering of cream cheese. So figure friendly, but who cares!