Chocolate and Raspberry Scones

sconesI am home for Spring Break and I’ve been trying to get in lots of baking and cooking (as I don’t have a kitchen at school). I have a favorite coffee shop I go to in Boston and the other day I got a chocolate raspberry scone while I was there and it was amazing! I knew I wanted to make my own when I was home, and so I did! They turned out great. I used to make scones a lot several years ago and so for these scones I used my old recipe as a base and then added the raspberries and chocolate.

Scones are actually pretty easy to make and this recipe always turns out super yummy! You can be creative and make whatever type of scones you want :)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cold and cut into pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk (or make your own. Measure just under 1 cup of milk and then add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then use 2/3 of that cup in the recipe).
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Around 1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
Around 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 splashes of milk or cream
1 egg

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take a cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper or a silpat. Note: if your cookie sheets are pretty thin on the bottom, you might want to stack two together to prevent the bottom of the scones from getting too brown during cooking.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a pastry blender (or 2 forks…but I seriously recommend the pastry blender) to blend the butter into the flour mixture. The mixture will look like coarse crumbs.

3. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together. You may want to use your hands to help the dough come together. Do not over mix the dough.

4. Transfer dough to a floured surface and kneed the dough gently 4 or 5 times. Split the dough into 2 pieces. Take the first piece and pat it into a circle about 7in wide. Place the raspberries (if your raspberries are frozen, you don’t need to thaw them) and chocolate chips on this circle, pressing down a little to make sure they stick to the dough a bit. Take the second piece of dough and pat it into a circle about 7in wide. Place this second piece of dough on top of the raspberry and chocolate covered dough, making sure the dough sticks together.

5. Use a knife to cut the circle into 8 wedges. Carefully transfer each wedge onto the cookie sheet.

6. Beat the egg and add a splash of milk/cream. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the scones.

7. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Mix together the powdered sugar and the splash of milk/cream to make a glaze. The glaze should be pourable but not super runny. Use a spoon to pour the glaze over the warm scones.

For other variations:

You can really make any type of scone you want using this base scone recipe.

After you have kneaded the dough you can:

-Use all the dough to form a circle that is about 7 inches thick and about 1.5 inches thick. Cut this circle into 8 wedge shaped pieces. Place scones on the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Using the tip of a wooden spoon, create indentions in the middle of each scone and fill with jam or preserves. Then bake for 18-20 minutes.

-Using the same method as the raspberry-chocolate scones, you can fill your scones with whatever you want–different types of berries, cinnamon sugar, and you can even make savory scones by adding ham and cheese. You can be as creative as you want!

The basic scone recipe is from Joy of Baking, but they took this recipe off of their website years ago. Luckily I had it printed out so I have continued using it :)

Enjoy!

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Boston Highlight- Coolidge Corner

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One of my absolute favorite spots close to me is Coolidge Corner. You’ll find this delightful corner off the C line of the Green Line (the stop is called Coolidge Corner). This delightful place has a Trader Joe’s, Panera, an awesome bookstore called Brookline Booksmith, and lots of other really fun shops. And as a fun side note, Yogurt Land (this great frozen place) is apparently moving in! But by far my favorite place in Coolidge Corner is Paris Creperie. This delightful cafe is tucked away and even though it’s on the main road, it’s a little hard to find because it’s really small. But oh my goodness it has the best crepes!

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I went to Paris Creperie for the first time in November or December. I walked in and saw one of my co-workers there with her family and she said these words: You just missed Emma Watson! Oh my gosh! Emma Watson dates a guy who goes to my school and they had been in Paris Creperie! It was tragic that I missed her but I sat in her chair while I was there, so basically I was her for a little while ;)

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This past week my sister came and visited me and I knew I had to take her to Paris Creperie. That’s her in the picture above drinking Nutella Raspberry Hot Chocolate. So delicious! Paris Creperie loves Nutella just as much as I do, and that’s saying something!

Celina Boston Trip-1We got two crepes to split. The first one is a Nutella Chocolate Crepe with Strawberries and the second one is a Smores Nutella Crepe. They were both amazing! I have also gotten their Nutella Canoli crepe before which is amazing, but it’s a little too rich for an actual meal :)

Celina Boston Trip-2Paris Creperie also has a wide selection of savory crepes that look awesome, as well as more sweet crepes. They have a large selection of drinks as well including more hot chocolate, coffee, lattes, and smoothies.

Price-wise Paris Creperie isn’t too bad either. My sister and I got two crepes and two hot chocolates for $24. Their crepes average from around $6-$8.

