Pebernodder (Danish Peppernut) Cookies

These are another of my favorite cookies this time of year. They’re light and crisp, a little spice and buttery; I’m told they have that umami “savory” quality. They have all of those ‘exotic’ spices that go into all sorts of baking this time of year – cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg – yum!

These are teeny-tiny rolled cookies. I have been hunting for a 1/2-teaspoon or even 1-teaspoon cookie or other scoop but no luck. So, for now it’s all hand rolling. It’s time consuming but it’s totally worth it not only for the cuteness factor – the small size is the perfect complement to this cookie’s taste.

The full batch will yield about 250 – 350 bite-sized cookies, depending how small you roll the dough. I had about 60 cookies on a sheet (14.5 x 15.5 inch baking sheet) and 5 or 6 batches at least. I lost count after all that… o.O

These cookies can be dangerous. You can easily grab handfuls and eat a couple dozen before you realize it. Whoops? Worth it.

Pebernodder

adapted slightly from All Recipes.

Makes ~ 250 – 350, depending on cookie size.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp.  white pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix eggs in one at a time, until well combined. Add cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and white pepper until blended.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, one cup at a time, until dough comes together.

4. Pinch small, 1/2-tsp. amounts of dough and roll into tiny balls. If you have it, use a round, 1/2-tsp. measuring spoon for reference. Place on prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2″ apart.

5. Bake in preheated oven until bottom of cookies browns slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.

Iced Lemon Butter Cookies

I love baking with lemon. And I love lemon cookies. I was in girl scouts when I was younger and I hated selling the cookies (I was always shy and hated going door-to-door selling anything). But I loved getting to buy and eat them! My absolute favorite – especially since they’re discontinued now and I find myself craving them (*sadface*)- were the Lemon Pastry Cremes. Oh they were so good! Zingy lemon filling between two crispy, airy ‘pastry’ cookies. Soooo good! The rest of the cookies pale in comparison.

I made these cookies last year as one of the Christmas cookies to give away. It was a great success I believe. 🙂

The recipe is adapted from the Joy of Cooking, Fourteen in One (Master Recipe). Technically this is a rolled cookie but, if you read my Pepparkakor post you’ll know – I don’t have a good relationship with rolling cookie dough. I’m working on it. 😛 (In fact, I just read Bakergirl’s post about Cut-Out Sugar Cookies and it looks like I may have a shot with this recipe and am tempted to try… we shall see)

It may be a little more time intensive to roll each cookie, cover with parchment paper, and flatten with the bottom of a glass, but it works well for me. As I’ve done this with other recipes before, and it’s even listed in this recipe as an ‘alternate’ to rolling, I don’t feel so bad about this. It works well and I find it maybe a little easier to control the thickness of each cookie – so they all bake evenly.

Iced Lemon Butter Cookies

Printable Version

Cookie ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine granulated sugar (process regular sugar in a food processor for 30 seconds)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg yoke
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • The zest of one lemon – about 1 tbsp. zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Icing ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted gently into the measuring cup and leveled with the back of a butter knife (like you measure flour)
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 tbsp. for each cup of sugar)

Method:

1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature (specifically, the butter and eggs) before you start. This recipe needs to rest for at least an hour before rolling the dough. I usually make it the night before and let it sit overnight.

2. Beat the butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, light, and well blended.

3. Add the egg yoke and beat until well blended. Add the whole egg and vanilla and beat well.

4. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour until just combined. Don’t over-mix the dough.

5. Place two large pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper on the counter; divide the dough evenly between the sheets. Flatten the dough and form a disc shape of each, covering completely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least an hour, or overnight.

6. Preheat the oven to 350° and make sure one of your oven rack is in the top 1/3 of the oven. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease well.

7. Work with 1/4 of the dough at a time (half of one disc), leaving the rest in the refrigerator. Roll teaspoon-sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Using another piece of parchment, cover the dough balls loosely and press down evenly and slowly on the dough. You want the cookies to be about 1/8″ thick, but any thinner and they will stick to the parchment paper. (You can also roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, sprinkling the dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking, as necessary. Cut using ~ 2 – 2 1/2″ cookie cutters, loosening with a fine-edged spatula if necessary).

8. Bake for about 6 – 7 minutes, or until just faintly golden. The cookies will quickly go from golden to brown. This will change the flavor and they’re better when the cookies are lighter in color.

