08. 01. 2013

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Probably you’re sick of Downton Abbey-inspired recipes. Too bad! Here’s one more.

Well, I say it’s Downton Abbey-inspired because it’s scones. But that’s really where the inspiration stops, because then I added Oreos. And Oreos don’t make a lot of appearances in Downton Abbey.

I had Oreos leftover, by the way, from the cookies and cream cake disaster from last week, if you’ll recall. This is my apology recipe.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s a scone with Oreos, and it tastes just like it. It’s not an Oreo-flavored scone, it’s a white chocolated-flavored scone, and it’s got bits of Oreo. It’s delicious and sweet without being too much.

Eat one for breakfast. Eat one for dessert. Pack four in your lunch box for tomorrow. You’ll be the envy of the Downton Abbey fans in your office… assuming they’ve forgotten that Oreos aren’t really a featured dessert in the show.

Bonus friendly warning: don’t stick an Oreo on top of the scone before baking and assuming your scone will turn out SUPER WOW COOL looking. It won’t. It’ll look like this:

Oreo Scones
makes 12-15 scones, depending on size
adapted from allrecipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/2 cup crushed Oreos
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips
2 tbsp heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut butter in with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Fold in crushed Oreos.

3. In a separate small bowl, combine sour cream, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Stir in melted white chocolate. Add the sour cream and white chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until a dough forms.

4. Gather dough into a ball and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter (any size you want) cut the dough into circles, rerolling the dough as necessary. Place scones on baking sheet about 1 inch apart and brush the tops liberally with cream. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges have browned.

02. 01. 2013

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Well, would you look at what we have here. Baking popovers was on my resolution list! Analysts are predicting this “go-get-’em” attitude will dissipate by tomorrow.

I specifically requested a popover pan for Christmas this year. I’d never even seen a popover in real life but gorgeous photos online were tempting me. But no more! Let the tempted be the the tempter! Or something like that.

But humans, listen. These popovers were so easy to make, and so rewarding! Look at how impressive they are! I feel like a robotic version of Julia Child! It is a bit of the wait game, letting the ingredients come to room temperature and then letting the batter rest for an hour, but that’s why Netflix released all seven seasons of The West Wing on instant. For robots like me, and people like you, who want to bake popovers. So we can watch an episode or two (or… an… entire… season…) during our baking. Thanks, Netflix, for thinking of the bakers. We owe you some popovers.

Oh, and the butter? The butter that I’m claiming tastes like cake batter? It does. It really does. It’s weird. It’s tasty. It’s sooo weirdly tasty.

I’m not saying you should slather this butter on every blueberry muffin in sight. (Or maybe you should.) It’s a novelty butter, used in moderation. It would be perfect for birthday toast! Birthday toast is what all of my friends are getting as gifts this year. Spoiler alert.

makes 12
from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

3-1/2 cups milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, room temperature

1. Warm milk in the microwave.

2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. In the large bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs on medium-speed for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Turn speed down to low and slowly add warmed milk. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until combined. Cover bowl and let rest for one hour.

4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously spray popover pan with non-stick spray. Fill each popover cup about 2/3 of the way full. Place the popover pan on a cookie sheet to catch any drippings.

5. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees for the last 15-20 minutes of baking. Popovers should look very golden brown and light and airy. Eat warm.

Cake Batter Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp sprinkles

1. Cream together butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir in sprinkles. Refrigerate to harden.

25. 10. 2012

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Confession time: this is the first time I’ve ever baked with coconut! Coconut isn’t eaten around the Watson house, and a few of my good human friends are allergic, so I’ve never had occasion to buy coconut before.

But when the idea of kiwi banana bread was generated in my computer brain, I couldn’t stop thinking about the famous kiwi and coconut combo. And when I can’t stop thinking about something, my brain goes into overdrive and smokes. Confession time: I had to make this bread so my brain would stop smoking. The life I lead, I tell you!

And guess what? The entire loaf was eaten by the Watson family, coconut and all. Coconut and all, I said! It’s a breakthrough! I’m gonna put coconut on everything now, to make up for all of these coconut-less years.

Coconut turkey for Thanksgiving? You heard it here at The Baking Robot first, humans!

Coconut Kiwi Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf

1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 large bananas, about 1-1/2 cups, mashed
1/2 cup coconut, toasted
1 cup diced kiwis, + 1 sliced kiwi for the top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract. Add bananas.

4. Gradually add flour mixture to banana mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in toasted coconut (reserving 1 tablespoon) and diced kiwis.

5. Pour batter into greased loaf pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle reserved tablespoon of toasted coconut on top, and evenly place sliced kiwis on top.

6. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

15. 06. 2012

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I just pitted cherries for the first time.

I didn’t have the forethought to ask the Watsons for a cherry pitter extension for my hands, so I had to use one of little Sadie’s bobby pins. I felt like a gruesome robotic hairdresser. It was slightly uncomfortable, took forever, and stained my metal a light pink.

I’m not complaining about that last bit, of course, light pink matches the bolts around my eyes very well. But I think next time I’ll just splurge on a cherry pitter.

And as for this banana bread, it’s delicious, don’t get me wrong, but do you see the chocolate along the top? I cut that out of the recipe because I was only trying to impress you and it backfired.

Banana bread is awesome because it’s simple. Throwing too many flavors into it is a bad idea, so let’s just leave it at banana and cherry and enjoy.

Cherry Banana Bread
adapted from allrecipes
makes 1 loaf

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2-1/3 cup mashed bananas
2 cups pitted cherries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in mashed bananas. Add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in cherries.

4. Evenly pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let rest for ten minutes before inverting to cool completely.

28. 05. 2012

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Robots aren’t perfect, okay?

What you see here is the third (and very successful) attempt at ice cream bread. The first go round I didn’t totally read the instructions – clearly this was some malfunction – because all I did was mix together ice cream and all-purpose flour.

Which meant the bread came out more like burned poorly poured cement. (And to be honest, it tasted like that too.)

Then I tried to make my own self-rising flour with baking powder and salt. The recipe was all right but I over baked the bread, like only a malfunctioning robot can do.

At this point I yelled “01001110 01101111 00100001” in my best Darth Vader voice and just went to the store and got self-rising flour.

And then I added vanilla and cinnamon, which made it even better. And then I topped it with Nutella and bananas, which made it awesome. And then I threw on sprinkles, which made it perfect.

Strawberry Ice Cream Bread
adapted from The Hungry Housewife

1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups strawberry ice cream, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×4 baking loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and cinnamon. Add strawberry ice cream and vanilla extract, mixing until just combined.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread before inverting.

4. Spread Nutella over cooled sliced bread and top with sliced bananas. Or get creative and choose your own toppings! The choices are endless. Like pi.

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