Fresh Cherry Almond Scones!

One fresh cherry almond scone please!

IMG_1281

IMG_1286

These scones are my absolute favorite! I prefer them to be made with fresh cherries but dried can be used. One of the things I really like about these scones is that they are rustic looking because they are not cut into triangles or circles.

This time of year when cherries are in season is the only time I make them. The fresh cherries contribute to making this scone an excellent one.

IMG_1277

Cherry and almond is probably one of the greatest flavor combinations! They’re so moist and so DELICIOUS!

IMG_1282

These past few weeks have been pretty busy and a little crazy so I haven’t gotten to post anything. I had a cake project assignment and my practical for my cake decorating class, which ended up turning out fantastic. For my FIRST cake that I ever stacked and covered in fondant, I was very happy! I know it’s not perfect but the overall look of it was exactly what I envisioned. I made chocolate cake with white chocolate vanilla bean mousse, and vanilla bean Italian buttercream. It’s so yummy!

IMG_1266

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

2 ½ cups AP flour

½ cup whole wheat flourIMG_1276

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. Baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1 ¼ cup buttermilk plus 1-2 Tbsp. for brushing the tops

1 -1 ½ tsp. pure almond extract

1 cup fresh cherries quartered or halved

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar for topping

 

Flat icing:

About ¼-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Add milk or water as needed for desired consistency

Add a few drops of pure almond extract to taste

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 1 to 2 baking sheets with parchment depending on pan size and desired scone size. My scones were a little bigger and yielded 10 scones so I only used one baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix ingredients together.
  3. Cut up the cherries and remove pits with a paring knife. Or if you have a cherry pitter that can be used. Set aside
  4. Measure buttermilk and add almond extract to the buttermilk.
  5. Cut up the butter into small chunks and add to the flour. A pastry cutter, fork, or your hands can but used to cut in the butter. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is about pea sized or a little bigger. Add the cherries to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and butter. Mix them gently to coat them with flour.
  6. Add the buttermilk and almond extract mixture. Stir carefully so the cherries don’t get smashed. Mix until combined.
  7. A cookie or muffin scoop can be used, but I used my hands and made them about the size of a tennis ball. They were quite large so make them smaller if you want. I got about 10 scones with the size I made them. Brush with extra buttermilk or milk and sprinkle with about 1-2 Tbsp. granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 18-21 minutes if they are tennis ball size. If they are smaller they will probably bake for 10-15 minutes. There done when they get a little brown on top and the bottoms are lightly browned.
  9. Once the scones are cooled, prepare the flat icing and drizzle it over the tops. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.

IMG_1280

**This recipe has been adapted and changed from other similar recipes.

Almond Macarons

IMG_0624

First of all, I love macarons! I was very excited when I heard I was going to be learning how to make them this past spring in one of my classes! I love the chewiness of them and that they can come in almost any flavor. These almond ones are amazing! I also made some chocolate ones recently that were…To Die For! Yum!

IMG_0622

These pictures are from when I made them in class, but I did just recently make them for my brother’s wedding! Everyone LOVED them! I had some leftover chocolate Italian buttercream and used that to fill some of them! They were quite yummy! I added a little almond extract to the buttercream filling, and it just made it so much better! Vanilla buttercream works well too!

IMG_0623

Macarons are very tricky to make. They take lots of practice! I’m still working on my technique and making sure I don’t over whip my meringue. They are definitely a challenge, but that’s what I love about them.

This recipe is one I got from school, which was taken from Sugar Baby Confections by Gesine Bullock-Prado. I filled them with vanilla Italian buttercream, but Swiss buttercream could be used and also in the form of chocolate or almond.

Ingredients

7 oz. Almond flour

7 oz. Confectioner’s sugar

2 Tbsp. egg white powder or Meringue powder

3 egg whites

1/2-1 tsp. pure almond extract

1/2 tsp. salt

7 oz. granulated sugar

1/2 cup water, divided

food coloring if desired (usually 2-3 drops, but a few more is fine if needed)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the confectioner’s sugar, almond flour, and meringue powder. Set aside.  IMG_0603
  2. In the bowl of a mixer using the whip attachment, add the egg whites and salt. Add the granulated sugar and half the water to a small pot.
  3. Start whipping the egg whites a little until frothy and shut off the mixer especially if the egg whites are cold (they will take longer to whip).
  4. Start heating the sugar in the pot (Do not stir). Using a candy thermometer, set it to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the mixer with the egg whites back on. Once the sugar has reached 240 degrees Fahrenheit, pour it slowly down the side of the bowl, while the whites are whipping until the pot is empty. Add the almond extract. Add the coloring after it has cooled and the mixing bowl doesn’t feel so hot. Let it keep whipping until it reaches medium soft peaks.
  5. Once medium soft peaks have been achieved, mix in about 1/3 of the meringue into the dry ingredients. Add another third and fold in gently. It should look homogenous and have no lumps. Add the last of the meringue and fold in.
  6. Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe each cookie to desired size on a parchment lined pan. My batches yielded about 40 sandwich cookies, so about 80 single cookies.
  7. Let them sit out for about half an hour or until they have formed a skin. Preheat the oven after about 15 minutes of sitting out.
  8. Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool completely before filling. I used Italian buttercream but you could use Swiss buttercream. These recipes can be found on the categories box under Fillings, Frosting, and Buttercream. To make vanilla buttercream, just add 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract. To make almond buttercream, start with 1 tsp. of pure almond extract and taste it. Add more as needed. No amaretto is needed to make it.

IMG_0618

These freeze very well too! Enjoy!!