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IMG_1050anyone who knows me well knows that baking is my therapy. it’s what i do to decompress after a long day at work. it’s the way i show my love for friends and family. it’s my favorite thing to do on a weekend morning (especially a rainy one), when i’ve got nothing to do and nowhere to be, when i can spend hours in the kitchen, with dough on my pants and flour in my hair.

not many people know this, but when i lost my job many years ago (approximately 2013, i think?), i felt completely, entirely lost–and i contemplated opening a bakery. i pictured myself rising with the sun, rubbing sleep out of my eyelashes and stumbling, bleary-eyed, into a tiny kitchen somewhere in the east village, where i’d craft whatever goodies struck my fancy that day. some days, it would be an ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies. other times, a perfectly-frosted cupcake. i even started–and kept up for quite some time–a baking blog. i called it sarah’s sweets. that blog is deep in the archives of wordpress; a sleeping giant i don’t dare disturb, but suffice it to say, i love to bake, and i love writing about the things i bake.

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that’s why it delights me to know that a few of my readers and followers are interested in more recipe content over here (and hopefully, more baking-centric recipes, specifically). i baked these scones along with a few of you via instagram live last weekend, and a couple folks asked for the recipe. i adapted one i found from king arthur’s flour, which called for fresh peaches (the genesis of my kitchen adventure!), and a little bit of nutmeg (i’m always down with a little bit of nutmeg).

so, let’s get to it, shall we?

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what you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar (i use pure cane from whole foods)

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon (i think clove would be yummy too!)

1 tbsp baking powder

3/8 cup (6 tbsp) cold butter, cut into bite-size pieces

2 large eggs

1/3 cup sour cream (you could also sub plain greek yogurt)

1 cup diced peaches (you could swap in another fruit here)

turbinado sugar, for dusting

what you’ll do: 

preheat your oven to 375.

lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper (i use a silpat, which i HIGHLY recommend!)

in a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder together.

if you haven’t yet cut up your butter, do it now. once it’s in pieces, use your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter (i always vote fingers!) to work it into the dry ingredients. your goal is to meld the two together so that the dough resembles big crumbs, or those drippy castles you used to make with your siblings at the beach (but less watery!).

in a small bowl, beat your eggs. stir in sour cream (or yogurt, if you went that route).

pour wet ingredients into the dry crumbly butter mixture. stir until just mixed. don’t over mix!

chop up your peach, if you haven’t already. fold it into the dough, carefully, so as not to squish all your yummy peach pieces.

liberally dust flour over your countertop or a large cutting board (i prefer to do this right on my countertop).

pat the dough into a rough circle, around 1.5″ thick, and use biscuit cutters, a knife, or your plain ol’ hands to shape the dough into a bunch of baby scones. i like to use biscuit cutters, but you could go any which way. ultimately, you should end up with about 12-14 scones, depending on size.

place the scones on your prepared baking sheet. sprinkle with turbinado sugar (optional).

bake for 20-25 minutes, until scones are golden brown at the edges.

serve with butter and jam. if you’re serving them a day or two later, pop them into the toaster to heat ’em up for a bit before you dig in.

these can be stored “fresh” for a few days, or frozen for up to a month.

bon appetit!

 

TGA_Homemade Granola Recipe

granola is one of those foods that seems like it might be complicated to make. all those nuts, all those seeds, nailing the flavor combo, getting the crunchiness just right. but guess what? the rumors ain’t true! it’s the opposite, really: granola is surprisingly simple to make. i’ve been making it for years now, ever since i realized just how much sugar was in the granola i was buying at the grocery store (seriously, check the nutritional details on the back of those packages and you may never go back).

i did a bunch of research here on the world wide web, and realized that while the recipes varied, the overall structure was the same: find your oils, find your sweeteners, find your key ingredients (for me it’s oats + seeds + almonds), et voila! homemade granola.

here’s how to do it.

what you’ll need:

3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats!)

1 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

2 tbsp chia seeds (optional; could also use flax)

1/2 cup coconut oil (could sub olive or a seed oil)

1/4 cup maple sugar (could also use brown sugar, or honey)

2 egg whites (save the yolks for ice cream making!)

2 tbsp shredded coconut (for topping)

2 tbsp turbinado sugar (for topping)

what you’ll do:

preheat your oven to 325.

mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. that means all your oats/nuts/seeds/etc.

in a small saucepan, melt your coconut oil + sweetener. i like maple syrup because i love the taste, and it means i can use less (rather than a ton of brown sugar), but you could easily sub honey or agave (though i recently read that agave isn’t good for you!).

pour your sweetened oil mixture over the dry ingredients, and toss to coat. you want to make sure every last seed and oat is covered. sounds ridiculous, but your granola won’t cook evenly if it’s not.

whisk 2 egg whites. egg whites are a secret granola savior–they help you get those big clusters we all know and love from store bought granola.

pour your egg whites into the mixture, and toss to coat.

take out two cookie sheets. if you have silpats, use them. if you don’t, line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. in a pinch, just a regular old cookie sheet will do, but you should try and line it if you can.

spread your granola mixture evenly between the two sheets. press it down a bit so that it’s approximately 1/4″ thick. if you put it onto the cookie sheet too thickly, it won’t crisp.

bake at 325 for about 30-40 minutes–the timing will depend on your oven–you want to take it out when it’s just starting to turn a lovely caramel color.

let cool completely (like, for a few hours).

break it up into pieces, and store in an airtight container for up to a month. if you freeze it, it’ll likely last longer, but honestly, you’ll likely eat it too quickly to need to freeze it. i eat mine all spring/summer long, atop siggi’s vanilla yogurt with fresh berries. BLISS, i tell you.

got questions? leave ’em in the comments, or shoot me a DM on instagram!