Butter Pecan Scones

Butter pecan is one of those flavors that draw a line in the sand with people’s taste buds.

They either absolutely love it or they absolutely hate it.

I’ve even seen it become an age debate; supposedly, ‘old people’ like butter pecan while for the young folks, it’s a no go.

I don’t know what kind of logic goes into that argument. But I guess that makes me old, guys. Cause I’ve always loved butter pecan. Roasted pecans and rich vanilla flavored butter is my kind of carrying on. Outside of cake batter, I’d say that butter pecan was my favorite ice cream flavor. It’s so simple, but still so rich and divine.

Typically butter pecan is a flavor that is reserved for ice cream. I haven’t seen it pop up in too many other recipes. This past week I was trying to decide what to make for brinner and although I decided upon scones, I wanted to do a little something different with them that I could share here on the blog.

I knew that I had some unused pecans in the pantry that I wanted to use up (nuts are way too expensive to waste) but I didn’t want to just throw them into a regular scone dough and call it a day. Because I’m extra like that.

Adding pecans to a recipe doesn’t make it butter pecan. You have to create those rich, warm, vanilla flavors to go along with the nutty goodness.

Rich and warm flavor brings one thing to my mind.

And thus, the browned butter chronicles continue on Cooking is My Sport.

 

I’ve said before that there are very few ways of improving upon butter; browning it is one of them. Browned butter creates a rich, warm and nutty flavor to it that I thought would be perfect for a butter pecan flavored scone. After browning the butter, I froze it, just like I do with all of my biscuit/scone recipes. From there, I went with my usual formula.

In lieu of white sugar, I used brown to give it extra caramel-y flavor. I added sour cream along with buttermilk because in the first place, it really gives the dough a tender texture that is needed, as the nuts soak up a lot of the moisture from the buttermilk.

These came out even better than I expected them to while they were baking, filling the house with all kinds of wonderful aromas. They’re not overly sweet, but that buttery, pecan flavor sure does come through. I are mine sliced in half, toasted with a smear of pumpkin butter. It was absolutely delicious.

(As a brief but very important aside, if you live in the United States, please exercise your right to vote in the upcoming election. We can’t have four more years of this; we just cannot.)

Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay safe.

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Butter Pecan Scones

Recipe Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar (preferably dark, but light will work fine too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 to 2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 cups buttermilk* (The amount of milk to use is going to vary depending upon the time of year and the location you’re in because of the varying moisture levels in the air. I always start with one cup, then gradually add more as I deem fit).

Directions

For browned butter:

Melt the butter over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Let it cook and watch it closely until 3-5 minutes until the butter begins to foam, forms a golden brown color and browned bits form on the bottom. (It will have a sweet, nutty smell). Immediately remove it from the heat. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then place butter in a small bowl, and freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar and stir together with a fork.

 Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the butter directly into the dry ingredients. Add the pecans. Stir with a fork.

In a small bowl combine the eggs with the vanilla extract and stir until the yolks are broken. Set aside.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg mixture and sour cream and buttermilk. Use a large fork and a large rubber spatula to stir the mixture together. If it seems a little dry you may add the additional buttermilk until it forms a shaggy dough.

Sprinkle a pastry mat, wooden cutting board or a clean smooth countertop with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and pat a few times with your hands until it loosely holds together. (Don’t knead it too much or the warmth in your palms will melt the butter and cause the biscuits to be tough.)

Use a bench scraper or a large sharp knife to divide the dough in half. Roughly shape each half into a square. Stack one of the halves on top of the other and use a rolling pin to roll it together into one mass. Repeat this process two to three more times before patting it into one final rectangle. (This is a process of layering so that the scones will bake flaky).

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven.

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and unwrap the biscuit dough out onto it. Use a bench scraper or very sharp knife to trim the edges of the rectangle. Use a square cookie cutter, or a knife to cut the remaining dough into squares, about 2″ each.

Remove the cut scones to the baking sheet you’ve lined with parchment paper, placing them rather close to each other (it will help them rise higher). Freeze until cold, about 15 minutes.

Bake until golden brown, 18 to 23 minutes. You may need to cover them with foil to keep from browning too fast. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.

(Linking up to Fiesta Friday #352)

Cortadillo Mexicano (Mexican Pink Cake)

Hi everyone.

It’s been…a while, hasn’t it?

The last time I posted I had just turned thirty and was sharing my birthday cake with y’all, which had become a yearly tradition for me on the blog.

By now I’ve already turned thirty one and SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED in the past year, both in my personal life and in the world.

Many of you that follow this blog are bloggers are yourselves, so I don’t really have to explain to you that this is more than just a passing hobby; it takes up a lot of time and effort. Last fall at around the time of my last post, I was making a huge move and a taking lot of new steps that ate up a LOT of my time. I wanted to still be able to blog, but with the less and less free time I had, the more my priorities just had to shift.

But the truth is, I missed it. I missed it a lot. Cooking is still a sport for me, but doing it without blogging took more of the joy & pleasure out of it that I got before than I expected. I wasn’t looking for, or trying out new recipes or techniques. I wasn’t taking my time with it. Cooking became something I was only doing because we had to eat and eating out all the time is expensive and not feasible.

I missed cooking and baking for much than just because I had to eat; I missed cooking and baking to make me feel good–blogging provides that for me.

So over a year later, here I am. I’m going to re-shift my priorities again to try and make room for this blog and that ‘feel good’ place of cooking that I needed much more than I realized.

My birthday was nearly a month ago, but hey: why not still celebrate with cake?

There are dozens if not more of Mexican panaderias around where we live. I’ve been meaning to experiment with some of the delicious and pretty desserts I’ve seen displayed inside some of them myself for a while now, and today’s recipe was always one of them.

Mexican Pink Cake is actually a light and spongy vanilla cake that’s spread with pink frosting and sprinkles. I’ve seen some that are filled with jam, but I kept mine pretty simple, which is how I’ve often seen it done in panaderias. And let me tell y’all, it couldn’t be easier; there’s no need for mixers, creaming butter and sugar, or even multiple bowls. I had this baby put together and in the oven within 15 minutes. It was done in a less than an hour.

If you’re scared of baking or just need a super quick and painless but still delicious dessert to throw together, then this is it. Apart from that, isn’t it preeeeetty?

Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay safe. 

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Cortadillo Mexicano (Mexican Pink Cake)

Recipe Adapted from Karen’s Ordinary Life

Ingredients

For Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk

For Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • red or pink food coloring
  • nonpareil sprinkles

Directions

For Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray thoroughly with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the flour with the baking powder and the salt and stir a few times with a fork. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract together with a wire whisk or a fork.

Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the sugar-eggs mixture, starting and ending with the flour.

Pour the batter into the baking dish and tap it a few times against the counter top to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

For Frosting

Cream butter until it is fluffy, then sift and mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.

Add the vanilla, the food coloring and 1 tablespoon of the milk. You may not need to add all the milk, it depends upon your preference for how stiff or loose you want the icing to be. 

Spread it over the cake with a spatula. Add the sprinkles.

Linking this post to Fiesta Friday #351, co-hosted this week by  Laurena @ Life Diet Health.