Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread

Oh my gosh is it shortbread??? Again?? When does the obsession with shortbread end you may ask??? My answer at the moment is never!!! As a kid, I really hated the short texture in cookies where they just crumbled apart in my hands. I always preferred my cookies soft and honestly, I still like my chocolate chip cookies a little under baked so that they stay soft for days! However, I think shortbread reminds me so much of the Great British Baking Show and I refuse to watch the newest season without my mother present, so I’m compensating by making as much shortbread as humanly possible. Shortbread is also a celebration of simplicity with a huge flavor packed inside each cookie! I never appreciated nuance in my cookie but I’m really starting to, especially with the quantity of cookies that I’ve been making lately!

I actually made this recipe about a week before I choose to post about it because I wanted some time to experiment with the recipe a little bit. This recipe is originally from King Arthur Flour where it was credited to Alyssa Rimmer of Simply Quinoa! So you can thank Ms. Rimmer for the original recipe and myself for a few modifications. When I made it the first time, it was really heavy on the cinnamon and pecan but lighter on the maple. I had chosen these cookies for their maple flavoring and was disappointed when they didn’t deliver as much punch as hoped for in the maple department. As much as I complained about it not going as perfectly as I wanted, my boyfriend still taste-tested as many as he could get his hands on! So obviously, there are fans of the original recipe but I’ll be putting my variations next to the recipe below. I replaced the confectioners sugar with maple sugar and doubled the amount of salt. I thought it was missing salt from the original recipe but a doubled amount may be too salty for some. These are also a super quick cookie to throw together, so the opportunities to modify the recipe just a tad to your taste are only limited by your quantities of the ingredients! Let me know what you think of recipe or any of the modifications in the comments below! Happy baking!

Gluten-Free Maple Pecan Shortbread Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) confectioners or powdered sugar (For extra maple, use maple sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/4 teaspoon and was happier with that in the extra maple cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract (use regular if that’s what you have and it’s not super important if it’s gluten-free)
  • 35 grams (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
  1. Mix everything but the pecans in a bowl and mix until the dough comes together. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
  2. Using plastic wrap shape dough into a log. Wrap and roll on a counter to round it. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough form plastic wrap and slice into 1/4″ rounds and place on the sheet.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Maple Shortbread Cookies

I am so excited to finally have maple shortbread cookies that have worked! For several weeks, I’ve been baking and baking trying to find a good maple shortbread recipe. I’ve never been the biggest fan of shortbread but I’ve recently become absolutely obsessed with the crumbly crunch of these cookies. They remind me a lot of the Great British Baking Show because they seem so quintessentially British. For several weeks, I’ve been trying recipes with various levels of success. I’ve added maple syrup to several recipes to try and emulate that maple flavor without much success. Using maple syrup as a sweetener in a recipe is a lot like using molasses in the way that it adds the moisture and causes the cookies to spread. Maple syrup isn’t a good sweetener for shortbread because it adds a moistness to the cookie that is great for a cake but not so great for a cookie that you want to be very short or crisp. Below is a photo from one of my early experiments. The cookies were delicious but they definitely were not shortbread. They were a joy to eat but not quite what I was aiming for so I decided to try again with a recipe from King Arthur’s Flour.

When I was researching maple shortbread recipes, I came across quite a few that used maple sugar, something that I had never heard off. I looked it up online and even on Amazon, a one pound bag of the stuff sells for around $8!!!! That’s more than I pay for a five pound bag of flour!!! I kept digging and found out exactly what maple sugar is which is the crystallized sugar granules from maple syrup! Being an adventurous baker, I set out to make my own maple sugar from syrup and it turned out really well! You definitely need a candy thermometer to check temperatures but equipped properly, you can have a good quantity of maple sugar in minutes. The process is dangerously simple; you heat the maple syrup in a pot until it reaches about 50-60 degrees above its boiling point. From there, you beat it (by hand or with a stand mixer which is easier) until it crystallizes. Because I have a bit more experience and I can be a little reckless, I decided to do this and came up with about a fourth a cup of maple sugar! I would NOT recommend an amateur baker doing this but it can be done in a pinch if needed. Buying it is definitely easier and safer! If you feel that you have enough experience, look up instructions online and enjoy! I thought it was very fun!

