Archive | October, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones – Fresh Baked Friday!

29 Oct

I have been CRAVING something pumpkin.  ANYTHING pumpkin.  I tried to get Mom to make me some pumpkin spice pancakes.  Since we didn’t have canned pumpkin in the house, it was a no-go.  Instead, Jess made some in Vermont and taunted me with them via text.  Damn distance.  Damn technology (back in the day, I never would have known).

The craving continued.

Then I remembered these.  Then I had a day off.  With no order deadlines.  Done and done.

Quick trip to the grocery store.

Three cans of pumpkin.  (I need to be sure the next time the pumpkin spice pancake craving hits, Mom doesn’t have any excuses!)

Now we are ready to get baking…

Dry ingredients in the bowl.  Mix well.

Cut in cold butter.

Prepare the wet ingredients.

A few notes here.  First, I made my own buttermilk.  I do this often.  It’s super simple – 1 cup of milk (I say any type, others will tell you only whole milk.  Do what you wish with this information) and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I say either white or apple cider, others will tell you only white vinegar or lemon juice as an alternate option.  Do what you wish with this information).  Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.  You now have buttermilk!

Also, you might notice the brown little blobs hanging out in the homemade buttermilk.  I bought these when I visited the King Arthur Flour company (remember?).  Finally, the perfect recipe to use my little Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites.  In the picture above, they are just taking a little soak.

Back to baking.  Now, mix everything until just combined.  Place in a round on a baking sheet.  Sorry.  I forgot to take a picture.  Not quite The Pioneer Woman yet.

While in the oven, make the glaze.  Be sure to sift your confectioners sugar (or powdered sugar or 10x sugar… whatever you want to call it is fine by me!).  Always, always, always sift your confectioners sugar.  I remembered to photograph this one.

Notice the jar of cinnamon.  That was a surprise for me from my Mom’s recent trip to Chicago.  Seriously, the most amazing cinnamon ever.  And I’ve had some really great cinnamon (now, there’s something to brag about).

Fast forward.  The round is finished baking.  And I did remember to take a picture while it was waiting to be cut into eight perfect little scones.

And then waiting for a little glaze.

Now they are ready for their close-up!

Okay.  Now go.  Warm up that oven and get baking!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones
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2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 400℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Add the cut, cold butter to the bowl.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, either with a pastry cutter or a fork.  When the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the largest butter pieces are no bigger than peas, you are all set.

In a small bowl, soak the Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites in the buttermilk for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Mix to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together gently until the dough just comes together.  If necessary, knead a few times with your hand, but be careful not to overwork the dough. You don’t want tough scones.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.  Pat the dough into an 8- or 9-inch round.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.

Allow to cool at room temperature.  Cut into 8 wedges.

To make the glaze, combine the confectioners sugar and spices in a small bowl.  Add the milk and whisk to combine.  If necessary, ad a bit more milk or a bit more (sifted!) confectioners sugar to achieve a consistency good for drizzling the glaze.

Use a whisk, a spoon (my choice) or a plastic baggie with the tip cut off to drizzle the glaze over the scones.  Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Now enjoy!

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Joy of Baking


Gobble, Gobble

27 Oct

Do you have a vegetarian in your family?  Someone who doesn’t like poultry?  Yeah, me too (hi Mom!).  Well, Kristina’s Confections has a solution – sugar cookie turkeys.  Everyone can eat them!

I think they are pretty cute.  Well, as cute as turkeys can be.  I love the little polka dot tails.

Speaking of, as I’m sure you noticed, the design for the 2010 Thanksgiving collection is polka dots.  Yes, I know, I use polka dots a lot.  But I think these designs are fun and festive.  Hopefully you agree.

So there you go.  You have now seen the Thanksgiving collection.  What to do with them?  Well, there are a ton of options – place cards for dinner, favors for guests, a dessert platter addition, “thank you” for a teacher, surprise for family far away.  The possibilities are endless!

Be sure to get those orders in early… and no later than November 17!

