ALMOND SNICKERS SCONES

Once again I found time to work with my favorite media, scones! For me, baking can be a very creative outlet . Above all other recipes, scones are my most adored. They come together easily and the final result is always delicious; the recipes are quite varied from savory to cream scones to sweet scones. I especially love how scone recipes can be slightly altered, yet produce something all together unique.

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This may well become my favorite scone recipe although I have many, many more to sample.  These scones barely made it out of the oven before people claimed dibs on the one they wanted.  I had to fight them off so I could make the milk chocolate topping.  The milk chocolate added another flavor layer to these already delicious scones.

ALMOND SNICKERS SCONES
Print Recipe
These are light, tender and fabulous. They went so fast I barely had time to take photos of the completed scones. They came together quickly and although grating frozen butter was a nuisance, it made a world of difference. I think I'll continue using this technique for all my future scones. However, I'm going to try using my food processor to grate the butter. The topping is so tasty I wanted to eat it right out of the bowl. I definitely recommend giving these a try, they are well worth the small effort they require.
Servings Prep Time
16 Mini Scones 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 Mini Scones 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 40 Minutes
ALMOND SNICKERS SCONES
Print Recipe
These are light, tender and fabulous. They went so fast I barely had time to take photos of the completed scones. They came together quickly and although grating frozen butter was a nuisance, it made a world of difference. I think I'll continue using this technique for all my future scones. However, I'm going to try using my food processor to grate the butter. The topping is so tasty I wanted to eat it right out of the bowl. I definitely recommend giving these a try, they are well worth the small effort they require.
Servings Prep Time
16 Mini Scones 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 Mini Scones 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 40 Minutes
Ingredients
The Almond Snickers Scones
For The Topping
Servings: Mini Scones
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450º F and line a cookie sheet with parchment or use a silpat mat
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Grate the frozen butter on the large holes of a box grater. Mix into the flour until well coated.
  4. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk and Almond extract. Pour into the flour/butter mixture and stir until combined. The dough should look very shaggy.. Fold in the frozen, chopped Almond Snickers.
  5. Scoop the dough onto a floured surface and pat into an 8 inch circle. Use a floured bench scraper to cut into 8 wedges. Place the wedges 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet; or,
  6. Place tablespoons of the shaggy dough into a prepared scone pan. I have a mini scone pan I'm particularly fond of.
  7. If any Almond Snickers are poking out of the dough, push them back in to avoid the caramel oozing and burning while baking.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from baking sheet or pan and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  9. While the scones are cooling, make the topping. Melt the chopped milk chocolate and coconut oil (solid) in the microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals. Stir after each interval until melted. Drizzle over baked scones. Sprinkle finely chopped, frozen, Almond Snickers over the milk chocolate drizzle.
Recipe Notes

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I have  always been a fan of Snickers candy bars but when they introduced Almond Snickers I just about lost it.  I'm crazy about this candy bar and what better way to enjoy it than a marriage of my favorite things, candy bars and scones, my all time favorite dessert.  They are after all "a bit of Heaven in your hand" (to quote a very bright gal, me).  This recipe gave me 20 mini scones plus an additional four on a baking sheet.  They are so rich and delectable that a mini scone is just right to satisfy, but, two are just that much tastier.💜

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WHAT´S THE DIFFERENCE? CAKE FLOUR, PASTRY FLOUR, ALL~PURPOSE FLOUR AND BREAD FLOUR

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If you make bread every weekend or have an obsession with cakes, it makes sense to keep specific flours for those recipes on-hand. But what about the rest of us? Is there such a big difference between these flours or can all-purpose flour really be used for all purposes?!

First, what’s actually the same about all these flours is that they are made from wheat. What makes them different is how they’re milled, what kind of wheat they’re made from, and even what time of year the wheat was harvested. But what it really all boils down to is protein content.