9. Immediately transfer the cookies to racks to cool. I like to grab kitty-corner edges of the parchment paper and gently transfer the whole batch to a cooling rack. I find this helps to avoid broken, smooshed, etc. cookies as they’re not quite firm when they’re just out of the oven.

10. Once the cookies are cooled, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until the icing is a spreading/piping consistency. I like my icing a little thicker; add more sugar or lemon juice depending on how thick/thin you want the icing. Using a zip-top bag (probably a quart or gallon sized), fill about halfway with the icing (any more and it may push over the top of the bag and spill out), close the bag and gather the icing into one corner, twist the top of the bag a little to keep the icing in the bottom corner. Carefully snip of a tiny corner of the bag and decorate cookies however you want. Or, use a spatula or knife to spread the icing evenly over the top. I like using a disposable pastry bag and a teeny-tiny piping tip as it’s less likely to spew all over the place like a bag will sometimes.

If you make these, I hope you enjoy them. I find these cookies to be a nice, refreshing alternative to some of the heavy, dense cookies you find on cookie trays this time of year. Oh, and I had leftover Pepparkakor and leftover lemon icing, so I combined them… the flavor is wonderful as well!

How about you – what’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Favorite Girl Scout cookie? It’s almost time for them again… 🙂

Caraway Rye Bread

Caraway rye is one of my favorite breads. I’ve only recently gotten into baking bread and the whole process fascinates me. I feel like I have just started scratching the surface with my knowledge of bread making, yeast, etc.

I feel like I could study breadmaking for years and years and still not understand everything about bread. But I will surely enjoy learning and making batch after batch of delicious homemade bread.

We hardly ever buy bread anymore and when we do, I always try to get it from the bakery. I can no longer stand the bread that has a 3 week shelf life because it’s pumped full of additives. *barf* It’s so bland and it explains why I didn’t eat much bread growing up.

This recipe produces 2 loaves of dense, soft bread. I love the taste of caraway but I’m thinking of omitting the caraway seeds on top of the bread – they get very hard and crunchy during baking and get stuck between your teeth. Best to maybe just stick with the seeds that go into the recipe.

Caraway Rye Bread, adapted from All Recipes.

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 loaves, can easily be doubled.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast (or, 1/2 of a .25 ounce package)
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour, plus extra for shaping the loaves
  • vegetable or canola oil, to grease the bowl
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour (all-purpose will work just fine as well), plus extra for kneading
  • 1 egg + 1 tsp. water, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds, to top the bread (optional)

Method:

1. In a medium bowl, add warm water, yeast, and sugar. Give it a quick stir and let sit (proof) for 10 minutes.

2. Add the 1 tbsp. caraway seeds, salt, rye and bread flours. Stir until just combined and the dough holds together.

3. Lightly flour a clean surface and turn dough out. Adding extra bread flour as necessary, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 – 10 minutes.

4. Grease a large bowl. Add the kneaded dough to the greased bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size. (I find putting the bowl in an oven with the light on (but NOT the oven) is a nice, warm spot.)

5. Grease a large baking sheet or cover in parchment paper. Once doubled, divide dough in two halves. Form each half into a rustic loaf, about 3 inches in width and height and 10 inches long.

6. Put the loaves on the baking sheet and cover with dish towel. Return to the warm place for another 30 minutes or so. The loaves should double in size again.

7. Once risen, pre-heat the oven to 400º [if your loaves are rising in the oven, make sure to remove them before preheating].

8. Cut 3 diagonal slashes in the top of the bread, evenly spaced. Brush egg and water mixture over the top of the loaves. If using, sprinkle 1 tsp. of caraway seeds over each loaf.

9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating pans after 15 minutes, until browned. Cool on wire racks.

As a side note – this bread makes wonderful garlic toast! Take about 4 tbsp. softened butter, smash/chop up 2 cloves of garlic and mash and mix together – it doesn’t have to be precise. Take 5 or 6 slices of this brad and slather the garlic-y butter on both sides. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350º about 6 minutes on each side. Let sit for a couple minutes and enjoy.

So tasty with homemade turkey meatballs and marinara sauce on whole-wheat spaghetti – recipe coming soon!