It’s Acorn-y Kind of Day

26 Oct

Okay, I couldn’t come up with a title for this post… so my mom did.  Wordsmith she is not.

On Friday, I posted about the first Thanksgiving cookies for 2010 – leaves.  And where there are leaves, there are… acorns!  And so you have cookie number two in this year’s fall holiday collection.

I actually searched and searched for this cookie cutter after seeing some cute designs on other blogs.  But, as it goes, some were too small, others oddly shaped.

Then, when I was in Vermont earlier this year, I found it.  The perfect acorn cookie cutter.

I think it was meant to be.

Introducing… Fresh Baked Fridays!

25 Oct

It’s no secret that I love to bake.  Truth is, I love to bake all sorts of things… not just cookies and cupcakes.  What?!  I know.  Shocking, but true.

So I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the other sweet treats that get baked in the Kristina’s Confections kitchen from time to time.  I’ll take notes, chronicle the process and report back to you.

Then you can make them on Friday afternoons, in your own home kitchen.  It’ll be a sweet treat for the weekend for your loved ones.  Just because.

Fresh baked starts this Friday.  I hope you enjoy!!!

I ♥ Resa

25 Oct

I officially became part of the B family when I moved into the family home right after college.  The funny thing is, my friend Em – who is in fact a blood member of the B family – and I have no recollection of asking her parents if it was okay.  But, a room was ready and waiting when I arrived, so I guess they didn’t mind too much.  Thankfully… since I was in Pasadena.  California that it is.  Not exactly around the corner from home.

Truth is, for those who know Resa and Mark, it was no surprise that yet another person was living in the house on San Pasqual.  I was just one on a long list of house guests.  Mark dealt with it (he called me the bastard child… I took it as a term of endearment!).  Resa relished in the full house.

Resa... in all her glory!

That was Resa.  A mother in every sense of the word and it didn’t stop with her three children.  Her love, compassion, kindness, honesty and patience extended to her nieces and nephews, her fifth graders and all the friends who came through the house over the years.

I was extra fortunate to have spent a lot of quality time with Resa while living in Pasadena and during a family trip to Hawaii (yup, you read that correctly.  I told you “bastard child” was a term of endearment!).  She gave me hugs when I missed my Mom’s comfort, she taught me to make perfectly brewed sun tea and summer squash “casserole”, she guided me through the Hollywood tour (she missed her calling) and so much more.

First annual beer pong tournament

After a long, hard fought battle with cancer, Resa passed away two years ago.  To commemorate Resa and her extraordinary life, the family organizes a beer pong tournament each October (trust me, Resa would have LOVED this).  The money goes to a scholarship fund in Resa’s name.

Wildflowers in waiting

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make this year’s tournament.  So I thought I would send a treat to let everyone know I was there in spirit.

Perfect bite-size complement to beer

I think Resa would have loved the little wildflowers.  xo

Pile of Leaves

22 Oct

I know.  You have been waiting since September 14 to see the final product.  The torture.  The agony.

But guess what?  It’s here!

Since you have waited so patiently for weeks and weeks and weeks.  Oh, sorry.  Here you go!

This is the first of my 2010 Thanksgiving collection.  Although, these leaves clearly can work for any fall occasion.  Be sure to check back to see the rest of the collection.  I promise, I won’t make you wait weeks and weeks this time!

Custom Cuts: Fall Birthday Boy

20 Oct

Dee, graphic designer extraordinaire and co-conspirator in the Kristina’s Confections origination, needed birthday cookies for a party this weekend.

As a graphic designer, when Dee needs custom cut cookies, she comes to me with a vision – which I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming up with my own designs.  But, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s nice when someone does a little of the work for you!

Anyway, the vision was simple – fall colors…

on leaves…

to say “Happy birthday!”…

and to say congratulations too. (There was a lot to celebrate at this one party!)

When they were put all together I thought they looked great and really embodied the essence of fall.

Hopefully the birthday boy agreed!

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