This is my first year being involved with the holiday card/recipe exchange and I have enjoyed it immensely. I’m one of those people who has always liked checking the mail–yes, even as an adult because you never know when something interesting will arrive–and it has made me so excited each day to see if another Dorista card had landed in my mailbox.
I had such a hard time choosing a recipe to make for this post. Luckily(?), I had very little time as I was packing up to leave for a few days so I used the amount of time I had plus what was in my pantry/fridge as limiters for my options.
Thus, I made Alice‘s Classic Scones. It was also breakfast time, so it fit! You can use any add-ins you like, but since my pantry was my limiter, I used coconut and dried cranberries. I was going to chop up some dark chocolate, but I wasn’t feeling so indulgent for a breakfast just before Christmas.
I like scones quite a bit and I’m often on the hunt for a scone recipe that my dad will like. He reminisces about the fair in Puyallup, WA, all the time and about the wonderful scones he’d have with raspberry jam on them. I’m not sure if my dad would dig these and I’ll try them at Easter when they next visit (and I make something for breakfast), but will say that I dig them. I have been using a different scone recipe and the texture on these babies was perfect: light and airy, but also just dry enough to ask for some salted butter, clotted cream, and/or jam. Plus, my other scone recipe requires some resting time in the fridge or freezer, which usually disqualifies them from my last-minute breakfast treat creating. Alice’s recipe, however, comes together very quickly and can go straight into the oven.
The kid and I ate them slathered with Kerrygold salted butter. YUM!
Thanks again to all for the lovely cards and all the wonderful recipes that I look forward to trying in the very near future!
For Alice’s scone recipe, see her post here.
Finally, I can mention something I was excited about!
I made my own vanilla this year for the first time. As someone who loves wine (and has even spent a few days working in tasting rooms), I decided to make single varietal vanilla for the baking members of my family…and me, of course.
I started it about 7 weeks ago and used 1/4 lb of beans per 750ml of mid-quality vodka. This time, I used Skyy, but something like Smirnoff would work just fine too. I did a whipped cream taste test before handing them out. It was a great way to immediately taste the differences between the beans. Of course, the Tahitian really stood out from the others since it’s the tahitensis plant and not the Bourbon vanilla grown in Madagascar and Uganda.
I also infused some liquors as well! It was a huge somewhat expensive gamble, but it paid off and it was a lot of fun!
I made Apple Brandy, Pear Brandy, Pomegranate Vodka, Chocolate Vodka, and Darjeeling Gin (from tea we brought back from India). I’m considering next doing a two-step infusion of tea and then chai spices to make a nice little digestif.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to post about this for a while but had to wait in case any of the recipients were reading my blog. I highly recommend making your own vanilla, if you don’t already do so. It’s a bigger initial outlay, but ends up being cheaper per ounce.
Basically, get 1/4 lb of extract grade beans, chop them into 2-inch pieces, put them all in a jar with a bottle of vodka. Shake daily for 4-6 weeks. Strain and bottle. I put a couple beans in each bottle so that the flavors would continue to develop.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas–if you celebrate.
And, of course, Happy New Year!
To see what recipes everyone else chose (or what make-ups people did), see this link.