Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Ok, I know I’m confusing you here.  I was all pumpkin and butternut squash and blah blah blah, and now I’m giving you lemon poppy seed.

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But just stay with me here, people, there’s a super good reason for it.

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I’m giving you lemons because, well, sometimes life does that (yes, I literally had a bunch of lemons begging to be used). And when life give you lemons, people, you make lemon poppy seed scones.

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And these scones with knock your socks off. They were so good by themselves that I didn’t even want to frost and/or glaze them, which is super impressive because I want to frost and/or glaze everything, ever. These just melt in your mouth all on their own,  without the frosting assist. Like magic.

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I know we’re all up in fall’s business here in New England, but any time of year is a good time for lemon poppy seed scones. Especially when life gives you lemons.

Recipe

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 15 minutes | Total time: about 40 minutes with cooling

Yield: about 8 large scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter unsalted, diced
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 º F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and lemon zest. Cut in the cold butter  using a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture looks like corn meal, or the butter is the size of peas. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg, lemon juice and heavy cream. Slowly pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix until the mixture just barely comes together.

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and roll out in to large disk, about 1 inch thick. Cutting across the diameter, cut the dough in to 8 triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve slightly warm. PS- these are amazzzzinnnnggggg when topped with blueberry jam. You heard it here first.

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{Healthy} Pumpkin Pie Muffins

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Fall. I’ve been waiting and waiting for you for forever (well, since last November), and here you are. I’ve missed you so. Mostly I’ve missed all the things that come with you, like football, fleeces and yummy yummy food.

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And PUMPKIN. I’ve been dyinnnnggggg to bake with pumpkin. I’ve wanted to make pie, cake, muffins, cookies, scones… allthethings. I couldn’t decide what to make you first.

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This was such a problem that I had a stroke of genius and made you two in one. Pumpkin Pie Muffins. And because I like fall ohsomuch and wanted to save room for all the deliciousness to come, I made them healthy. Boom.

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Even though these are healthy, they do not skimp on taste. They are slightly sweet, super pumpkin-y (it’s a word) and fill you with the fall warmth I know you’ve been missing all summer long.

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It’s fall, people! Let’s celebrate and eat some pumpkin!

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 18-20 minutes | Total time: about 1 hour, with cooling

Yield: 18 muffins

Muffins:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (I used Chobani plain 2%)
  • ¼ heaping cup oil (I used coconut oil)

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce or apple butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 º F. Line muffin tins with liners.

In one bowl, mix the  dry ingredients (from whole wheat flour through salt). In another large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, Greek yogurt and oil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 of the way full and set aside.

To make the filling, simply combine all ingredients. Make an indentation in the top of the muffin batter with the back of a tablespoon and fill with the filling.

To make the streusel, combine all the ingredients with a pastry cutter, cutting until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the muffins.

Place the muffins in the oven and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean (you might get a little pie filling on it, but that’s OK!). Let cool slightly, and enjoy!

Browned Butter Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

So…. I have a new favorite cookie.

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I know, I know, this happens to me  like, 12 times a week.

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But this time it’s for real, people.

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I made these a week ago and I CANNOT stop thinking about them.

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They’re like my classic chocolate chip cookies but cracked out on espresso grounds, browned butter and toffee bits.

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The coffee flavor and the warmth of the browned butter make these a perfect late- night snack. The little bit of cornstarch in the batter makes them extra chewy and stay that way for days. Oh and the sea salt on top? Please please please, for the love of cookies, do not leave that off. The salt complements all the other yumminess in the cookies and is really what makes them so perfect.

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I brought these in to work and nearly caused a riot (the good kind, obviously- only good things happen when cookies are around).

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If you’ve ever doubted me before, now is not the time. Even though the ingredients are a little non-traditional, these cookies are unreal. I’m 99.98% sure they’ll be come your new favorite, too!

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 10 minutes| Total time: about 30-40 minutes, plus cooling

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, browned
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup toffee bits (I crushed up some Skor bars!)
  • ¾ cups chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 º F. In a large saucepan, brown your butter (here’s how!). Set aside and let cool. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, espresso powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

By now your butter should be somewhat cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugars and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until completely blended. Fold in the toffee and chocolate chips!.

Place heaping tablespoons of the dough on to your cookie sheets. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are just set (due to the deep color of the cookies, it will be hard to see if the’ve browned at all!). Take the cookies out and let cool on the sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Prepare for a life-changing cookie experience.

Recipe adapted from Kevin and Amanda.

Peach Crumble Bars

Ok, you guys. This is it. School starts today. Ew.

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It’s not that I don’t love school and learning and advancing the nursing profession (because who doesn’t love that??). I do. I really do. But working 36 hours a week and taking 4 classes makes for a fairly hectic schedule. I needed something to cheer me up and take my mind off the impending life-craziness.

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So, Peach Crumble Bars. Naturally. Peaches are so hot right now, and I’d been dying to make something with them for days and days. These are prefect. The crust holds together sturdily on the bottom and is perfectly crumbly on top. The filling is sweet and tart, and I love the color I got from using white peaches.

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Even though late summer means classes starting up again, it means peaches are in season and I can make these fabulous bars. It definitely makes the end of August a little more bearable!

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Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 45 minutes | Total time (with cooling): about 1 hour and 30 minutes

Yield: at least 16  2×2 inch bars

Crust and Crumble

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 4 peaches, sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 º F. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter until it’s the size of small peas. Add the egg and mix together until just combined. Spoon half of the mixture in to the baking dish and press evenly in to the bottom of the pan.

Next, make the peach filling. In a large bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together until blended and peaches are completely covered. Spoon filling over the bottom crust. Evenly sprinkle the rest of the crust mixture on top of the peaches. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the crumble is slightly golden brown. Remove and let cool completely before cutting.

Boozy Banana Cake with Coffee Rum Frosting

Forget all this healthy eating business. Sometimes a girl just needs some cake.

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Cake with booze.

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Sometimes a girl needs a cake with booze for no particular reason.

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I didn’t have a bad day, wasn’t celebrating anything. I just really wanted, no, NEEDED a boozy banana cake.

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Oh, and I had some overripe bananas lying around that were just begging to be used. And a nearly empty bottle of rum. So really I had no other choice but to bake this cake. Like, STAT.

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I’ve made many, MANY worse life choices. This cake was divine. It was soft, had a tender crumb, and I loved the subtle rum and coffee flavors. The coconut, walnuts and raisins added fantastic texture.

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And the frosting. Ooooohhhhhh my god the frosting. I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be happy. I LOVED the coffee and rum flavors with the tang of the cream cheese; there was almost something maple-y about it, and I was totally digging it.

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So if you want a fancy cake for a celebration, need cake for therapy after a bad day, or just want cake because you just want cake, make this. For such a dramatic cake, it really comes together in no time. And since there’s banana’s in it, you could even have it for breakfast if you want and it would be totally fine… so I’ve heard…

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 35-40 minutes | Total time (with cooling and frosting): At least 2 hours

Yield: 12 (at least- this thing is huge)

Boozy Banana Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon strong coffee
  • 1 tablespoon  rum, plus additional for brushing ( I used Gosling’s Dark Rum)
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rum soaked raisins

Coffee Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 7-8 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • 1 tbsp rum (Again, Gosling’s Dark Rum)
  • Chopped walnuts, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 º F. Butter and flour three 8 inch round cake pans and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light at fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time until blended thoroughly. Add in vanilla, coffee, rum and banana and mix.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and making sure to mix in between each addition until mixture has just come together (do not over-mix!). After the last addition of the dry ingredients, mix until just combined then fold in the coconut, walnuts and raisins. Divide the batter equally in to the three prepared cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove and place in freezer immediately to stop the baking process. After 30 minutes or so, remove cakes from pan and assemble the cake, or wrap in saran wrap and place back in the fridge to frost later.

To make the frosting, whip butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix on medium speed for about a minute. If frosting is too thick, add in a little more coffee, 1 tablespoon at a time. If too thin, add in a little more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.

To assemble the cake. place a layer flat side up on a plate. Brush with a little bit of rum (not too much though, we’re not in college anymore). Frost with approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of frosting. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Place the third layer on top with rounded side up for a more rustic look. Frost with remaining frosting, and make big swirls with your knife to complete that slightly messy look. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and place in fridge to let frosting set for about 30 minutes. Remove from fridge about 20 minutes before ready to serve and enjoy!

Adapted from A Southern Grace.