Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

Carrot scones beauty Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

I have a hard time not mixing up a batch of scones every morning of the week. When it happens to be Easter morning, and we’re counting down the minutes to head over to Grandma’s house for an epic full-contact Hunger Games Easter egg hunt (5 boys between 5 and 10) I have a reasonable excuse to bake a batch. And just now, having read a sad tale of failed carrot cake and woe over wasted carrots and the grating thereof, it occurred to me that carrot scones should totally be an Easter morning thing. Right?

Carrot scones 5 Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

With a honeyed cream cheese schmear that I not even intentionally served in an egg shaped ramekin?

Carrot scones 10 Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

These are like a delicious marriage of carrot cake and scone, with a crunchy edge and steamy middle that makes a perfect vehicle for cream cheese – or butter and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Hop to it! Happy Easter!

Carrot Scones with Cream Cheese Schmear

From Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook by Pierre and I

Scones:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 large carrot, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup milk, half and half or 18% cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or raisins

Schmear:
1 8 oz (250 g) pkg. cream cheese
2–4 Tbsp milk, half and half or 18% cream
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and blend with a fork or pastry blender (or pulse the mixture in the bowl of a food processor) until almost blended, with pieces of butter the size of a pea remaining. Add the grated carrots and toss to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and egg; add to the carrot mixture along with the chopped walnuts or raisins and stir just until the dough comes together.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough into a circle that’s about an inch thick. (For smaller scones, divide the dough in half and pat into two circles.) Cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife, and pull the scones apart from each other, leaving an inch or so between them.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

To make the cream cheese schmear, beat the cream cheese, milk, honey and vanilla until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and spreadable. Serve with the scones.

Makes about 8 scones.

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April 20 2014 | bread and breakfast | 4 Comments »

Cheese Biscuits

Cheese biscuits 585x585 Cheese Biscuits

I know – I’ve posted a lot of biscuits here. I’m a fan. Everyone should be able to make a biscuit – because if you can make a biscuit, you can make a cheese biscuit, and there are few more comforting things to eat, especially when you have a ginormous ham in the oven. Slabs of sweet, salty ham sandwiched in warm cheese biscuits = happy people.

It’s also a great way of using up cheese ends or bits, and a great way to use up cream, buttermilk or even plain yogurt that is about to go south. Soured milk used to be the ideal for light, fluffy biscuits, and now we throw it out. A fresh batch of biscuits is infinitely useful.

Wee cheese biscuits, by the way, are also great for parties – you can split them and stuff them with ham and Dijon, or pulled pork, or roasted turkey and cranberry sauce. Just cut little 1 or 2-inch biscuits with a shot glass, cookie cutter or knife. Who doesn’t love a two-bite sandwich?

Cheese Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
a big handful of grated cheese – old cheddar, Gouda, anything flavourful – or crumbled blue
3/4 cup milk, cream or buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor) stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add the butter and pulse or stir with a wire whisk or fork until crumbly. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Toss in the grated cheese.

Add the milk and stir gently until the dough begins to come together. For square or wedge-shaped biscuits, pat the dough into a circle or square that is about 1” thick on a cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges or squares with a knife or pastry cutter and separate them so that they are at least an inch apart on the sheet. For round biscuits, pat the dough about 1-inch thick and cut it into rounds with a biscuit cutter, glass rim or open end of a can, gently rerolling the scraps only once to get as many biscuits as possible. If you like, brush the tops with extra milk or cream.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Serve warm. Makes 8 biscuits, or more.

pixel Cheese Biscuits
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April 19 2014 | bread | 2 Comments »

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