Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's been a long time

Have you ever been busy but didn't have much to show for it? That's what's going on in my life. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels for awhile. I've been selling a few things on my Etsy shop. I just added some pens my husband made. I want him to start selling the signs and plaques that he makes but I've first asked him to make a sample one for the shop with our name on it, regardless of whether we sell any or not, we'll have a new sign for the outside of our house. Here are a couple of signs he made for the DIL of some friends who is starting her own scrapbooking business:

Aren't they awesome? I know...I'm biased! I really love the second one and want my sign to look like that. I think he should also make one with our younger son's name on it: C H R I S for his room. He'll like that.

I've also been testing out different ways to make scones. I have been using one easily adaptable recipe, just using different add-ins. So far, everyone loves the maple with maple icing and the lemon with lemon icing. Every time I make a batch, I send a scone to school with the young son for his teacher. She called me one morning to tell me she just finished devouring the white chocolate and cranberry one and thought it was delicious. I told her that I hope she didn't think I was trying to bribe a good grade out of her, haha. I found a basic recipe on but you know I can't leave well enough alone. So here's my scone recipe:

Simple Scone Recipe

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup butter, very cold
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 5 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2/3 cup half & half (plus a small splash more if dough is too dry)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cut butter into ½ inch pieces. In food processor combine 1 cup flour and ¼ cup butter. Process to cut in. Repeat 2 more times with remaining flour and butter OR cut in by hand.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and butter mixture, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Mix the egg, cream and vanilla in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.
3. Once dough comes together to form a ball, pat dough out into a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet. What I do is gently press enough dough to fill either a 1/3 or 1/4 cup measuring cup, remove dough, place on baking sheet, and pat down to 1/2 inch thick. I've even used a small ice cream scoop, which makes 3-bite sized scones. You'll need to adjust baking time for these little ones, though.

**Be careful not to overwork dough or scones will be tough; handle as little as possible. You want them light and delicate, not hard like hockey pucks.**

4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Test center with a toothpick for doneness. Should come out clean.

Variation #1: Add ½ cup white chocolate chips and ½ cup dried cranberries. Soak cranberries in hot water for 5 minutes to soften and drain before adding to scone mix.

Variation #2: Add ½ cup maple syrup & ½ tsp maple flavoring to the mix OR 1 tsp maple flavoring instead of vanilla extract

Maple icing: 1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons half-and-half (you may need a drop more)
1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Mix in a quart sized freezer bag. Cut small tip of a corner off and drizzle on fully cooled scones.

Variation #3: Add the zest of one lemon to the dough and for the icing, use the juice of that lemon and enough powdered sugar (start with one cup) until you get your desired consistency.


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