I made scones

scones

Though I do a fair bit of baking and have done over the years, I realised that I had never made scones.

I enjoy eating scones, and though I can never remember which way you should do the cream and jam when having a scone. I know that it is different in Devon to the way that it is done in Cornwall. One of them puts the jam down first, then the cream; the other puts the cream down first and then the jam!

I know I could use the Google to find this out, but I am not sure that even if I did I would remember. The real question is does it really matter, especially when you are in Somerset?

Anyway back to baking scones.

I used a simple recipe from an old cookery book that we have in the house (which is from the 1970s or 1980s).

8 oz self raising flour
2 oz butter
2 oz sultanas
1 oz caster sugar
1/4 pint of fresh milk

You can add salt if you want.

Rub the butter into the flour until all the butter is rubbed in and the mix resembles breadcrumbs.

Now add the sultanas and the sugar.

Add the milk all at once and then mix with a knife to a soft, but not a stick dough.

Having made the dough, it was stickier than I thought it should be so added a little more flour. Using a pastry cutter I cut the scone dough into scone rounds.

These I placed on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Now you can placed them onto a greased tray, but I usually use baking parchment. One tip I picked up from Jamie Oliver was after cutting the parchment was to screw it up into a ball and then flatten the screwed up parchment. What this does is make it much easier to line the baking tray, otherwise the parchment as a tendency to roll back into a roll.

These were baked in a hot oven for ten minutes until golden.

They were smaller than I would have liked, but then I was the one who rolled out the dough!

I had one with strawberry jam and clotted cream and it was delicious. I my mind scones really need to be eaten fresh and preferably warm from the oven.

Reindeer Cupcakes

Reindeer Cupcakes

These are the Reindeer cupcakes we baked last year, we are intending to bake them again this year. Lots of fun to make and the salted pretzels add a little something different.

The first stage is to make some chocolate cupcakes, I have a simple recipe that I use for cupcakes and the quantity can be increased quickly and easily simply by increasing the number of eggs.

The recipe is based around a single egg.

Ingredients

One egg
Same weight of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar
One tablespoon of cocoa powder

Cream the caster sugar and butter together until smooth.

Add the egg and a little of the flour. Mix until smooth and then fold in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder.

Place spoonfuls of mixture into cupcake cases and bake in a medium oven for ten minutes. Once cooked, cool before decorating.

The cakes are covered in chocolate buttercream icing. Pretzels are used for the antlers and marshmallows for the eyes, spotted with black icing. The noses are homemade biscuits with a giant chocolate button, except for Rudolph who has a red icing nose.

Baking Biscuits

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I have a very simple recipe for some simple biscuits. The recipe is based around a single egg.

Ingredients

One egg
Same weight of cold cubed butter and caster sugar
Twice the weight of plain flour

Rub the flour and butter into breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar and then add the egg to bind the mixture into a dough.

The mixture should come into a dough quite easily.

I then form the dough into a large sausage shaped roll, about 3-4 cm in diameter. I then wrapped the dough in cling film and placed in the fridge for an hour or so. This is to firm up the dough and make it easier to manage when slicing into biscuit shapes.

Removing the dough from the fridge, I sliced it into rounds which are then placed onto a baking tray. Now you can placed them onto a greased tray, but I usually use baking parchment. One tip I picked up from Jamie Oliver was after cutting the parchment was to screw it up into a ball and then flatten the screwed up parchment. What this does is make it much easier to line the baking tray, otherwise the parchment as a tendency to roll back into a roll.

These are then baked in a moderate oven for about 10-12 minutes until film. I prefer my biscuits just cooked, not browned, so they have a softer crumbly texture. If you prefer a crisper biscuit then bake for a little longer.

Once baked, remove the tray of biscuits from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Once cooled, you can then ice the biscuits or cover them in chocolate.

Lighter Flapjacks

I used the following recipe to make some lighter flapjacks.

150g unsalted butter
75g brown sugar
75g golden syrup
350g of oats
50g of rice krispies
50g of cashew nuts, or use peanuts

In a pan place the butter, sugar and syrup together. I find one way to measure the golden syrup is to put the pan on the scales, zero the scales and then add the syrup.

I put the pan on a low heat, better to take your time than burn the mixture. Once the sugar, butter and syrup are bubbling slightly take it off the heat and stir in the oats.

The stir in the rice crisps and nuts, now I should add at this point I actually used coco pops, but the principle is the same. The cereal provides a lighter crunchier texture to to the flapjacks. The nuts provide a harder crunch to the flapjacks.

This recipe uses more oats than my previous recipe, so these flapjacks are less rich and sticky. Place the oat mixture into a lined tin, press it into place with a fork or the back of a spoon.

The flapjacks are baked in a pre-heated 200ºC oven for about ten minutes or until the edges are browned.

Leave the flapjacks to cool in the tins, or they will fall apart. After they have cooled, cover in melted chocolate, let it set and then serve.

Plain and Fruit Flapjacks

Plain and Fruit Flapjacks

I used the following recipe to make some plan flapjacks and some that contain fruit and nuts.

150g unsalted butter
50g brown sugar
100g golden syrup
250g of oats

In a pan place the butter, sugar and syrup together. I find one way to measure the golden syrup is to put the pan on the scales, zero the scales and then add the syrup.

I put the pan on a low heat, better to take your time than burn the mixture. Once the sugar, butter and syrup are bubbling slightly take it off the heat and stir in the oats.

Place half the mixture into lined tin using baking parchment (or a greased tin). I then added the mixed fruit and nuts (well what I had in the cupboard was cranberries, raisins and cashew nuts) into the oat mixture, before placing that into another lined tin.

The flapjacks are baked in a pre-heated 200ºC oven for about ten minutes or until the edges are browned.

Leave the flapjacks to cool in the tins, or they will fall apart.