Protein content is directly related to how much gluten can be formed using that particular flour. Gluten helps create structure and determine texture in your final baked good. Flours with low protein contents will generate less gluten and flours with high protein content will create more.

To get the light and airy structure of cakes, you want a flour with very little protein. But to form the dense chewy structure of bread, you want a flour with a lot of protein so that you can create as much gluten as possible.

Here is the approximate protein content of all the common types of flour:

Bread Flour: 14 – 16%
All-Purpose (AP) Flour: 10 – 12%
Pastry Flour: 9%
Cake Flour: 7-8%

The exact protein content varies by brand, by region, and also by country. However, the name given to the flour is usually an indication of how it’s intended to be used. If you’re having trouble with a recipe written by someone in another country, try to figure out the protein content of the flour they’re using and then find your local equivalent.

Substituting flours with different protein contents can get a little tricky. For most intents and purposes, you’re safe using pastry and cake flour interchangeably. You can also generally use AP flour for either pastry or bread flour.

If all you have is AP flour, you can approximate cake and pastry flour by adding 2 tablespoons of corn starch to a scant cup of AP flour. Likewise, you can bump up a flour’s protein content (and it’s gluten potential) by adding a few tablespoons of vital wheat gluten.

What flours do you keep stocked in your pantry?

Related: Kitchen Storage: The Best Place to Keep Flour

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GERMAN’S CHOCOLATE SCONES #ISW2016

I’ve been impatiently waiting for International Scone Week all year. I knew the scones I wanted to present but it took a lot of research to find a starting point. Now that it’s here, I hope my recipe won’t disappoint.

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This recipe was alot of fun and both interesting to research and to make.  I’ve been a fan of German Chocolate since early childhood.  As my baking skills progressed, I found a plethora of German Chocolate recipes.  However, as the “Queen of Scones” I was obligated to develop a scone of German Chocolate.  Rather than the usual caramel, coconut and pecan frosting, I chose a drizzling of chocolate and topped with toasted coconut flakes.  I do hope you enjoy my little creation and make it yourself one day.

GERMAN'S CHOCOLATE SCONES
Print Recipe
A delicate, scrumptious scone which as you know "is a little bit of Heaven in your hand". German chocolate anything is my favorite comfort food and always my choice when available. Oddly, there wasn't much that I could find, that offered the flavor i was looking for.
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
GERMAN'S CHOCOLATE SCONES
Print Recipe
A delicate, scrumptious scone which as you know "is a little bit of Heaven in your hand". German chocolate anything is my favorite comfort food and always my choice when available. Oddly, there wasn't much that I could find, that offered the flavor i was looking for.
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Ingredients
Servings: Scones
Instructions
The Scones
  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Blend flour, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add solid coconut oil and butter and cut in using a fork, pastry blender, or better yet, get your fastidiously clean hands into the work bowl and blend ingredients until crumbly in texture.
  3. Add heavy cream and sugar. Stir thoroughly and add either flour or additional heavy cream to make the dough come together well.
  4. Stir in coconut and chopped chocolate.
  5. Mix 3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, and sprinkle on the parchment~lined baking sheet. This will keep the scones from sticking to the pan as you shape them. Shape into an 8 inch square, about 3/4 inches thick. Cut into 8 triangles.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each scone with additional heavy cream; then dust with a very light sanding sugar to add nice bit of crunch.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
The Glaze
  1. Place the chocolate bits and heavy cream in a microwave~safe bowl or small saucepan. Heat in the microwave or saucepan over a low heat until the cream is very hot. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate bits melt and the mixture is smooth
  2. Spread over cooled scones. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top of glaze. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from Melanie Kathryn~Gather for Bread

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American Samuel German developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the American Baker's Chocolate Company. The brand name of the product, Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, was named in honor of him.

On June 3, 1957, a recipe for "German's Chocolate Cake" appeared as the "Recipe of the Day" in the Dallas Morning Star.  It was created by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker from 3831 Academy Drive, Dallas, Texas.  This recipe used the baking chocolate introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker's brand at the time, took notice and distributed the cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. Sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73% and the cake would become a national staple. The possessive form (German's) was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity and giving the false impression of a German origin.