Confetti Chili and Cornbread Muffins

There are many reasons to hate the cold weather this time of year. A steaming bowl of chili and a sweet cornbread muffin are two reasons to be content at winter’s arrival. With a big glass of milk. 99% of the time I drink water with my meals. But milk is a perfect complement to chili and cornbread.

Growing up, Mom’s chili was always a treat – ground beef, tomatoes, beans – simple and delicious. But this is a little bit different version – it’s about as healthy (and optionally can easily be vegetarian) as chili can get. It’s full of colorful, delicious vegetables. We won’t hold it against the cornbread muffins for not being as healthy. They’re so delicious and crumbly and sweet.

I love Famous Dave’s cornbread muffins but I can’t always have ribs and coleslaw and all the other barbecue-y goodness that entails *homer-simpson-drool*. These muffins are appropriately sweet without being overpowering. They’re crumbly and soft and delicious straight out of the oven. Leftovers won’t last long.

The ingredient lists look long but these recipes are actually very simple – don’t be intimidated.

The chili recipe is inspired from Recipe Girl’s Confetti Chili and the cornbread muffins are adapted from All Recipes.

Confetti Chili, makes about 7 – 1 1/4 cup servings

Printable Recipe

  • 1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided (start with 1 tbsp., adding more as necessary)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange/red bell pepper, chopped (you can use 2 green peppers if you want but the orange/red have a sweetness about them that really adds to the recipe)
  • 2 tbsp. cumin, ground
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander, ground
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground (add more/less depending on your heat preferences)
  • 1 – 20 oz. package lean ground turkey
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste, no salt added
  • 1 – 4 oz. can chopped green chiles (optional – I add cayenne instead because I prefer an overall ‘heat’ to little, unexpected bites of heat)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 – 15.5 oz. can low-sodium black beans
  • 1 – 15.5 oz. can low-sodium pinto beans (you can use kidney in place of these or the black beans if you prefer – I never find a low-sodium version of kidney beans though)
  • 1 – 10-12 oz. package frozen corn (about 2 – 2 2/3 cups corn, depending on your love of corn)

1. In a large pot or a wide, deep pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers; stir to coat with oil. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional oil if necessary, pouring slowly to the side of your pot and then stirring in.

   

2. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, coriander, and cayenne and stir to coat veggies. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

   

3. Push veggies to the sides of the pot. Add ground turkey to the middle, breaking up with a spoon. Increase temp to medium-high and stir meat and veggies together. Stir occasionally until meat is cooked, about 10 minutes. It may be hard to tell when it’s cooked with all of the spices in the pot.

   

4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chiles (if using), water, and oregano. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally and cook for about 30 minutes.

   

5. Stir in the beans and frozen corn. Continue cooking, partially covered, for about 15-20 minutes at least. You can let the chili simmer on low for a while longer to let the flavors mix, but I am never patient enough for this.

   

Recipe makes about 9-10 cups. As written, 1 1/4 cup serving is about 350 calories, 1 1/2 cups about 415 calories, and 1 cup about 275 calories.

Sweet Cornbread, makes 12 muffins

Printable Recipe

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (you can use regular whole wheat as well)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (you can sub in all-purpose for the whole wheat if you prefer)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (you can use vegetable if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. honey

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. Sometimes paper liners work best…

   

2. Combine the flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

   

3. In a medium bowl, or as I prefer, in a 2-cup measuring glass, measure 1 cup milk, add 1/3 cup oil. Add the beaten egg, vanilla, and honey. Whisk until well combined.

   

4. Make a slight well in the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. And this is why everyone should have a good, fine-edged silicone spatula. ❤

   

5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill each of the muffin cups approx. 3/4 full. You’ll have big, domed cornbread muffins.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. (My stove bakes them perfectly at 13 minutes but you’ll want to check at 12.)

One muffin is about 165 calories.

If you make this, let me know what you think. It’s one of my favorite “cold weather” dinners and I’ve been making it for a few years, tweaking as I go.

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Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingersnaps)

No that’s not a giant cookie, it’s a mini espresso cup! The cookies are only about 2″ across. This is my second attempt at new Christmas cookie recipes for the year. I think they turned out great and I got top props from Hermit – he couldn’t stop eating them :D.