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My Favorite Apps and iPod Product Review

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I mentioned in this post that for Christmas this year I got the new iPod and I LOVE it! Oh my goodness it’s so awesome. It does pretty much everything the iPhone does, except it doesn’t have 3G, meaning I have to have it on a wireless network to access the internet. To me, that drawback is worth not having to pay $30/month extra on the phone bill :) So what can my iPod do? Well let me tell you! These are the built-in apps it has:

-Face Time- This is really fun because while I’m walking around the college campus, I can talk to my dad who has an iPhone!

-Calendar- This calendar syncs with the one on my laptop. I love it- it’s simple and helps me keep track of my life.

-Weather- I have to check the weather when I’m getting dressed in the morning when I’m at college because it may look sunny outside, but I would have no idea that it’s negative 13 degrees without checking the weather! Here’s a lovely illustration: (and fyi, that’s 5 degrees without windchill).

photo-Notes- Always useful!

-Mail- Get it connected with your email account and be able to check it every second of the day. Not that I do that.

-Maps- This isn’t going to be very helpful for me because even though I constantly get lost, I can’t look up directions without wireless.

Plus it’s super cute and snazzy :) It comes with several more built-in apps but these are the ones I use most often!

Now here’s my favorite part…all the extra apps I downloaded and use! Woohoo!

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-Collect- This is definitely one of my favorite apps- it is helping me keep track of my Project 365! Collect is basically a calendar with each month of the year, and on each day you can put your picture of the day! It also has a place for you to write about your day, which means I get a place to keep a mini journal about each day, which not only helps me remember but is something that I can include in the scrapbook I make with all my Project 365 photos at the end of the year :)

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-Snapchat- I still don’t fully understand the concept of snapchat, but I have it and it’s fun! You take a photo (generally a photo of yourself making an awkward face) and set a time (up t0 10 seconds) and send the photo to your friends! This is an example of something I could snapchat…but if I were doing it for real, I would have been making a weird face ;)

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-Instagram- This is pretty much the #1 reason I wanted an iPhone/iPod. Oh. My. Gosh. I love instagram! I take photos all the time and instagram makes them look all fun and cool. I’ve found that the best thing to do is take a photo through the normal camera and then instagram it. Here’s the instagram I took of my Valentine’s day package from my family :)

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Other Photo Apps: Frame Swagg (has different templates to make collages with your photos), Travelgram (puts the time, date, and location on your photos), and Squaready (helps you instagram photos by allowing you to add a border to your photos that don’t work well in the square crop). This collage is one I made with Frame Swagg. After you finish your collage, you can save the picture to your camera roll, upload it to facebook & twitter, or pull it up in instagram.

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-Duolingo- This app has activities and vocabulary to learn for different languages. I used it to practice my spanish!

-Twitter- I’ve gotten back into tweeting! Follow me @justeverydayme

-Facebook- Of course I have to have the facebook app! It’s pretty good- it’s easy to comment, like, share photos, etc.

-Google- So Siri is fun and all, but she usually can’t answer my questions. So the Google app is basically just Google, but you can verbally ask it things and it will give you an answer based on search results. It works really well! And for those of you who want to know, Google says that brunch is 10am.

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-Spotify- I love spotify! I’m thinking about actually paying for Premium ($9-10/month) because that would mean that I could get any song I want, ad-free, anytime I want. So cool!

-Shazam- Is there a song playing that you like but don’t know the title of? Shazam will listen to the song and tell you what it is! It works great, although I have found that it often doesn’t know Christian songs. And I tried singing to it and it didn’t know what I was singing. Lame. But this is still a cool app :)

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-Pinterest- Woohoo! I can pin things on the go! Side note: this pin is SO true.

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-Apps gone free- This app comes out with a new list every day about apps that have recently become free. I’ve gotten some really fun apps using this.

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-PaperlessLite- This app is great for To-Do lists! It helps me organize my life which I absolutely love! I can create To-Do lists for separate days, or I can make a “To buy at the store” list…pretty much whatever I want!

photo (8)And, the nerd in me rejoices for the next one! Easy Bib! This app lets you scan the barcode straight off the book you need to cite and it creates the citation!

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My favorite games are: Tetris, SongPop Free (this is a facebook game and the app is great!), Siege Hero (similar to Angry Birds) and Flow Free (my whole family has become obsessed with this one.

Another awesome thing I can do is mobile banking! I can even deposit checks which is super convenient. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should see if your bank has a mobile baking app!

Whew! So there it is :) My most favoritest apps. So what do you think? Did some of your favorites make the list? What are some of your favorite apps that aren’t on this list?

Have a great week!