This recipe is adapted from one from King Arthur Flour that actually makes maple shortbread sandwich cookies. My goal was to try and get the maple shortbread nailed before I started doing more complex stuff so my recipe only includes the shortbread dough. I used two different techniques for rolling out the dough. One was a traditional roll and cut out with cookie cutter while the other was using a cookie stamp. My mother gave me a beautiful pinecone cookie stamp for Christmas this past year and I’ve been dying to use it. This recipe gave me a great opportunity to try it and I think it came out very well for a first attempt! Either method you choose to use, I would roll to dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. I think it makes for a more satisfying cookie and it holds the shape much better. I hope you enjoy baking these as much as I did!

Maple Shortbread Cookie Recipe

  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25 grams (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 39 grams (1/4 cup) maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple flavor)
  • 131 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) All Purpose flour
  1. Beat together the butter, salt, sugars, and vanilla extract/maple flavor.
  2. Add flour and mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Wrap in cling wrap and chill for thirty minutes if using a cookie cutter. Chill for 2 hours if using a cookie stamp.
  4. Preheat oven to 300F and line a cookie sheet
  5. Cookie Cutters: If using, roll dough out to 1/4″ thick and flour the cutter. Cut out cookies and place on lined sheet.
  6. Cookie Stamps: If using, remove tablespoon scoops from the chilled dough and roll into a ball. Lightly flour both the dough ball and the cookie stamp. Place the dough ball on flour and press down with the cookie stamp. Gently peel the cookie out of the stamp and place on lined sheet.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of the cookie or until the cookies just begin to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet.
  9. Once cooled, eat and enjoy!

A comment made by my boyfriend is that the texture is similar to pie crust. If I end up using it as piecrust, I’ll let you know how it goes! The recipe can also be easily doubled for more cookies. They store well in an air tighter container for several days and the dough/cookie can be frozen.

Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Lemon Shortbread-Bon Apetit

These were a lovely shortbread recipe that came together in a matter of minutes! These cookies did need quite a while to cool in the fridge so factor that in when you’re planning on making them and make sure that you have plenty of fridge space for all the cookies! I decided to make these after a particularly bad baking day last week. I talked with one of my best friends in the whole world for an hour or two over FaceTime and she inspired me to bake these! I had been wanting to make a lemony dessert for some time; I haven’t been able to let go of the summery feeling that lemons bring and decided to capitalize on this. I grabbed a lemon at the store and was able to make do with what else I had at home. I really loved how crisp and short that these turned out! I haven’t had a ton of luck with shortbread in the past but these were great cookies to start with.

The recipe only calls for a teaspoon or two of lemon zest but I ended up zesting a whole lemon into the dough and it wasn’t too much for me. The dough, sans the lemon zest, is actually a great shortbread base that could be added to to make a ton of different kinds of shortbread. I’ll be experimenting with this in the future so I’ll keep you all posted if I find a good derivative of this recipe for another flavor. The dough also held its shape really well after being rolled out and chilled. I’ve had issues with this in the past and it’s made me wary of using some of my trickier cookie cutouts but go wild here! The cookies will hold so find your craziest cookie cutter and get baking! Let me know in the comments below how it works out for you and happy baking!

Lemon Shortbread Recipe

  • 113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature (indents when you poke it)
  • 29 grams (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons packed lemon zest (I zest the whole lemon but I love lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams (1 cup) All Purpose flour
  • pinch of kosher salt (between 1/8 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Granulated sugar for rolling
  1. Line two baking sheets. (The dough can be made 3 days in advance and just chill in the fridge until needed)
  2. Beat together butter and powdered sugar. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla extract
  3. Beat in flour and kosher salt and beat until just blended.
  4. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
  5. Place plastic-wrapped disk into the fridge and chill until firm, 20-30 minutes
  6. Position a rack in the top and bottom third of the oven and preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Transfer dough from plastic wrap onto a sugared surface. It replicates the non-stick that flour helps with but coats the dough deliciously.
  8. Cut out shapes in the dough with a cookie cutter or lid of a mason jar or with the lid of a clean drinking glass.
  9. Place cut outs on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and chill for 10 minutes. Coat lightly with sugar before putting them back in the fridge.
  10. Bake cookies until light brown, 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully, the cookies around the edge of the cookie sheet with brown faster.
  11. Transfer to a rack to cool and enjoy!
Posted in Pastry, Recipes

