i know i haven't posted too many new entries lately, regardless if it was food related or exercise or whatever. this last week has been really tough. i think i averaged about 4-5 hours of sleep each night. yeah, pretty brutal. i'm not sure how i made it through though, but somehow i managed.
almost two weeks ago one of my uncles passed away. in doing my part or pitching in, i volunteered to bake some goodies for the funeral service this past weekend. my volunteering to make some cookies as snacks to pass out throughout the day during the weekend service turned into baking enough goodies for one morning breakfast (there are 3 mornings, i ended up with one morning). not knowing how many people i would be serving, i just knew there would be a lot of people. i asked my mom how many cakes and other goodies i should make and she said at least 10 breakfast cakes. and so with that number i spent literally the entire friday last week (from 11am to 11pm) baking a bunch of lemon loaves, fruit cakes (apple, strawberry, raspberry, lemon), and banana breads. in all, i think i had about 11 or 12 different cake-like goodies. in addition to all the cakes there were also a bunch of cranberry and raisin scones for the non-sweet eaters, blueberry muffins for the muffin fans and over 100 chocolate chip cookies. i think there was about 125 cookies or more in all. i lost count after so many dozens. in all, there were probably about at least 300-400 pieces of baked goods once all the cakes and loaves were sliced/cut. by friday evening i think my entire family was annoyed at me for being in the kitchen all day and taking up every counter space in the house, plus the dining room table. but i am glad and very pleased to say that m was so impressed with all my goodies that next morning (saturday) when i served all the goodies at the funeral service. he couldn't stop eating the toffee apple cake and rosemary lemon cake i made. he's such a tough critic, i couldn't believe he loved them. i will have to make those two again, take some pics and write a blog about it.
i have to say, that 12-hour baking marathon last friday in addition to the previous two nights of baking for the event was so worth it. it felt really good knowing i could contribute/give something to my uncle who has passed. everyone in my family: mom, dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins all wanted to make sure we gave my uncle the best send off we possibly could, especially since he never had a family of his own. he lived a tough life, but i'm sure in a way it was a very happy life. i know everyone loved him and will miss him dearly.
i'm terrible at taking pictures and i was so tired after all the baking i couldn't be bothered to take pictures of most of the goodies. what i did manage to take was the cranberry scones and banana bread. as for the others, i only took a few and those i posted them onto my instagram. below are the pictures and recipes for the cranberry scones if you'd like to make some for your next event or just because. i say these scones were quite the hit and i love how flaky they turned out. yummy! :)
this was only part of the kitchen that was captured on instagram. the dining table was a giant mess as well with baked goodies cooling, cakes waiting to be bake, ingredients and lots of miscellaneous baking items.
i never got to try these blueberry muffins or the strawberry cakes in the background. but from what i gathered on saturday, everyone liked it. i hope to make it again one of these days and actually eat one myself.
my instagram photo of the scones
this is only my second attempt at making scones and i have to say i've fallen in love with these delicious english biscuit-like treat. they are buttery and perfectly flaky when done right. add some butter or jam on them and you've got quite a treat for tea time or any time of day!
noticed all those layers in the scones? omg! so flaky and good.
i can't wait to make this recipe again. i know that from now on when i make scones, i will think of my 12-hour baking marathon for my uncle's funeral; and how special that feeling felt knowing i was part of the celebration of his life.
adapted from cooking light
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg white
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or granulated sugar
- preheat oven to 425°F.
- lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. combine flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk.
- cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- combine 1/2 cup milk, vanilla, and egg white in a bowl. add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be soft).
- turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. sprinkle surface of dough with dried cranberries. with floured hands, knead 4 times or just until the cranberries are incorporated.
- pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. cut dough into 12 wedges, cutting into, but not through, dough. note: at this point, i like to chill my shaped dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (okay, 15 minutes if you can't really wait the whole 30). see tip notes as to why below.
- just before baking, brush 2 teaspoons milk over surface of dough; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar. bake at 425°F for 17 minutes or until golden.
- serve warm, or cool on a wire rack. optional: if you like you can even dip the slightly cooled scones with some icing glaze (i like my glaze w/ a hint of lemon so i add a little bit of lemon juice to mine for a lemon glaze to dip them in) or drizzle the glaze over the scones for an added touch of sweetness. oh so good!
makes 8-12 wedges depending on how you cut your dough. enjoy! :)
tips to making and eating delicious scones:
- freezing scone dough for 30 minutes in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. it also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier.
- scones are best served warm. they're delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam (or clotted cream as they do in england), if you like. to reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.