One day while I was at work – bored out of my mind – I stumbled across a Scandinavian cookie baking class. While I recognized the value of the class, I didn’t think it would be worth $75 for me to attend. Instead, I took note of some of the unfamiliar cookies and utilized Sir Google to help me out. While searching for Pepparkakor, I stumbled upon the blog Anne’s Food, a cooking/baking blog from Anne, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

I know you can buy these cookies at Ikea and they’re good – I’ve tried them. But I wanted to see if I could duplicate the crisp, semi-spicy, sweetness of these cookies.

The recipe I found was for “at least 10 dozen cookies” – which was way too much for my first batch. So, I broke out the kitchen scale – everything was in grams instead of cups, etc. – which is always fun to measure sugar and flour, etc.

Pepparkakor, adapted from Anne’s Food

Printable Recipe

This dough should sit in the fridge at least overnight – if not for a week or more – to age the spices in the dough. For this recipe, I let half the dough sit for 24 hours and the rest for a week, as a test.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies (halved from original recipe)

  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. baking soda
  • 11 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 grams white sugar (~ a little less than 2/3 cups)
  • 75 grams brown sugar (~ 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 1/2 small egg (~2 tbsp. mixed egg)
  • the zest of half a lemon (~ 1 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 150 ml light molasses (~5 liquid oz.)
  • 150 ml heavy cream (~5 liquid oz.)
  • 550 grams all-purpose flour (~ 4 1/3 cups, sifted + about 1 tbsp.)

Day One:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the spices, salt, and baking soda. In medium bowl, measure out flour, add spice mixture, and whisk together.

   

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and well mixed. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

   

3. Add the lemon zest, molasses, and cream to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. The dough will be fairly sticky at this point.

   

5. Divide the dough evenly into 4 parts. Create disk shapes and wrap well in wax paper. Chill at least overnight or up to a week or two, to age the spices.

Day Two:

As with all traditional recipes for gingersnaps, you can roll out the dough (with either lots of flour or between 2 sheets of parchment or waxed paper) and use cookie cutters to create your shapes. Or, if you’re like me, and you suck at rolling cookies and feel like tearing your hair out at the thought, you can easily make circular cookies this way.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator at a time. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease well.

2. Using a 1 tsp. measuring spoon – or eyeballing it – cut off a chunk of dough. You want the cookies to be almost the same size as each other and the same thickness so they all bake evenly and none are burnt before the others are done.

   

3. You can do this one cookie at a time or you can measure out your cookies/dough balls all at once. The cookies should be about 1- to 1 1/2″ apart on the tray; the dough balls should be placed ~ 2″ apart.

4. Place the dough on the cookie tray, lay a piece of waxed or parchment paper over the dough, and press down firmly with a flat bottomed glass or other implement. You want to make sure and press evenly on all sides of the glass so your cookie is the same thickness throughout. Press down until the cookie is about 1/8″ thick.

   

5. Bake in the oven for 6 – 7 minutes. Mine were done right around 6 1/2 minutes. You don’t want the bottom to start browning or the cookies take on more of a burnt taste.

6. They’ll be a little soft when you remove them from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the tray for 30 seconds or so and then transfer to a rack. This is where parchment paper is wonderful – you can just (carefully) move the entire piece of parchment to a cooling rack and don’t have to worry about ruining your cookie shapes by using a spatula.

Also, these made a great base for a gingersnap crust. Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the end result – Banana Cream Pie. *sadface*

   

Viennese Crescents

It’s that time of year again. Narrowing down the Christmas cookie list!

I am always way too optimistic with the number of new recipes I’ll be able to test. I always run out of time before I get to them all. Oh well, I’m a perpetual optimist 😀

One of my favorites cookie/desert cookbooks is the Joy of Cooking All About Cookies cookbook. There aren’t any recipes in here that you can’t find in the Joy of Cooking, but a good 75% of those in this supplement have big glossy pictures. Always helpful in finding a new recipe. (I also have the All About Vegetarian, which is another good resource when you want to have a good look at what you’re about to make.)

I wasn’t quite positive how these would turn out – they have only 5 ingredients. They were a big hit though, especially with Hermit. I thought they tasted similar to Russian Teacakes – which have walnuts chunks and are rolled in powdered sugar after baking – and are some of my favorite holiday cookies.