Bacon, Chive, and Cheddar Scones

I made this recipe over the summer, somewhat successfully but I actually lacked the proper amount of chives that the recipe called for. Last week, I got a massive bunch of chives within my CSA box and immediately thought of this recipe to put them to use. A quick side note on CSA boxes! Over the summer, I worked in food systems and nutrition research and found out that CSA boxes were not only a great way to help a local farm but they also help you to reduce the carbon footprint of your food because it is sourced locally and it has helped me a ton in my journey to become a better cook. CSA stands for community supported agriculture and it’s much more common that I had previously thought. The pandemic has actually increased interest in this and many farms are unable to keep up with the demand!!!

It was hard to find an open slot when I came back to school in the fall but I’ve been getting a weekly “Ugly” share from Moon Valley Farm which delivers to various locations in Baltimore. My share or box usually contains various vegetables with the occasionally bunch of fruit and it has encouraged me to really broaden my culinary horizons. One of the veggies that has come pretty consistently in my boxes the past few weeks is okra, which I had never ever cooked or eaten. Now, I’m enjoying an okra and tomato stew for lunch that I never could have made a few months ago! I really enjoy my CSA box but I also have the time to dissect and cook through my whole box. It can be really tough at first but I have learned a lot and love getting my box every week. I encourage everyone to look into purchasing locally sourced agriculture in any form, not just from a CSA. It both reduces your carbon footprint and encourages you to eat seasonally! Although, I am still tempted by the sales of pineapple and lemons from far-away countries so even my food purchasing process has quite a bit of leeway!

Back to the baking aspect of this blog! This recipe is based off a recipe that came in my King Arthur Scone pan that was a Christmas gift from my lovely parents. I did make a few changes to the recipe to fit it to what I had in the fridge and to lighten up the recipe a little. American scones are a pretty heavy affair, full of butter and cream. Because I had some frozen low fat buttermilk, I defrosted that and used it in the recipe and it worked out really well! I often have to buy dairy for recipes but I don’t really drink it or use it in other recipes so I’ve taken to freezing it in specific quantities and defrosting it as needed. Fresh dairy is always preferable but if I’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that you must be flexible! On a college budget, I’m always looking for ways to stretch my grocery budget and my freezer has been the greatest thing ever for helping me do that. I also substituted the regular bacon for turkey bacon. It’s not as greasy and I think it adds plenty of flavor without some of the fat. I’ll put the original recipe guidance down below in parentheses next to my additions. I really recommend not doing the recipe if you don’t have enough chives or green onions. The two are interchangeable and you could probably even use half of each if you don’t have enough of them individually. They really add just a subtle onion flavor that complements the overall scone. These come together super quickly and are a delicious breakfast treat! They can also be frozen and baked at will, just freeze the dough before you get to the step where you brush them with buttermilk/cream. Let me know if you try the recipe in the comments below and happy baking!

Bacon, Chive, and Cheddar Scone Recipe

  • 241 grams (2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoon) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (offsets bitterness of baking powder, please use)
  • 57 grams (4 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter
  • 113 grams (1 cup) coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese
  • 14 grams (1/3 cup) chopped fresh chives
  • 227 grams (1/2 pound) turkey bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (original recipe calls for regular bacon)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk (original recipe calls for heavy cream)
  1. Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the middle or upper third of the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, slat, baking powder, and sugar. Work the butter into the flour mixture until the mix is unevenly crumbly with the butter in pea sized pieces.
  3. Mix in cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of buttermilk or cream, stirring to combine. Try to squeeze the dough together and if it won’t stay cohesive, add a little more buttermilk or cream.
  5. Transfer dough to lined cookie sheet and pat into a 7 inch disk about 3/4 inch thick. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the disk into 8 wedges. Separate these wedges a little and brush them lightly with buttermilk or cream.
  6. Bake scones in the middle or upper third of oven for 22-24 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool them in the pan they were baked.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

As the school year has started, I’ve been baking up a storm and am loving it! I’m hoping to come out with a book review in a week or so but I’m finishing up a monster of a book that I’ve been reading intermittently since April! While I finish that up, I thought I could distract you all with yet another delicious cookie recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Now, for my friends out there who are allergic to nuts, this recipe may not be for them but I always encourage recipe substitutions in the name of creativity so if anyone finds a good peanut or nut free alternative to the peanut butter in the recipe, let me know if the comments below! I was inspired to look for cookie recipes so that I could share some with my godmother Sue, who has been very kind in testing out several of my blog recipes.

