pumpkin scones w/ cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze

pumpkin scone w/ cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze

Wouldn't that be cool if you could scratch and sniff this? I used to love those scratch & sniff books as a young kid. You know you're going to be a foodie when you had a collection of the 'scratch & sniff' books as a youngster. Didn't matter that the sniff part lost it's 'sniff'--you could still smell it, no matter what. I had 'pat the bunny' book too; loved the part of dad's rough skin.
I hate to be one-sided here, I know the scone is supposed to be the best in show here, but in all honesty the cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze just steals it. Not too sweet, and just the right amount of cinnamon to cider to cream cheese ratio. I love when it all balances out. Try these, that cider bite with the gentle pumpkin scone? Oh heavenly.

pumpkin scone w/ cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze

Don't get me wrong, the pumpkin scone is stellar, I'm just bragging about the glaze--it melds perfectly with the slightly sweet-pumpkiney scone. Of course I had to add sprinkles. I know scones don't really call for sprinkles, but I got these all natural sprinkles from Whole Foods. There's no dye, no chemicals, no junk--love that. That orange color is just so fabulous for these scones. And they have a taste to them as well. Look for them at Whole Foods as they have beautiful array of colors.

pumpkin scone w/ cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze

pumpkin scones with cinnamon-cider cream cheese glaze
print recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
¾ ts salt
¾ ts ground cinnamon
½ ts ground nutmeg
¼ ts ground all spice
6 ½ TB cold butter, grated with cheese grater (store in freezer till ready to use)
½ cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling, just plain old pumpkin puree)
7 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
3 TB heavy cream
1 large egg

¾ cup +/- confectioners sugar, sifted
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp (nice & soft)
1 ts ground cinnamon
A dash or three of pure apple cider

Grate your butter with the large holes of a cheese grater. Then back into the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. (I have a confection so I did 400 degrees). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices, set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, sugar, cream and egg. Beat well until nice and combined.
Get out your butter from the freezer, and add that to the flour mixture. Mix with fork or pastry cutter until you have bread-like crumbs.
Then fold the wet ingredients, in 2 batches into the butter/flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula. Make sure to not overbeat and get all the dry crumbly bits at the bottom of the bowl.
Dust your work space with generous amounts of flour and place dough down. You might want to dust your hands with flour as you will need to shape this dough into a large circle. Dough will be sticky. Once you have a ball, gently press down and out, forming the dough into a flattened circle. About 8-10 inches round. Dough will crack when you press down, just pinch & repair as you go along.
Dust a large, sharp knife with flour and cut the dough into six triangles. Slide the knife under each triangle to help you lift and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until the scones begin to turn light brown in color. Mine were done at the 12 minute mark so check them at 10 or 12 minutes.
While scones are baking assemble the glaze by adding in the soft cream cheese to a medium size bowl, add in the sifted confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and a couple dashes of the apple cider. Don’t add in all the cider at once; it’s better to add in small doses than larger ones. Get out the handheld mixer and beat until well mixed, no lumps are present. You can add as much or as little apple cider depending on how thick you like your glaze.
Let scones cool a bit on a rack before glazing.


tangy meatloaf bread

tangy meatloaf bread

I love meatloaf I do, but I hate it. I hate plain old meatloaf: a loaf of meat blah. I will eat meatloaf if it has a nice thick char-crust, full of flavor inside, and a lot of texture on the top. I've always felt that meatloaf needs something else: a coat, a jacket or something to add to it. Like a coat of bread. Just a plain old loaf of meat is, well, ick. Am I explaining this right? All mushy tasting with nothing to help it out. So I love to make my meatloaf enclosed in bread, BUT I still want that nice sticky, salty, sweet char-like topping--so I put that on the bread because if you put it on the meatloaf inside the bread it will just dissappear, melt away. The tanginess of the sauce on top of the bread is wonderful. Even if you don't eat meat you can fill this loaf with veggies and cheese, but use that tangy glaze! OK?

copyright 2009 dawn finicane

That end piece? Totally mine.

tangy meatloaf bread
print recipe

1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
Some EV olive oil
1 lb. 85 lean ground beef
Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 sweet onion chopped, lightly sautéed
1 green pepper chopped, lightly sautéed
1 cup +/- shredded mild cheddar or whatever cheese you like
¾ cup to 1 cup of caramelized onions, optional but wonderful
Cornmeal (for bottom of bread dough)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet heat up a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, lightly sauté the onions & peppers; add some salt & pepper. Remove from pan then thoroughly cook the ground beef; season with salt & pepper. You want to cook the beef till almost done, not all the way as it will finish cooking in the oven. At the last minute of cooking the ground beef drain off the fat, leave a bit in there for flavor, then add in a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Then add back in the sautéed peppers & onions; mix all together; turn off heat; set aside. Get out your silpat and jellyroll pan and sprinkle with a bit of cornmeal (optional). Roll thawed bread dough out into a rectangle onto a silpat sheet.
I place the filling on one side of the dough, I don’t sprinkle it around as I want the center to be one layer. But feel free to do as you like. Place the cooked meat mixture on the dough, then add a layer of caramelized onions, then top off with cheese. Roll up dough like a jelly roll and pinch seams to seal; place, seam side down. If dough is really sticky dip your fingers into some flour, repeat if necessary as you continue to roll. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes, depending on your oven. While this is baking mix up the tangy glaze and get it ready to put on the loaf. At the 15 – 20 minute mark use a pastry brush and smear the tangy glaze over the top of the loaf. Bake for remaining time or until the bread crust is lightly golden brown.
You need to wait about 10 minutes before slicing this bad boy.

Tangy Glaze
1/2 cup ketchup
4 TB dark brown sugar
4 ts cider vinegar
Couple dashes of hot sauce, optional but wonderful

Mix all together in a dish. Put on the loaf about halfway thru its cooking time.


pb fudge puddles

pb fudge puddles

Time for a cavity? One or two?

Bad way to introduce a cookie? Kidding, but this is SUPER sweet and super GOOEY! And has without a doubt, a very funky name. Something named with this much 'funk' in the title, I, of course, had to make it. Really easy to make and really tasty. I already said that, but it truly is. It will take your worst pb & chocolate craving straight away. The original recipe calls for shaping them into cups, I wanted squares so I could have bigger 'puddles of fudge' <---smart right? Yeah, I know what I'm doing in the kitchen, I'm good. This dough can be shaped into anything, but make sure to leave a well for the fudge filling--ok?

pb fudge puddles

pb fudge puddle cookies
from sunday baker blog
print recipe

Cookie Crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 ts vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt

In a large mixer bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, and both sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry to the wet mixtures.
Chill in the fridge for at least one hour. Remove from fridge and form into 1" balls. Grease a mini-muffin pan and add 1 ball to each muffin cup. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and make an indentation in the center of each ball, big enough to fill the middles with the fudge filling. Let them cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Once all of the cookies are done baking, it's time to make the fudge filling:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 ts vanilla
chopped nuts or sprinkles(optional)

In a microwave safe bowl or saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the nuts/sprinkles. Microwave for 1 minute, stir well. If there are still unmelted chips, continue to melt in microwave for 15 second increments until all smooth:
Immediately start filling the cookie cups with the filling. It will start to harden just a bit as you do it, so make sure to give it a good stir once in awhile. Sprinkle with the nuts or just leave plain. Let set for an hour or so.