The recipe still remains popular to this day and has been adopted by baking companies.

June 11 is National German Chocolate Cake Day in America.

~~~Wikipedia~~~

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WHY DO WE KEEP OUR EGGS UNDER REFRIGERATION WHEN OTHER COUNTRIES SET THEM OUT ON A COUNTER

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Visit most U.S. supermarkets or home kitchens and you’ll see eggs in a refrigerator –not sitting on the counter in some basket.

Not so in Asia or Europe where eggs are eggs left out to sit unrefrigerated and sold at room temperature. What’s the deal?

Are we needless wasting energy by putting our eggs in the fridge or are other countries using unsanitary practices?

The answer, according to NPR’s The Salt, comes down to how chicken farmers handle eggs from the moment it comes out of the chicken and a difference of opinion on bacteria proliferation.

Americans, Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians wash eggs right after they are laid with soap and hot water. This creates a cleaner shell but also removes a barely-visible protective layer that naturally helps guard the fragile egg interior from harmful environmental factors such as oxygen and bacteria, such as the ones that cause salmonella.

In the U.S., the eggs shells, which are porous, are then sprayed with oil and refrigerated to improve shelf life and guard against contamination.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began requiring egg producers to wash their eggs, though many countries banned the practice since it is easy to do it incorrectly. Eggs contaminated by salmonella cause a reported 142,000 illnesses each year, according to the FDA. Many European countries vaccinate their chickens against the virus, which can infect the chicken’s ovaries, according to The Salt, but the practice is not required in the U.S.

So which method is better? Should we leave our chicken alone?

“They’re different approaches to basically achieve the same result,” Vincent Guyonnet, a poultry veterinarian and scientific adviser to the International Egg Commission, told The Salt.

“We don’t have massive [food safety] issues on either side of the Atlantic. Both methods seem to work.”

Although eggs do stay fresh longer with refrigeration—50 days versus 21 without– Guyonnet says consistency is the most important thing to keep in mind.

In countries where refrigeration is costly, the wash-less method may be a more effective means of preservation to avoid a rapid temperature change that creates sweaty, moldy eggs.

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SOUTHERN PECAN PRALINE SCONES

This recipe makes 10 ~ 12 large or 2 dozen petite scones that will tantalize your tastebuds. In my opinion, there isn’t much out there to equal the delight of a well~made scone. No doubt, these fit the bill to a “T”. Light, flakey, sweet, all I aim for in my scone and it’s all right here.

Savory scones also have a place at the top of my favorite things, as in the first course. But, the “dessert” scone is my preference every time. Morning, noon or night, scones always fit in. Just add tea.

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First and foremost, thanks to Peanut Butter & Julie {clever name} for this fantastic recipe I adapted.  Of course I was drawn in right from the get~go.  The name seems simple; “Southern”, that almost always denotes something delicious.  “Pecan” always equals crunchy and yummy.  “Praline”, that’s got to be great, it’s sweet candy and I love candy in all forms.  And finally, “Scones” ~ ooh scones.  I do not need to know anything else but when are they done?    As an aside, I liked the praline so much I doubled the recipe to add to my upcoming Chocolate Salami.  That’s just a teaser.

I really enjoyed making these, especially since they are the flagship of “Scone Sunday”, my new project.  I can’t very well have a website called The Queen of Scones without living up to certain expectations, which led me directly to Scone Sunday.  The plan is to offer at least one scone recipe each week.  Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory but always a bit of Heaven in your hand.

Once I get more proficient and properly established (a finished website for instance.  Please forgive the “under construction” mode, I’m afraid I’ll be here for awhile).   There’s much more technical computer knowledge needed than I thought, quite a lot more than I have.  I hope to generate enough income to pay for necessary upgrades and a web designer; buts that’s pretty far off in the future I’m afraid.  So for now, I’ll just muddle through and do the best I can.  May I request your patience as I sort things out like why I have Twitter highlighted 3 different times.  I know just one would be sufficient.  Blazingly loud  bugs to sort out.  Hmmmph!

