I had my first scone about 4 years ago and was not impressed. Since then, I’ve started baking them and you could maybe call me obsessed. Like, anytime someone has a brunch I’m invited to I offer to bring scones. Like, I read various recipes and scoff at their inclusion of ingredients such as evaporated milk or techniques like ‘blend.’
And then I realized I faced a terrible quandary: I have too many scone recipes with conflicting ingredients, proportions, instructions. When I make a batch of scones, they taste good. Then I make a different recipe and they taste good. But which one’s better?
The perfect brunch dish for the morning after a cake-laden birthday party is … a sweet baked delight! Well, at least according to me.
Bouchon Bakery’s blueberry muffins are a big hit. I made them in regular size. I made them in mini size for May Day brunch. And today I made them with raspberries instead of blueberries. And they’re all good.
Sometimes you plan on making a dessert for a specific occasion and then something comes up. The dessert doesn’t get made, but the desire to make that dessert stays strong.
This happened with these coffee cakes. I thought they would make the perfect little snack when we had company recently, but the weekend was full of food and these perfect cakes didn’t get made. Which was a shame. Until this past weekend, when I decided that even though I said I would bring dessert to a friend’s dinner party, I would bring these. Coffee cake doesn’t only need to be served in the afternoon. It can also be served after dinner with coffee.
As a Christmas present/French practice experiment, my friend and I took a 3 hour macaron-making class at Mmmmh, a local kitchen shop. It was great French practice, and we learned some good tips for making macarons. But then you have to take the next step and attempt to make them at home, with no professional pastry chef guiding you.
My friend already practiced – numerous times! – with great results. So I was jealous. So I decided to go ahead and try.
And I thought it would be a good idea to bring my first ever attempt at making macarons to another friend who grew up in Paris and regularly brings super fancy macarons from Paris when he comes over. Last time, there were dark chocolate foie gras filled macarons in the box. Super fancy. And super delicious.
So, no pressure on my first attempt, at all.
The secret to delicious muffins is to make the batter the night before and let it rest in the refrigerator over night.
I learned this secret from the Amazon reviews of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Which of course made me want to get the cookbook (which I did; thank you, Santa!) and make muffins. And since I was already making scones, croissants, pains au chocolat and macarons for the same brunch, I thought I should choose the healthy-sounding muffins.
- A 2 1/2 year old took one look, pointed and exclaimed, “cake!” Once he had the muffin on his plate and he realized it was too healthy to be cake, his parents had to finish the muffin.
- A 3 year old kept walking to the table, looking at the muffins, and walking away. Next thing we knew, she had taken a muffin and nibbled off the entire top. She finished that whole muffin, then nibbled the top off of another one! I consider that high praise!
- (The adults liked them, too.)
I am a scone fiend. I never used to like them – the reputation of being dry, crumbly, and flavorless didn’t entice me to try them – until we went to visit a friend in Oxford and I convinced my husband to take me to high tea. And I had scones with clotted cream and was instantly converted.
I now make scones every chance I get. Spelt scones with currants. Quince scones. Oat scones. Chocolate peanut butter scones. And now: cinnamon honey scones.
The more I eat these (lots of little bites are healthier than eating a whole scone, right?), the more they remind me of my favorite bakery item from Cologne: the locally famous Zimt Wuppi. These are so similar, in fact, that I will no longer consider them scones and instead give myself the opportunity to make both Wuppis and scones at my next brunch 🙂