This was a relatively simple recipe, I didn’t run into any huge logistical or recipe errors which is great! The recipe requires butter to be at room temp and unlike the brown sugar and maple cookies, the butter can be microwaved thirty seconds to forty five seconds to soften it. The recipe will be quite stiff with the peanut butter addition so the butter can be almost melted if you need to microwave it. To make these cookies less stiff, the recipe calls for a tablespoon or two of water. You could even add another tablespoon if you need to and don’t be alarmed when the dough gets really stiff after you mix all the ingredients together.

I normally mix my dry and wet goods separately but I know that some people along with myself sometimes just throw everything in the bowl and mix. In this recipe, try to use two separate bowls for wet and dry goods if you can because the peanut butter will cause everything to stick together and not mix well. Final note is that I used chocolate chips in the cookies because they were all I had on hand. They do taste great in the cookies but you don’t get as much peanut butter without using the peanut butter cups recommended by the original recipe. So if you like a more chocolate than peanut butter, use chips but if you love that PB then go find some mini peanut butter cups to use! I hope that you enjoy this recipe and follow any of the above mentioned tips!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 177 grams (1 1/2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 43 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup packed) brown sugar
  • 113 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 67 grams (1/4 cup) smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) water
  • 255 grams (1 1/2 cup) mini-peanut butter cups or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and water to that bowl and then stir in the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the mini peanut butter cups or chocolate chips until blended well.
  6. Scoop out tablespoon sized balls of dough and place onto the lined baking sheets. Flatten the cookies to 1/2 inch thick (this is so they will bake through)
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set and you smell chocolate (If you have a hot oven, baking time may only be 7 minutes)
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

So these cookies owe their inspiration to my lovely friend, Hannah. We were video chatting the other day and she talked about all the lovely things that she’s been making with her gluten free sourdough starter! It put me in the mood to make something but I had less than an hour before my next class so it had to be something quick. Hannah suggested banana bread, a quarantine classic, but I’m embarrassingly behind on my grocery shopping and didn’t have much around. I didn’t set out to make a gluten-free recipe but it was the easiest and quickest with the ingredients I had available. The recipe has five ingredients, most of which you’ll probably have in your pantry. I always have almond flour around because I make macarons frequently but it’s not a hard ingredient to find in most grocery stores.

Now for the tips and tricks with this recipe! This made about 17 bite size cookies and I had to hold myself back from eating most of them! The cookies aren’t very big and the batch size is small so feel free to scale up the recipe to fit your needs. However, I wouldn’t adjust the size of the cookies. Even with using melted butter, these cookies are VERY short/crumbly. This is due to the use of almond flour and makes a very easy crumbly cookie. If they were made any larger, they would probably collapse under their own weight when picked up. The cross-hatching is also super easy to do with a fork, no special equipment required! This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website and on it, they have several variations for the flavor of the cookie including chocolate/pistachio and maple/pecan. I would start with the basic recipe and expand on that! Even if you wanted to try all the different flavor variations, it wouldn’t take more than an afternoon. So get busy and get baking!

Almond Flour Cookie Recipe

  • 96 grams (1 cup) almond flour
  • 43 grams (3 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature or softened
  • 21 grams (3 tablespoons) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a cohesive dough forms.
  3. Scoop out 1 inch balls of dough using a teaspoon cookie scoop and arrange on the sheet. Leave out an inch and a half of room between dough balls.
  4. Use a fork to flatten each cookie, making a cross hatch design on top.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes or until they turn light brown on top (My oven took about 12 minutes)
  6. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a rack to completely cool before eating.
Posted in Cookies, Recipes

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies but I had never attempted a vegan cookie recipe! I had a lovely socially distanced picnic with friends last week and I wanted to bring a baked good to share. In these times of socially distanced socialization, I’ve loved baking for other people to show my love rather than giving them the big hugs that I’d really like to give them! One of my friends is a vegan and as I have been trying to incorporate less animal products in my own life, I thought it was a great opportunity to try out this recipe from King Arthur Flour. Always a great resource, King Arthur Flour didn’t fail me with this wonderful recipe for chocolate chip cookies that taste absolutely delicious and don’t compromise on any part of a cookie!

