Holiday Baking!

The winter holidays are my favorite part of the year. It means TONS of baking! I usually plan to make more than I'm physically able to make, so I end up completely stressed, but I love it anyway! This holiday season was no different. I had a list of about 12 things to make, and really only made about half of it. The picture to the left is only part of what I made. I made a few other kinds of cookies and a cheesecake as well! I hope to spend this whole year baking, rather than just the holidays, so I can actually branch out and try new things instead of sticking with my regulars like chocolate chip and sugar cookies.

I also attempted recently to make scones for the first time. I am addicted to the Blueberry Scones from the cafe in my bookstore. Instead of spending $1 each morning, I thought it would be better to just make my own and take them with me every day! So I embarked on my Blueberry scone journey with a recipe I found from Martha Stewart. They turned out beautifully. However, I realized that I like the dried blueberries the cafe uses rather than the taste of fresh blueberries.. So I took them into work to let the masses devour them, and tried my hand at cinnamon scones instead. I tried to meld the Blueberry scone recipe with a coffee cake muffin recipe from Everyday Baking to make more of a scone with streusel. It ended up with almost twice the amount of butter than the Blueberry scones, and a bit more flour as well.. So I thought I should add a bit more liquid to it to balance it out.. Well they came out a little flatter than the Blueberry scones, and with the longer baking time than the muffin recipe, the streusel on top basically just melted. But they're still tasty!

I'm going to attempt to make much more throughout the year. I've already decided I want to make an Angel Food Cake and Cheesecake Squares. Check back to see what else I have in store!

Blueberry Scones
From MarthaStewart.com
Makes 8

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling tops
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in center. Place a baking mat on a baking sheet, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Stir in blueberries and zest.
3. Using a fork, whisk together cream and egg in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times to mix well.
4. Pat dough into a 6-inch square about 1 1/4 inches thick. Using a floured knife, cut into four 3-inch squares. Cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.

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