The only nuts I bake with are almonds, and only those which haven’t come in contact with other peanuts/tree nuts. Hermit’s niece is highly allergic to peanuts and it wouldn’t do to risk accidentally contaminating something. Thankfully, with a little creativity, I’ve found many cookies which don’t call for nuts. Last year, I actually made Peanut Blossoms with Soy butter instead of peanut butter. They turned out pretty well. I’d like to try this with an almond butter as well.

I love how soft-crunchy these were. I might try making smaller – i.e. not crescent shaped – round cookies from this recipe to see how they turn out. I love a bite-sized cookie. 🙂

Viennese Crescents

Printable Recipe
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground blanched almonds* (or ground walnuts)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

1. Place a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350°. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over the top and beat until well combined.

3. Stir in vanilla extract and ground almonds. Gradually – gently – incorporate flour until all combined.

4. Remove bowl from mixer stand. If necessary, knead dough slightly until well blended.

5. Pull off chunks about 2 tsp. in size and roll gently into a compact ball. I have a (very handy) 2 tsp.-sized cookie scoop that works great.

6. Shape ball into a log and then curve slightly into a crescent shape. Place on prepared pans, 1 1/4 inches apart.

7. Bake one sheet at a time, about 10-12 minutes, flipping the cookie sheet halfway through baking. Take the cookies out when they’re very slightly browned. They taste better when they’re lighter in color.

8. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet until slightly firm. Remove to racks to cool.

9. Sift/dust powdered sugar over cookies while still slightly warm. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Bite-Sized Cinnamon Chocolate Scones

I seriously love these things. They’re one bite of crumbly, chocolaty, soft perfection. Yum! I’m kind of addicted to baking mini portions. Just a little addicted (heh, get it? mini, little…). Scones, pies, cookies, cakes… yup, addicted to mini versions of all of those.

These little guys are adapted from Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers. I love these Small-Batch Baking books – you can eat an entire recipe (or share with your husband, if you do that sort of thing…) and not feel horrible. Also, it helps not having multiple dozens of something sitting around the house.

The original recipe is for 3 regular-sized scones. I made 12 bite-sized scones because they’re so much prettier and delicate. And because I can.

I hear people either like cinnamon with chocolate or they don’t. Hermit said they were ‘dry’ tasting because of the cinnamon. I loved them though. It adds another dimension of flavor I think.

Bite-Sized Cinnamon Chocolate Scones

Printable Recipe

Scones:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2  tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp. well-beaten egg (note: There are about 4 tbsp, or ¼ cup, in one beaten egg)
  • 2 tbsp. heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar, to sprinkle on the tops (optional)

Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. hot water
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Making the scones:

1. Preheat oven to 375°, place rack in middle of oven. Cover a small baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse a few times: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. (My food processor bowl was in the dishwasher so I did this the old-fashioned way. If you also don’t have a food processor handy, you can whisk the ingredients in a medium bowl.)

3. Add the butter pieces and pulse until coarse-looking crumbs form. (… Or incorporate with a pastry blender or two knives. )

4. Place the mixture in a medium bowl and create a well in the center.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, cream, and vanilla until blended. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a fork just until combined – you do not want to over mix. Your mixture should still look a bit “crumbly”.

6. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands; form two equal-sized balls with the dough. Place the dough balls on the floured surface and gently form two discs 1/2- to 3/4-inches in height. With a butter knife or pastry chopper, cut your discs in half and then in thirds, so you have 6 equal pieces.

7. If desired, sprinkle the scones with coarse sugar. With a sharp-edged spatula, gently transfer the scones to the prepared pan and space evenly. Bake the scones until they feel dry and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 9-11 minutes.

Making the Chocolate Glaze:

1. Add the chocolate chips and butter pieces to a small, microwave-safe bowl; microwave 30-45 seconds on 50% power, until soft but not melted entirely. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Add hot water until combined; add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until smooth.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a zip-top plastic bag; force the mixture to one corner and secure the top by twisting and holding in place. Cut a small piece off the corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the scones. Or spoon it right over the top, all gooey and messy. I’m too much of a perfectionist to do this. I need my deserts to be pretty before I devour them.

Scones are best eaten the same day, either warm or room temperature. And they’re really good if you eat them all in the same day. What? There are only 12 bize-sized portions. I totally didn’t eat them all the same day. It took 2 days for that. Hermit had one or two. I think.