These cookies are specifically salted right before they are baked and this is the most important part of the recipe. I do have a sweet tooth but with the use of oil in these cookies, they can be a little overpoweringly sweet if you omit the salt. You don’t had to use very fancy salt either, I just sprinkled on kosher salt and whacked them in the oven. I really prefer kosher salt for baking, whether or not it’s called for by the recipe. Although most table salt is iodized, providing an important micronutrient in your diet, it doesn’t pack the same flavor punch that I find when I use kosher salt. Also, I taste kosher salt as more salty if that’s possible so I end up using less overall. Just to be careful, make sure that you have iodized table salt out for regular usage but I recommend kosher salt for most cooking and baking needs.

Some of the reviews on this recipe complained of spreading but I didn’t find this was the case at all. I refrigerated my dough for several hours (roughly 18) and froze the dough for about twenty minutes after I had shaped it. Using a tablespoon to measure the dough out, it makes about 27 cookies but only 26 made it into my oven! You can also add in sourdough discard or make them gluten free! For the discard addition, you can add in 70 grams of discard and omit the additional water the recipe calls for. You may also be able cut the flour amount but I’m not sure I could give an exact amount. To make this gluten free, substitute all the flour for almond meal and be careful to mix until the dough is just coming together. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did and let me know how any of the variations go in the comments!

Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

  • 241 grams (2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 213 grams (1 1/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 99 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar
  • 106 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) vegetable oil
  • 71 grams (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) water
  • Sea salt or Kosher Salt to garnish
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Add chocolate chips and whisk till they are coated with flour.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugars with the oil and water until smooth. This can take a minute or two but be patient!
  3. Add flour and stir until just combined with no visible flour spots.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
  5. To bake, preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator and using a tablespoon to measure, drop on the lined sheet. Leave about 2 inches of room on each side and freeze for 10 minutes. (They can be frozen closer together but make sure they have the space when baking)
  7. Sprinkle with salt (Do this!!! I forgot for the first batch!!) and bake for 12-14 minutes. If you like your cookies softer, bake for no more than 13 minutes. Bake a few minutes past 14 if you enjoy a crunchy cookie.
  8. Remove and cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
Posted in Pastry, Quick Breads

Savory Zucchini Scones

So I’m not sure how appropriate it is to call these scones but they sure are delicious! I ended up finding this recipe after discovering that my boyfriend had a container of buttermilk that was going to need to be used within the next two weeks. While I do love my Irish Soda Bread, I wanted to try and find something different that would use the buttermilk. They use the same elements as a traditional scone but they don’t have the same flakiness, I believe this is due to the zucchini. I made these over the past weekend and loved how much it tasted like pizza. I’ve only ever made one other savory scone and wasn’t quite sure how these would turn out. They were more of a hearty scone, probably due to the massive size of most of them and would make a good breakfast or lunch. They are slightly complicated so only attempt if you’ve had a little bit of experience with pastry or biscuits.

These are absolutely packed with flavor, from the zucchini to the sun dried tomatoes to the massive amount of grated Asiago!!! There are several technical pitfalls in this recipe and I was unable to avoid some of them but they still came out delicious! One issue is with the zucchini. While it makes a hearty addition to the scones and adds moisture, zucchinis add wayyyyy too much moisture most of the time. I squeezed out a great deal of moisture with a french press but I could have squeezed out even more. I found that the french press worked well but that I should have put the shredded zucchini inside the press in much smaller batches. You simply cannot get all the moisture out if you have too much in there. The other issue I had was underestimating how much dough this recipe makes. When I originally read about this recipe in the Skinnytaste blog, I thought it would make 12 mini scones. Oh boy, I was wrong on that! It makes 12 full size (generously portioned) scones and I really should have used a bigger mixing bowl. A food processor also really helps in this situation. I used to to both shred the zucchini and cut the butter into the dry ingredients. If you don’t have one, this can be done by hand so don’t get discourage but it will take a bit longer.

Savory Zucchini Scone Recipe

  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk (I use low-fat but I’m not sure how much it matters here)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat flour (You could use only All Purpose but I like the whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of moisture
  • 2 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded (Could substitute Pecorino Romano or Parmesan)
  • 2.75 ounces sun dried tomatoes, minced (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Extra buttermilk to coat
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick or line a baking sheet.
  2. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine flours with baking powder and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, cheese, rosemary and set aside.
  5. Cut in chilled butter into the dry ingredients, by hand or using a food processor until it looks like coarse meal.
  6. Gently fold in the ingredients from step four. Make a well in the middle of the dough and add the buttermilk mixture.
  7. Fold the mixture together until it starts to come together then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly then form into a 10″ circle.
  8. Cut into 12 wedges and brush lightly with buttermilk on the top of each wedge. Place on the lined sheet and bake 25-30 (up to 35) minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool. Eat warm and enjoy!
Posted in Discard Recipes, Sourdough

Sourdough Discard Pizza

This is one of my favorite discard recipes. It’s incredibly versatile and can feed a family really easily. During this past summer, I made this recipe at least once every two weeks and it was a hit every single time. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour which has a fantastic repository of sourdough discard recipes. With this recipe, you are able to merge the instincts of a chef and a baker because both creativity and precision are needed to make this recipe a success. For the flavor combinations, go with whatever you or your family like the most. At the start of summer, I paired chicken sausage with broccoli or whatever frozen vegetable was around and I’ve recently taken to pairing Italian chicken with mushrooms which is a delicious combination that I never really appreciated properly! The dough in this recipe can be paired with whatever is in your fridge; just come up with a central element or two and the dough can be tailored to compliment it.

The technical side of this recipe isn’t daunting but the little things can get you. I often pour spices into the dough without proper measurement because it’s more of gut feeling at this point. While fun, improvisation with the dry ingredients can get you into hot water with your balance of wet and dry. If adding more than 5 grams of extra dry ingredients, add a little more water, just enough to make the dough come together. My discard can also be a little sticky sometimes and that mean needing to add more or less liquid to your dough. Also, in terms of using a pizza pan, this most recent bake was the first time that I had used one and I adored it! If you end up making pizza regularly, a pizza pan is a wonderful addition but it’s also another very large pan that will need a home in your kitchen. A regular sheet (half or quarter depending on recipe size) will do just fine. However, I would recommend getting a pizza cutter; they are incredibly useful and I now use mine almost everyday. This recipe can also be halved easily to make a smaller pizza, the pictures on this post are from a halved recipe. If halved, you may need to add slightly more water when mixing. However you get to making your pizza, enjoy the process! Making pizza dough is easy enough to do with the whole family or with a loving partner so have fun and go make that dough!

Sourdough Discard Pizza Recipe

  • 227 grams (1 cup) discard sourdough starter
  • 113 grams (1/2 cup) warm water
  • 298 grams (2 1/2 cups) All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (use 3/4 teaspoon for active dry)
  • Assort spices or pizza dough flavoring (This is more of a gut addition, I add spices based on the flavorings I enjoy, my most common additions are onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano or Italian seasonings)
  1. Combine all ingredients and knead for about seven minutes by hand or with a mixer. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.
  2. Roll the dough into a ball and place into a greased container. Let rise 4 hours. For a quicker rise, double the amount of yeast)
  3. Once risen, the dough can be divided to make two twelve inch pizzas or one large pizza. Either way, grease a pizza pan or sheet pan and stretch it to desired shape.
  4. Let rest 15 minutes. If the dough has creeped back any, you can re-stretch it. From here, you can bake immediately or wait until the dough reaches your desired thickness. I usually allow an addition 20-30 minute rise to get a nice solid crust. Cover the dough during its rise to prevent a dry crust forming over the dough.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F.
  6. Add sauce and toppings to pizza but hold back the cheese. Bake un-cheesed pizza for 5-10 minutes (shorter for thinner pizzas).
  7. Remove from oven and add cheese then bake a further 5-7 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy! It stays good in the refrigerator for up to five days!
Posted in Pastry

Pluot Tarte Tatin

So this started as a big mistake on my weeks produce box. Since coming back to Baltimore for a slightly strange school year, I decided to sign up for Hungry Harvest which is a service meant to rescue ugly or excess produce and was started at the University of Maryland! In my first order, I didn’t quite read the fine print while customizing my order and accidentally ordered 30+ pluots…Yikes! While I do love pluots and my boyfriend has grown fond of them, there is no way that the two of us could consume that many without starting to hate them. At the suggestion of Jason, I turned my pluots into a modified tarte tatin and it was delicious to eat! I will concede that this is not a “true” tarte tatin as it does not have a caramelized bottom but I think the maple syrup base adds more flavor than the overwhelmingly sugary taste of caramel. I would like to make some changes to the recipe at some point so if I have time to experiment, I’ll update the recipe.

