butter top bar

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brown Butter Citrus Pancakes

This is going to sound really pathetic, but I'm not sure I have too much to say today.
 It's not because I don't like you, it's because I'm kind of in a lazy-mode. Please don't be offended.
Citrus makes me feel warm and cozy. There is just something about the smell and flavors that make me want to sit by a warm fireplace.
 A week ago we and I went "skiing" in West Virginia on the first day that the resort opened for the year. We've never done such a silly thing before. Let me start off by saying that there was no snow. Zero snow provided by mother nature.
 There were only five slopes open, one of which was considered a "diamond", and it was way too easy. The man-made snow was crappy, it was 50 degrees. Oh, please. Waste-of-time. Getting away for a couple of days was really nice though.
 The best part was eating at Cracker Barrel on our way there. They have the best pancakes, ever. I can't even explain how good they are. The edges are crispy, they are so buttery.
  I am happy to say that I made these citrus brown butter pancakes today and they taste just about as yummy. They are comforting and delicious and they make you feel good.
 I've been off work for five days now. It feels good to sleep 9 hours, which is what my body naturally wants to do. I feel like I could sleep all day if I didn't tell myself "it's time to get up now".
 I think people need a weeks vacation once a year to just bake and sleep and watch trashy movies like The Beautician and the Beast. Who doesn't love a good Fran Drescher movie?
Brown Butter Citrus Pancakes
makes enough pancakes for two people, double the recipe for a larger group
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon citrus zest
2 tangerines peeled by hand and separated
1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 blood orange, peeled and segmented

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  The butter will foam and froth then begin to brown.  When the butter solids begin to brown, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.  The butter will smell rich and nutty.  Cook until butter  bits are brown then remove from the hot pan and place in a small bowl.
Whisk together egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract and citrus zest.  Whisk in the browned butter.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together with a fork until well incorporated.  If the batter is a little lumpy… well that’s just fine.
Let batter rest while you heat up the skillet or griddle pan over medium heat.  Great skillet with a teaspoon or two of oil or butter.  Spoon pancake batter by the 2 tablespoonfuls into the hot pan.  Let cook until browned on one side, flip and brown on the other side.  Place cooked pancakes on an oven-proof plate in an oven heated to 150 degrees F.  This will keep the pancakes warm while you cook the rest.
Arrange the pancakes on a plate, top with segmented citrus and pure maple syrup.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fresh Cranberry Lemon Scones

Here is what is on my plate (not literally). Jon is coming home in three days! He's been gone for three months training for an air traffic controller position and the end is finally in sight. I can't wait for him to get home. Our puppies miss him and I miss him like crazy as well. Very exciting!
 Two days ago I purchased our little dog Mac a jacket that also went over his legs. He became very dramatic and refused to walk in it, but it happened to be the cutest thing ever. Too bad I have to take it back now. Tomorrow I'm taking our dog Nala to get her teeth cleaned. She has stinky breath. It's probably due to eating things like scones and baked goods that mommy sneaks her. 
 Yesterday I staged a tea party for a photographer to come get some photos for a magazine. Isn't that exciting? I know!
The evening before my staged tea party I met a childhood friend of mine (Matthew) and his friend for wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, where we watched a UFC fight (I must admit, I didn't really know what was going on). Fun, nonetheless.
 I was telling this guy Charles how I made doughnuts earlier that day and ended up inviting them over my house to eat a doughnut after dinner.
 It turned into a very fun night of me making Fresh Cranberry Lemon Scones and them drinking my Grandad's old whiskey (they must have sampled about 6 kinds) from the bar he used to have. Charles (who is really into eating good food, and talks about food in a way that makes you want to eat the most delicious things) pretended to be Alton Brown and became the commentator as if I was on Iron Chef.
 It was all way too amusing. I didn't finish baking the scones until around 1:30am, and sad but true, they were a bit burned on the bottom.
 I couldn't believe they stayed until the scones were done in order to try one. Even a tiny bit burned, they still looked pretty and tasted pretty damn good! I remade them today because I'm not the kind of girl who is okay with scones that are a little burned on the bottom.
 Huge success the second time around. If you make these, do not make my mistake and cut them into triangles. Use a 2" glass dipped into flour, and cut out as many circles as possible.
 You won't be disappointed! 
Fresh Cranberry Lemon Scones

Adapted from Gourmet

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons; preferably Meyer)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1 1/4 cups fresh cranberries, chopped coarse
1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
With a vegetable peeler remove the zest from lemons and chop fine, reserving lemons for another use.
In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture. If using dried fruit, add to flour mixture.
In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out as many rounds as possible, re-patting scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden.