Cinnamon Chip & Cream Cheese Scones
 

A couple years ago, I had a delicious cream cheese scone while on vacation in Utah.  I became a little obsessed with the idea of it and found myself thinking through how this bakery was able to get chunks of cream cheese throughout their scones without it completely mixing into their batter.

It occurred to me that if they froze the cream cheese before mixing it into the batter, it would hold its shape and leave little chunks of cream cheese throughout the pastry.  I finally got around to testing my theory out a couple weeks ago.

I prepped my cream cheese by cutting it into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes, placing the cubes spaced out in a single layer on a plate and freezing for a few hours.  Then, I mixed my frozen cream cheese cubes and cinnamon chips into one of my favorite scone batters.

After anxiously watching the scones in the oven, I was rewarded with a deliciously sweet and creamy Cinnamon Chip and Cream Cheese Scone that paired perfectly with my cup of tea.  Not only did my theory work, it tasted delicious too!!  I love when thing work out the way I want!

 
 
What made it even better, is when My Love came home and tasted them.  He is my best taste tester because he is brutally honest with me.  At first he thought I should add some cinnamon to the batter. But, after his second scone, he said that I should keep them the way they are because they are “addicting”!  SUCCESS!!!
 
Cinnamon Chip & Cream Cheese Scones 2
 
Here’s the recipe:
 
Cinnamon Chip & Cream Cheese Scones
Yields 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  2. 1/4 cup white sugar
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  7. 1 cup cinnamon chips
  8. 4 oz cream cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces then frozen solid (at least 2 hours)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 2/3 - 3/4 cup buttermilk
  11. 3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, until combined.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is about the size of peas.
  4. Stir in the cinnamon cups and frozen cream cheese pieces.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla into the buttermilk.
  6. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined and the dough comes together. Do not over mix!
  7. Dust a cutting board with flour, then turn the dough out onto it.
  8. Knead the dough a few times to pull it together, then pat it into a circle that is about 1 1/2 inches thick and about 8 inches wide.
  9. Cut the dough in half, then half again. Then cut each quarter in half, making eight triangle shaped pieces.
  10. Transfer the triangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  11. Brush the dough with milk then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  13. Serve warm or room temperature.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
 

Enjoy!

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Ham, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

We had a tea party play date for Lovebug and her friends yesterday (post on that coming Wednesday) and wanted to serve a savory item in addition to all the sweet treats we had on the menu.  My Love suggested we make Ham, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits, which sounded delicious to me.

So, I looked for a recipe online and didn’t find any with the right combination of ingredients.  So, I did what any person would do and made my own recipe.  I never serve recipes I haven’t tested to guests.  But, I was short on time so I made an exception.  If they didn’t turn out, I just wouldn’t serve them.  But, lucky for me, the biscuits turned out delicious and were a big hit at the party!  In fact, they were the best seller!  We had hardly any left!

Biscuit
 
 
Ham, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cup flour
  2. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  6. 1/3 cup buttermilk
  7. 4 ounces ham, diced
  8. 2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped chives
Topping
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together.
  4. Using your hands, a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of large peas.
  5. Using your hands or a large spoon, stir in the buttermilk, bacon, cheddar and chives until just combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough a few times until it comes together.
  7. Roll the dough into 3/4 inch thickness.
  8. Cut the biscuits out and place them on the prepared sheet pan. I made mini-biscuits using a 1 inch biscuit cutter, but you could really make them any size you like.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together until combined. Then, brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with the egg wash.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and set.
  11. Biscuits can be served warm out of the oven or cooled to room temperature.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
 
 

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins


Several years ago, I made Giada De Laurentiis’ Halloween Spice Cake and was blown away by the immense flavor in each delicious bite.  The spices work together perfectly to create a perfect warm harmonious bite without overpowering each other.   Plus, this cake pairs perfectly with coffee or tea, which makes it the perfect thing to serve to guests.

The original is fantastic, but over the years I’ve switched things up here and there and the result is always delicious.   I’m sharing my favorite version below, Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  This recipe screams fall to me with all the warm flavors in it, so I thought pumpkin was a natural addition and it works perfectly.  Making individual servings allows for quicker cooking and easier serving, which I love as well.
 
Like I said, you really can’t go wrong with this recipe (the original or my version below).  It is full of flavor, it’s really easy to make and it’s the perfect thing to serve to guests.  It is also a very thoughtful and delicious gift.  In fact, we’ve made both versions as gifts for our neighbors around the holidays and it’s always a hit.
 
Give it a try – your taste buds will thank you! 🙂
 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins 2

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Yields 14
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  6. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  11. 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  12. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  13. 2 eggs
  14. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and all spice together on a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cupcake liners about 2/3-3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cake tester comes to clean.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Halloween Spice Cake
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Halloween Spice Cake
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
Enjoy!

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We promised Lovebug a tea party this weekend and I wanted to make a special treat to enjoy with our tea.  I had recently made fresh pumpkin puree so I knew that I wanted to incorporate that into our treat.  I debated on a few things but ended up making these delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones.    Pumpkin and cinnamon are a match made in heaven and these scones are absolutely heavenly!

We have been enjoying great weather here in Arizona so we decided to make our tea party a picnic and my Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones were the perfect fall tea party treat!  They are so incredibly yummy!!   Give them a try for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea!  You won’t be disappointed!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
4 teaspoons raw or turbinado sugar, optional

Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and make sure rack is in center of oven.
2.  Line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and stack an extra baking sheet below it (this will prevent the scones from browning too quickly on the bottom).
3.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or fork until the butter is about the size of peas.
5.  Add the cinnamon chips and toss to distribute.  Set the mixture aside.
6.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla.
7.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Do not over mix!
8.  Dump the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it gently a few times.
9.  Pat the dough into an oval shape that is about an inch thick.
10.  Cut the oval in half, lengthwise then cut each half into 4 triangle shaped slices.
11.  Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
12.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
13.  Brush a thin layer of the egg mixture on each scone.
14.  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of raw or turbinado sugar on top of each scone.
15.  Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
16.  Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

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Lovebug usually starts her day with a bowl of cereal with fruit and orange juice.  Then she has a little snack on the way to school.  Usually her snack is a pouch of applesauce or a granola bar.  But, I wanted to make her and my hubby something special for their Valentine’s day drive to school/work.  I toyed around with ideas and settled on Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins.  Doesn’t that sound divine!?!

Valentines Day Treat Chocolate Strawberry Muffin


Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins
Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Makes about 12 muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Hearts on top:
3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 Tbsp butter

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425*. 
2.  Spray or line a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or cupcake liners.
3.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
4.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg to combine.
5.  Whisk sugar into the eggs until mixture is thick.
6.  Add the melted butter in a couple batches, whisking to combine.
7.  Next, add the sour cream and mix until just combined. 
8.  Add strawberries and chocolate chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat and distribute.
9.  Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and gently stir until the dry ingredients are absorbed.  The mixture will be thick but do your best not to over mix.
10.  Scoop batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling to the top.
11.  Bake at 425* for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350* and continue baking for additional 20-22 minutes.
12.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes then finish cooling on wire rack.
13.  While the muffins cool, place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat in microwave for 20 seconds, then stir.  Repeat two or three more times until mixture is melted and combined. 
14.  Place melted chocolate in a piping bag fitted with the smallest round tip you have, parchment paper cone or zip lock bag.  If using parchment paper cone or zip lock bag, snip the tip to allow a 1/2 – 1 mm opening.
15.  Pipe heart shapes on top of the muffins.  NOTE: The muffins will have uneven surfaces so hearts won’t be perfect.  I found that smaller hearts worked best.  Also, if the muffin is slanted, situate the muffin so it slants down towards you when piping the heart.
16.  ENJOY!

These muffins are so incredibly good… the perfect combination of strawberries and chocolate.  Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to start Valentine’s Day. 
You could also box some up for friends, neighbors or teachers.  Who wouldn’t want to start their day off with something so delectable?! 
I found this adorable heart in the dollar bins at Target.
Give them a try, you won’t be sorry!
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