Maple and Walnut Scones

Maple and walnut scones

Ingredients

  • 640g (22oz) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 85g (3oz) light brown sugar
  • 345g (12oz) cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 180ml buttermilk (plus extra to brush the tops)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g (4oz) walnuts, only very coarsely chopped
  • Optional: 115g (4oz) dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1-2 tsp demerera sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones
  • For the icing: around 2 tbsp maple syrup and 50g icing sugar

Method: 

1) Preheat the oven to 180oC.

2) In large bowl add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar and mix briefly.

3) Rub the butter in with your fingers until it resembles a crumb-like mixture, but don’t worry if there are still some large lumps of butter at this stage.

4) Whisk together buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract and then add the mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients.

5) Add walnuts (and if using them the cherries too) and mix with your hands until you have a dough that hold itself together.

6) Take half of the dought and roll into a circule around 2-3cm thick and then divide into six wedges (or you can use a round cutter if you prefer the traditional round scone). Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

7) Brush each of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with demerera sugar.

8) Bake for around 25 minutes until the top of the scones appears golden brown. In order to ensure an even bake consider turning the baking trays around about half way through the time.

9) Place scones on a wire rack to cool.

10) For the icing mix the icing sugar and maple syrup – add a little water if the icing is too stiff to drizzle. Drizzle icing over scones.

This recipe has been adapted from this recipe recently viewed on the Guardian.

Cranberry Bliss Blondies

USA flagWith the festive season approaching I decided to try out something new this year, a take on a blondie often found in a high street coffee chain in the US. I’ve changed things a little so this is slightly thicker and with a more indulgent topping that you find in the original.

Ingredients

Blondie base:

    • 170g  salted butter
    • 300g light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 300g  plain flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 100g dried cranberries (these can be whole or chopped)
    • 170g white chocolate chopped into chunks (or of white chocolate chips)
Frosting:
  • 230g cream cheese
  • 130g icing sugar
  • 170g white chocolate (melted)
  • 100g dried cranberries (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Cranberry Bliss BlondiesMethod:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a 9×9 inch baking tray (if you want them a bit thinner then 9×13 inch is better)
  2. Melt the butter slowly over a low heat, once it’s melted take off the heat and stir in the sugar. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix together.
  5. Then add about half of the butter mixture to the flour mixture and combine, and add the remaining half once combined.
  6. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate. Unlike some blondies this is quick a dense mixture (you can always add a drop or two of milk if it is a bit too stiff to combine the cranberries and chocolate).
  7. Add the blondie mixture to the lined cake tin and bake for between 18-21 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
  8. After the blondies base has cooled completely make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until well combined (about a minute). Add half the melted white chocolate and continue to mix. Cover the blondie base in the frosting. Sprinkle with the chopped cranberries and then drizzle over the last portion of melted chocolate. The frosting will take a while to set – you can put it in the fridge although this tends to lead to a more chewy blondie).

Cranberry Bliss Blondies