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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Monday, July 26, 2010
Not Starbuck's Vanilla Scones
Two weeks ago, Sera & I spent the morning shopping at Target.  She was not excited at the prospect so I bribed her by stopping at the Starbucks inside for her favorite vanilla milk.  She claimed to be hungry, so I bought her a mini vanilla scone to go with it.

She sat at the table like a little princess daintly eating her scone and wiping her mouth with her napkin.  In other words, totally unlike the way she usually behaves while eating.  She loved that scone so much that she stayed focused on it completely.  An older woman even stopped as she passed to comment that she didn't even know children could be that well-behaved while eating anymore.  I decided not to disabuse her of this impression.

The entire time we shopped she begged for another scone.  I'm not ashamed to say I held this out as the reward if she behaved in the store.  On the way out I bought three more scones.  They were .75 each or 3 for $1.95.  It was a no brainer.

A few days later, we headed north on our camping trip.  When we hit Kalamazoo, Jim asked Sera if she wanted anything.  She asked to go to Starbucks for a scone.  We drove across the city to get to a Starbucks.  It was actually near the highway we needed, but not the shortest route to get there.  Daddy got her another scone.

When we got back home from camping, I started researching for a knockoff recipe.  I kept finding the same recipe everywhere I looked.  I think I'm crediting the person who actually created the recipe or at least claims to be. 

I'd already made my cherry preserves, let them sit their 24 hours undisturbed, and was ready to try them, so I decided to make a batch of these scones to try them with.  As it happened to be my birthday, they became my birthday cake, too.

I have to admit they are not much like the Starbucks scone, but I think they're better.  Jim loved them, but Sera wasn't as impressed.  She wanted them to be exactly like the one she already loved.  It's an easy recipe, and one that could easily be changed by adding different flavorings, nuts, fruit, or chips. They also went perfectly with the cherry preserves.

Not Starbucks Vanilla Scones
Adapted from Mary M @ cooks.com

2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c sugar
5 T unsalted butter (I used salted because that's what I had)
1 c regular full-fat sour cream
1 large egg yolks
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 c white chocolate chips, approximately

1 1/2 c powdered sugar (I didn't measure this, & I know I didn't use nearly this much)
1 t. - to taste water (I used milk.  Add just enough to make a pourable glaze)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

3. Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse meal.

4.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until blended. Add this and the white chocolate chips to the flour-butter mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms a cohesive ball. Use a spatula to get the dry bits fully incorporated. (It may not seem to have enough liquid at first, but the dough will eventually come together.).

5. Place the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined (or ungreased) baking sheet and pat into a disk about 1-inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate. Or scoop dough into a mini scone pan if available. (Yield will vary depending on how big you slice the wedges.).

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. (Mine were too thick, so I baked them for about 25 minutes.  I then pulled them apart and baked them for another 5-10 minutes.)

7. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add water (milk) one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny.

8. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of glaze over the hot scones. Brushing rather than drizzling gives a smoother appearance and requires less glaze. (I confess; I drizzled.)

9. Serve immediately. Store cooled scones in an airtight container.


Saturday, July 17, 2010
Cherry Season
We're having a low-key stay-at-home summer this year, but we did venture out for a camping weekend in Michigan over 4th of July weekend. On our way home we stopped and picked up two bags of freshly picked sweet cherries. Jim ate a few, but I wanted to expand my canning experiences, too.

After a few days home, I halved & pitted the remaining cherries and ended up iwth eight cups.  I wasn't ready to process them, so I mixed them with some sugar and froze them until I was ready.  Earlier this week I was.  I decided to make preserves.  Of course, I went online to find a recipe.  I found a recipe for jam, but changed it slightly to make preserves instead.  I have always preferred preserves, plus it's easier.  To make jam, you have to cook the fruit until it all breaks down or run it through a food mill.  To make jelly, you have to strain the fruit out leaving only the clear jelly part.  But with preserves, you have chunks of fruit mixed through out.

Sweet Cherry Preserves
Adapted from Sugarcrafter

8 cups sweet cherries, halved & pitted
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pkgs powdered pectin
8 cups granulated sugar

Mix cherries, lemon juice, lime juice, and cinnamon in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.  Add the pectin, and boil over high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the sugar, and bring to a hard boil.  Then stir constantly for one minute.

Pour into sterilized 1/2 pint jars, and process for 10 minutes in a waterbath canner.  I got 10 jars of preserves from this batch.

The original recipe also included cardamom and rum.  I left them out because I didn't have any, but I think they would have added an interesting dimension.

Even without, these preserves were a big hit.  We'll be enjoying these for months to come.  Now I wish I'd bought even more cherries because I'd like to can some pie filling and another recipe I found for canning the cherries without cooking them first.


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