crème brûlée ice cream w/ rum-soaked black cherries

Who doesn't love crème brûlée? That crunchy top, that perfect ratio of cream to vanilla to sugar? Perfect. I've always wanted to try Pierre Herme's recipe for crème brûlée ice cream. It truly is wonderful. I know my boring words sound like everyone else, but seriously it's that good, and it's that easy to make. Don't be intimidated because it's the famous Pierre Herme, no no, it's easy. Have you ever been to his little shop in Paris? Here is a couple fun photos to get you tickled about it here . There really is always a long line to get in there.
With this recipe I had to kick it up a notch by adding in my own touch, you don't have to. But I just thought the addition of fresh black cherries would be perfect, and it was. The sweet black cherries melded perfectly with the caramel, and I think it's because the texture of the cherries was just right. I don't know about you but I love a little texture in my ice cream. I had made this recipe back in August when the black cherries were nice and ripe. This past summer I ate a lot of ice cream and a lot of hot fudge sauce, bad I know. But looking back, it was worth it. There is this little hole-in-the-wall place on cape cod that sells the best hot fudge sauce, to be honest their ice cream isn't that great, but the hot fudge sauce, oh man does it satisfy. It's so thick, and so fudgey and always nice and warm. Alright that's enough...I'm getting hungry!
We have a winner in my giveaway. Kirsten of More Cheese More Chocolate was the lucky winner. Congrats to you Kirsten! Please email me your address and which cookbook you would like.

crème brûlée ice cream
by pierre herme
print recipe

2 ¼ cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
5 plump/moist vanilla beans, split lengthwise & scraped (save pulps & pods)
10 large egg yolks
1 cup + 2 tb white sugar

(I added in about 1 cup of rum soaked black cherries to the ice cream mix: 1 cup chopped black cherries soaked overnight in about 3 TB of dark rum)

Bring the milk, cream and vanilla beans (pulp & pods) to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and set the mixture aside for 1 hor.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 210 F or as close to the temp as possible – 200 F or 22 F will still be fine. Set aside 2 – 11 by 7 by 2-inch pans. (the pan size is not crucial – what’s important is to use a pan or pans in which, when you add the custard, the mixture will form a layer that’s only ¾ inch thick).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until the mixture thickens slightly. Slowly strain the vanilla-infused liquid over the yolks, whisking to blend the ingredients but taking care not to beat in lots of air. Discard the vanilla bean pods.
Pour the mixture into the pans and slide them into the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the custard is just set, at which point it will still shimmy when shifted but a knife inserted in it will come out clean. Transfer the pans to cooling racks and allow the custard to cool to room temp., then refrigerate the custard for 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

the caramel
1/3 cup + 1 ½ tb white sugar
4 ts salted butter, room temp
1/3 cup heavy cream

Working in a deep saucepan, caramelize the sugar: place the pan over medium heat. Sprinkle about 2 tb of the sugar over the center of the pan and when the sugar starts to melt and color, stir it with a wooden spoon. When all the sugar is caramel colored, add another 2 tb of sugar and cook and stir as before. Continue until all of the sugar is cooked and the caramel is a deep mahogany color – test the color by dropping a bit on a white plate. Careful with this next step! Standing away from the pan, stir in the butter. Then, still standing back, add the heavy cream. Don’t be alarmed if the caramel erupts in big bubbles – it’s normal. Stir the caramel until well blended and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel into a heatproof container: a glass measuring cup with a spout is perfect. Set aside at room temp until needed.

1. Pour the chilled custard into the container of a blender (or use a food processor or immersion blender) and whir until the cream is smooth and once again liquid. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions. Remove the ice cream from the machine, pack it into a freezer container, and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour before proceeding. (You can freeze the ice cream longer, but it’s easier to mix with the caramel when it’s still in the soft-freeze stage).
2. To turn the crème into creme brulee, you can add the caramel in one of two ways. The most elegant way to combine the two elements and prepare the ice cream for serving is to layer the ice cream and caramel in a terrine. (see step 3. for the second way of adding the caramel to the ice cream). If you have a metal terrine made especially for ice cream, one with a lid, use it; if not, a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan will be fine. Line the bottom of the terrine with a layer of ice cream – don’t worry about getting a smooth layer – then drizzle a layer of caramel over the cream. Continue in this way until the terrine is filled; aim for about four layers ice cream and three of caramel. Cover the terrine tightly with its lid or a double layer of plastic wrap and store in the freezer until set. To serve, you can either scoop or slice. If you decide to scoop the ice cream out of the terrine, dig into the terrine so that each scoop has both ice cream & caramel. If you’re going to slice the terrine, it’s best to unmold it first. Dip the terrine briefly into a basin of hot water, then turn it out onto a serving plate and cut into slices.
3. Alternatively, you can swirl the caramel into the ice cream into a large mixing bowl. Spoon about a quarter of the ice cream into the bowl, drizzle over about a third of the caramel, add more ice cream, and then add more caramel; continue in this fashion until all the ingredients are used. Now using a large, sturdy rubber spatula or metal serving spoon, fold the caramel into the ice cream. Don’t be too thorough – you want the ice cream to be swirled with caramel. (If you end up incorporating the caramel evenly throughout the ice cream, you’ll produce the world’s best caramel ice cream). Pack the ice cream into a freezer container, seal tightly, and store in the freezer until set. Keeps in freezer for about 1 week. Makes 1 ½ quarts.
Note: I added in my chopped black cherries soaked in rum when I added in the caramel, about 3/4 cup.


