Maple Scones

Maple Scones 1 Maple Scones

Every once in awhile, I decide I’m only going to do things that are awesome. And I forget that even with superhuman optimism, a lot of things aren’t awesome, and you can’t forgo invoicing and homework and laundry in favour of making things or playing with new projects on the internet.

But I have stuck to my new rule of only eating baked goods that are awesome – life is too short for bad bread. Right? And although I do enjoy a good muffin/scone/cookie/cinnamon bun any time of year, there’s something about cooling weather and crunchy leaves that demands something freshly baked alongside your coffee or tea.

(Related: no kitchen yet. It’s moving at glacial speed. But I have a sink! Update soon.)

Maple Scones 3 Maple Scones

Eons ago, I got to the point where I could mix up a batch of scones from memory, knowing just how much flour/sugar/baking powder/butter/cream would yield a perfect carb vehicle for anything from berries to chocolate chunks. A scone truly is the ultimate blank canvas; if you have the basics on hand, you can wing the rest. They take tasty care of squishy fruit and cheese ends, and scraps of things that might not otherwise add up to much. And even if a rummage through the fridge results in no more than a bottle of gin and maple syrup, you can make maple scones. (Or gin scones?)

Maple Scones 2 Maple Scones

Even though maple syrup runs in the spring, it feels like fall to me. I wish I had seen Joy’s apple pie biscuits before I made these – next time I’ll envelop sugared, spiced apples in maple dough and splatter maple drizzle over them, Jackson Pollock-style. I may go do that now.

Maple Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup half & half
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Drizzle:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. half & half

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and blend it in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers until well combined, with lumps of butter the size of a pea remaining.

Add the half & half and maple syrup and stir just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a parchment-lined sheet and pat into a circle an inch thick. Cut into 6-8 wedges and pull them apart on the sheet. If you like, brush them with a little extra milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Meanwhile, whisk together the icing sugar, maple syrup and cream, and drizzle it over the warm scones with a fork. Makes 6-8 scones.

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September 27 2014 | bread and breakfast | 9 Comments »

Homemade Dog Treats

TV Dinner Treats small Homemade Dog Treats

Those of you who have been hanging around awhile may remember when we acquired a weeks-old black dog with white socks and a star on his chest – Lou, who we adore, even when he gets skunked and even though he hasn’t always been a good dog. (Fortunately he has outgrown puppyhood.)

Lou 585x431 Homemade Dog Treats

(Cuteness in puppies must be a means of self-preservation.) These days, Lou likes to wait until we’re asleep, then climb up into bed and stretch out the length of the bed, nestled into the pillow with his paws up over his head. Or sneak into my side of the bed when we go out, leaving fur and muddy evidence on my pillow. Living with him + the squirrel in the tree in our back yard is like living with Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. This spring, Lou was hard at work testing recipes for In the Dog Kitchen, which just arrived from the printer! (!!!) It’s so pretty. It’s making its way into stores now.

leftover dog treats Homemade Dog Treats

Since Thanksgiving is coming up (I know, sorry), I thought a new use for turkey dinner leftovers (or ham, lamb, roast beef…) might come in handy for those with four-legged members of the family. These don’t smell anywhere near as disgusting as the sardine squirrels or liver brownies, but not quite as delicious as the peanut butter and bacon biscotti, which more than one visitor has mistaken as intended for human consumption.

Really, all you do is blitz leftover bits of meat, cooked veg, boiled potato, and an egg and some chickpea flour (or barley, oat or whole wheat flour) to bind it all together. Make the dough stiffer to roll and cut, or shape into balls and press down with a fork or bamboo skewer or your thumb.

Dogs aren’t concerned with aesthetics – and you can buy their love with cookies. (Mine too.)

P.S. Lou joined Twitter!

P.P.S. and started a blog! Typing is awkward.

TV Dinner Dog Treats

From In the Dog Kitchen!

1 cup chopped or shredded roast beef, pork, lamb or chicken, chopped
1 cup boiled or roasted carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or other veggies
1 boiled potato
1 large egg
1 cup chickpea flour, or enough barley, oat, or whole wheat flour to make a soft dough

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the meat, veggies, potato and egg until well blended and pasty. Add the flour and pulse until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.

Roll the dough into marble or walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet; press down with a fork or crisscrossed with a bamboo skewer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until pale golden and firm. If you like, turn the oven off but leave them inside to harden as they cool.

Makes 2-4 dozen treats.

pixel Homemade Dog Treats
button print gry20 Homemade Dog Treats

September 23 2014 | leftovers | 7 Comments »

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