By the way, what do you think of my logo,  Sassy the “Queen Bee”?  I love her, she has enough attitude to make her interesting but cute enough to see her all over my website.  So I say, let’s get to it.

SOUTHERN PECAN PRALINE SCONES
Print Recipe
10 ~ 12 large or 2 dozen petite scones that will tantalize your tastebuds. In my opinion, there isn't much out there to equal the delight of a well~made scone. No doubt, these fit the bill to a "T". Light, flakey, sweet, all I aim for in my scone and it's all right here. Savory scones also have a place at the top of my favorite things, as in the first course. But, the "dessert" scone is my preference every time. Morning, noon or night, scones always fit in. Just add tea.
Servings Prep Time
1~ 2 Dozen 60 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 25 Minutes 45 Minutes Cooling time for the pralines
Servings Prep Time
1~ 2 Dozen 60 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 25 Minutes 45 Minutes Cooling time for the pralines
SOUTHERN PECAN PRALINE SCONES
Print Recipe
10 ~ 12 large or 2 dozen petite scones that will tantalize your tastebuds. In my opinion, there isn't much out there to equal the delight of a well~made scone. No doubt, these fit the bill to a "T". Light, flakey, sweet, all I aim for in my scone and it's all right here. Savory scones also have a place at the top of my favorite things, as in the first course. But, the "dessert" scone is my preference every time. Morning, noon or night, scones always fit in. Just add tea.
Servings Prep Time
1~ 2 Dozen 60 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 25 Minutes 45 Minutes Cooling time for the pralines
Servings Prep Time
1~ 2 Dozen 60 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 25 Minutes 45 Minutes Cooling time for the pralines
Ingredients
For the Pralines
For the Scones
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
Pecan Pralines
  1. Prepare the pecan pralines: In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so the sugar dissolves. Add the chopped pecans to the mixture and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drop the mixture by heaping tablespoonsful onto parchment-lined baking sheets; allow to cool completely. When the pralines have hardened, break into small chunks or roughly chop.
Scones
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Place oven racks in the upper and lower third positions of the oven.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in your food processor. Pulse to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. I ended up doing this by hand and I believe it worked better than the stand mixer.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chopped praline pieces. {we sampled a few just to be sure they were okay}. Add the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. If the scone dough is too dry after adding the buttermilk, then add a few tablespoons more. The dough should be evenly moist, but not overly sticky and wet.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead a few times to bring the dough together. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  5. Divide the dough in half and pat it into two rounds, about 1-inch thick. Cut each round into 6 wedges and place the wedges on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes, rotating positions halfway through the baking process, until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.
  7. Because the praline pieces can melt a bit while the scones are baking, some of them may seep around the bottom edges. If this area starts to burn, you can either remove it with a knife or a spoon, or you can tent the scones loosely with foil for the remainder of the baking period. I wanted to refrigerate the scones awhile before baking to help eliminate the problem but was rushed as we're celebrating Mr. Bee's Mother's 89th birthday and I wanted to take her one. Fortunately, the melting bits were not an issue. The are LARGE scones. Feel free to cut them in half to yield 2 dozen.
  8. This scones dough can be prepared 1 day in advance and refrigerated, tightly wrapped.
  9. You can also pre-cut the scone shapes and freeze them. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
  10. Fully baked scones can also be frozen, tightly wrapped, for up to one week. Thaw at room temperature and reheat. 💜
  11. Side Note: I want to issue a clear warning here, the praline burns ALOT so be cautious. I know cooked sugar is especially hot but from very recent personal experience {that's gonna blister} be very careful dropping the hot pralines onto the parchment.
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