mushroom bisque w/ crispy shallots

Baby it's cold outside! Too early in the season to say that? But hear me out. I'm freeeezing! I'm not one of those fall-winter type of gals. I'm a summer-babe, I love my sun and love my heat. Well, I don't really like humidity, but I love the dry heat. I don't think I've ever met someone who loves the humidity, have you?
Our summer on Cape Cod was a very very short one. We did not get a spring, instead we got rain--pure rain for a month. Seriously it was a record rainfall and record sun-less days on the history books jotted down somewhere with those weather-fanatics. Our summer was only about a month long, then bam, right into fall. So, I did not get enough sun to warm my bones up enough for winter. You know I'm so looking at the caribbean right now...
Last week I jokingly told my friends that summer was officially over-- I had eaten my first bowl of Ramen.
Another first for this already chilly season is my famous mushroom bisque. It has all the good stuff in it, like booze, mushrooms, cream, and those irrestible little gems I love: crispy shallots. This will warm your bones and your blood, well depending on how much sherry you put in it.
If you have a home in the caribbean and aren't using it I'm here to help. Yes I am. I'm available to go check on it and make sure it's safe & sound. Or if you are there I can easily cook for you. LOL

mushroom bisque
print recipe

2 tb of evoo
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped large chunks
½ cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped large chunks
¾ cup cremini mushroom, chopped large chunks
¾ stick of butter, unsalted, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14 oz) beef broth
¼ cup of AP flour
½ +/- cup of good quality dry sherry
1 quart of half & half
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl take the ¼ cup of flour and mix about 3-4 tb of the beef broth; whisk to make a nice slurry; set aside.
In a large stockpot, heat up the evoo, and saute the onions till translucent. Add in a few pinches of salt. Add in all the mushrooms, add in the chopped butter, and a few dashes of ground black pepper—scattering it about.
Let the mushrooms cook down a bit, about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring mushrooms. Add in the dry sherry, let that cook down a bit, by bringing it to a boil. Add in the remaining beef broth, add in the half & half, the heavy cream, and then the slurry you previously made (of the flour & beef broth).
Turn up heat a bit and keep stirring. Ideally you want to bring this all to just a boil. Give it a taste and see if it needs any pepper. I doubt it will need salt.
Top with the crispy shallots.
Should make about 4 hearty bowlfulls. It freezes nicely too.

crispy shallots
semi-adapted from Barefoot Contessa

1 cup light olive oil
3 tb unsalted butter
5 to 6 shallots, sliced into medium-thin rings

Heat the oil and unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches about 250 degrees F. Reduce the heat a bit then add the shallots. I did this in two batches. You really do not want to crowd the pan at all. The shallots will brown perfectly if they have plenty of room in the hot oil to swim and get happy. Cook until nice and brown. Make sure to stir the shallots once in a while to get all sides brown. Once down remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, and drain, then place on paper towels. They should stay at room temp., don't put them in the fridge as they will go soft and lose all that nice crispiness.
Should make less than ½ cup.


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