Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekend Baking/Cooking

It makes no sense to write every time I use this new gluten free AP flour blend, especially since I am going a little crazy right now because A) I am back in my own kitchen, and B) I want to try the flour in as many things as possible to make sure it's rock-solid. So this is a weekend baking/cooking round up.

Pumpkin cream scones with chocolate chips 

First of all, there was a lot of pressure on these  to be good because they used an absurd amount of butter and flour, three sticks and four-and-a-half cups, respectively.


(in hindsight, I would have taken the butter wrappers out of this picture. Next time.)

I did make some adaptations to the recipe (including using my gluten free AP flour mix). Additionally, I cannot fathom a pumpkin/chocolate recipe without cinnamon (I added a teaspoon), and I don't have a stand mixer, so I did not freeze/grate the butter but simply cut it in with my hands (which was messy but worked well). The original recipe also calls for vanilla extract but never says when to add it, so I just put it in with the sour cream and pumpkin. I didn't have white chocolate chips and am not a huge fan anyway (chocolate impostors, they should be called), so I used dark chocolate chips.

The result?



These scones were tender, crumbly, not too sweet, and delicious. They make me want to sit on the couch and curl up with a cup of coffee, several of the scones, and a Sunday New York Times. And maybe a nap. These are for sure a lazy brunch day treat. Highly recommended and will make these again, perhaps with a touch more cinnamon and some clotted cream.

Apple butter

An unqualified success. What could be easier? Five pounds of apples, a splash of apple cider vinegar, about 3/4 cup of apple cider, and tons of clove and cinnamon. I used an apple peeler to save my old lady hand joints (you could keep the skins on if the apples are organic and just run the final product through a food mill, but I don't have a food mill. This blog totally takes donations, and while you're at it I could use a stand mixer, a food processor, a tablespoon, a new pastry brush, and a bench scraper. Oh, and a large stainless steel mixing bowl to replace the one a dog watcher made off with. How weird is that? He took a rectangular glass baking dish, too, and slept in my bed. That was his last engagement at our house.), and I don't believe in measuring spices for apple butter. You just add them until it tastes good to you. Put the whole shebang in a pot on the stove and simmer until it turns brown and mushy (or double/triple the recipe and do it in a crockpot. That's what I usually do, but I didn't have that many apples), then blend with an immersion blender until super creamy. You could shove it through a chinois if you REALLY wanted to make it smooth, but I don't have one of those either.

I didn't add any sugar to this batch because it was plenty sweet (I used Red Delicious and a couple stray Honeycrisp), but if you do use sugar, add it later in the cooking time, and taste often as you add because that is a bell you cannot unring.

I also canned the apple butter but promptly opened a jar on Sunday and ate it on a scone. And I am giving another jar away. But it's nice to have a spare.

The bread brick



I blame the bread machine. Yes, I used a machine, and I don't give a rat's ass who doesn't like it. A bread machine allows me to make pizza dough and bread fresh daily if I want. When I have the time and space, I do make bread the old-fashioned way, but otherwise, it's all ingredients into the bread machine, push a button, and walk away.

Except maybe my bread machine is getting old and didn't make the move quite as elegantly as it perhaps should have. I noticed when it was in the kneading cycle that it wasn't kneading so much as building a little cave in the bottom of the dough. I opened the lid and tried to push it down, but I had visions of a broken finger and was a bit tentative. Safety first.

Plus, when you make bread on a quick bread cycle it is supposed to get super hot, so I maybe ruined it that way.

Whatevs. I am not giving up on the gluten free AP flour for this. I  may need to tweak the recipe to up the protein content, or something. The GF bread I am buying is crap, and it costs a small country's GDP per loaf.

Bubble (boba) tea

This one was a bit of an outlier. I have never had bubble tea before, but it looks interesting and "Asia Grocery" had black tapioca pearls. So in the interest of doing whatever the hell I feel like, I decided to throw this one in.

Note to self: perhaps a better idea to try it somewhere that makes it professionally first.

Another note to self: if it says to cook the tapioca pearls for a total of a half hour, 15 minutes will not cut the mustard. That's just hubris.

The Child was not a fan of the black tapioca pearls, which are large, chewy orbs that can be disconcerting if texture is an issue for you. I like them.


You drink bubble tea out of fat straws, and watching them approach your mouth up the straw is half the fun (or terror, if you are The Child). The tea itself is just very strong, very sweet black tea. I added clove and cinnamon because Fall Flavors. Some people also use fruit-flavored tea.

A note of caution: every element (tea, sweetener - we used sweetened condensed milk - and boba needs to be very cold, and when the boba get cold, they get firmer/chewier. I thought The Child was going to vomit when she swallowed her last slippery black orb. #PointsForTrying

As this has gotten rather wordy, I shall continue tomorrow with Korean curry. No pictures of that one; it looks a bit like the aforementioned potential vomit. And that's not an enticing thumbnail.


  1. i love bubble tea with tapioca!..curry is probably my favorite thing ever!

  2. I am not 100% sure I did the bubble tea correctly; we are going to need to go get it somewhere to see what it is supposed to be like!!

    The curry was amazing, though. Seriously delicious. I am a new fan, and so is the kid, which is kind of incredible.

  3. Hi Suzannah! I just discovered your blog via BlogHer's NaBloPoMo. I am participating as well. I love your post about bubble tea, which I keep meaning to make, your scone recipe ( I love to bake!) and raising a teenager.
    I am also an editor and proofreader. I hunt for projects all over the web and through a few sites that aren't home to too many scams! I look forward to reading more of your posts this month!


  4. Hi RueAnn!

    The bubble tea was definitely an experiment! I will try it again, with some changes, but I liked it.

    Good luck this month; I can already see potential roadblocks for me, but I have done it before and intend to make it through again. Good luck to you, too!

  5. […] had some leftover pumpkin from my pumpkin chocolate chip scones. And I thought I would try some pancakes because The Child loves pancakes and if I can get actual […]