For this recipe, I ended up making my own puff pastry which I think went rather well for my first attempt. There weren’t as many layers as I was hoping for but I think it was an impressive showing for my first attempt. Pluots also have a high volume of water and they may have soaked the pastry a little too much, retarding the rise of the layers of pastry. Either way, Jason and I have nearly polished off the whole tart in two days which I think is rather impressive! I also remembered after the fact that for a liquid filling, you normally cut a little steam hole in the top of the tart in order to let the moisture escape. Guess who forgot their steam hole? I can’t wait to make this again with a few improvements. I also really enjoyed the process of making puff pastry, with a cold countertop, it wasn’t nearly as daunting as it looks on television. I did have much more time to leisurely make the pastry which I think is key for keeping the butter chilled. The pastry can be made throughout the day between larger tasks and then rested overnight before use. Obviously, if you’re rushed for time, do NOT try to make your own pastry! As Ina Garten says, if you can’t make your own, store-bought is fine. Especially if you’re a novice baker, pastry can be tricky and finicky and you may have more failure than success but I encourage you to keep going, you will get there one of these days!

Pluot Tarte Tatin Recipe

For the Puff Pastry (Paul Hollywood’s Recipe)

Makes double what you need for the tarte tatin, roughly 600 grams

  • 150 grams chilled Bread flour
  • 150 grams chilled All Purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 milligrams cold water
  • 250 grams chilled unsalted European-style butter
  1. Combine the flours, salt, eggs, and water in a large bowl and gently mix to an even dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth (up to 10 minutes). The dough will feel tight. Shape into a bowl, wrap in plastic, and chill in the fridge overnight.
  2. Flatten the butter into a rectangle, 15″x 7″ and return it to the fridge, overnight or for at least an hour to harden.
  3. Roll out the dough to 24″x 8″ and place the butter on the dough so it covers the bottom two-thirds of the dough.
  4. Fold the exposed dough on the top over the butter and then fold the bottom butter covered third over the top flap. Pinch the edges together to seal and put into a plastic bag to chill for 1 hour.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a slightly floured surface. Roll it out to a rectangle and fold the bottom and top quarters to meet in the center. Fold this dough in half and chill in a bag for another hour. (This is a book turn! It creates lamination very quickly so if you want more layers, make the next two turns book turns rather than single turns)
  6. Take the dough out and roll it into a rectangle. Fold down the top third of the dough and then fold up the bottom third to make a square of dough. Wrap and chill for another hour. (This is a single turn)
  7. Repeat step 6 and chill overnight. After overnight chill, the pastry can be used at will or frozen up to three months. If frozen, thaw in the fridge the night before.

For the Tarte Tatin (Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Plum Tarte Tatin recipe)

Serves about 8,

  • 600 grams ripe pluots, de-pitted and halved
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 120 milligrams maple syrup
  • 30 milligrams water
  • 320 grams puff pastry, rolled into a circle
  • Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Warm a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add pluots to the pan with the water and cook for 1 minute. Place them carefully for decorative purposes, a tarte tatin is turned upside down to serve so the base ends up on top.
  4. From a height, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over the pan and evenly pour the maple syrup over the pluots. (The cinnamon is sprinkled from a height to prevent it being burned in the pan, which is v unpleasant, and it helps it to spread evenly on the pluots)
  5. Place the pastry over the pluots and using a spoon or your hands, press the pastry to the edges and over the pluots. Trim excess pastry and use it to patch any holes. Use a paring knife to cut a small hole in the center to allow steam out.
  6. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed up.
  7. Using GOOD and LONG oven gloves, place a plate over the skillet and flip the tarte out of the pan. If properly baked, it shouldn’t stick at all.
  8. Dish up with ice cream and sprinkle remaining cinnamon on top. Enjoy!