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My Week in Instagram {Back to College Edition}

You read it right! After 3 glorious, wonderful weeks of vacation, I went back to school. I had such a wonderful time with my family- celebrating Christmas, New Years, doing several photo sessions, and watching countless movies :) It was a low-key but really relaxing break and I loved it. It was hard to go back to school- even though I LOVE college, I still have that sinking “don’t-want-to-go-back-to-school” feeling. The first week back was a little hard- I was so tired every day! But I really like my schedule for this semester- it allows me to have more free time during the day because I now work mornings or evenings, instead of the middle of the day. My classes aren’t as exciting as last semester, but I’m still enjoying them and am taking every opportunity to embrace all the amazing opportunities I have every day here! I have more hope for this semester, this year of my life, than I have had in a very long time..perhaps more hope and freedom than I have had in my entire life. The Lord has been so good to me and I am living in His joy and freedom daily!

After that long intro, here are some photos from the week and a half I have been back on campus :)

1.13.13- On my flight back home! Because of my new, nifty iPod touch, I got to take all sorts of instagram photos from the plane. People must have thought that I was flying for the first time by the way that I was plastered to the window, taking tons of photos :)

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1.14.13- First day of classes! This is me standing in an insanely long line at the bookstore, buying some very expensive books :)

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1.15.13- This is my work! I love working here (except for at 8am ;)

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1.16.13- This amazing thing happened- a magical place called The Chocolate Bar opened here at college. Oh my goodness. I went for the first time, did some studying, and enjoyed some hot chocolate and hazelnut gelato!

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1.17.13- I think I go to the prettiest college in the world, especially when it snows :)

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1.18.13- This is my favorite college meal! It’s a simple sandwich- brie, lettuce, and tomato. But the bread is AMAZING! I get this for lunch almost every day.

1.18.131.19.13- Froggy! This is my favorite stuffed animal :) Today was a bit of a rough day, just frustrating, but as I was trying to get through my psych reading, Froggy cheered me up by checking out the frogs on the textbook ;)

1.19.131.20.13- Late Night Prayer! I love this group of people from my church. We get together Sunday nights to pray for our campus.

1.20.131.21.13- These lovely girls are amazing! We are in a discipleship group together and we got together to eat ice cream in crazy cold weather!

1.21.131.22.13- This is my roommate and me! We went to the Chocolate Bar and got gelato.

1.22.131.23.13- Faithgroup! Love getting together with these girls Wednesday nights :)

1.23.131.24.13- This is a photo of the temperature (it was negative 14 with wind chill), me with FROZEN hair from going to get my laundry from my dorm room, the laundry room, and my Honors class!

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So there you have it! More about my weeks back at school than you wanted to know! Let me know how your weeks have been :)

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Lussebullar- Swedish Saffron Rolls

Saffron rolls web-1

Most Swedish food I don’t like. All the fish stuff? No thank you! But I have some Swedish foods that I absolutely love, including Swedish Meatballs and these Saffron Rolls, or Lussebullar in Swedish. I have been begging my mom to make these for me for years and she never has (they do take quite a bit of time to make). This year my littlest sister was having a Christmas party and my mom decided that she would make these. That’s right- she made them for my little sister but not for me! But there were a lot left over so I have been enjoying them for the past few days :)

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These Lussebullar are so good! They remind me of my childhood. If you like the taste of saffron, you will love these rolls. They’re soft, flavorful, and a little bit sweet. I love the raisins on top because they add a bit of sweetness. These rolls aren’t sweet like cinnamon rolls, but they’re definitely sweeter than just plain rolls and like I said before, the saffron adds a great flavor!

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I definitely recommend that you make these! They are one of my all-time favorite foods. I will admit that I have never made these by myself before, but I certainly have eaten them! I love them for breakfast or a snack!

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Lussebullar (Swedish Saffron Rolls) Recipe

Note: This recipe is a European recipe, but I’ve tried to convert the measurements

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
1  gram saffron strands
50 g fresh yeast (I used 2 packets of dry, powdered yeast)
170 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
about 1 kg plain flour (I weighed it out on the scale, but I believe it’s about 7 cups)
250 g (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 and ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, divided
raisins or dried cranberries

*extra sugar and softened butter* (We added some extra butter and sugar to make them sweeter- see directions, Option 2, below)

Directions:

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat, add saffron threads and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. You’ll need to cool the milk to about 37-38 C (about 100 degrees F). When the milk is lukewarm, then crumble in the yeast and stir, until dissolved. (The dry yeast doesn’t need to dissolve, really. Just mix it in.)
  2. Add salt, sugar and about half of the flour. Stir until combined, then add the cream cheese, butter, ONE egg (lightly whisked), and then gradually knead in the rest of the flour. The final yeast dough should be soft and supple.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm room for 30-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  4. Knead the dough gently and turn onto a lightly floured work surface.
  5. OPTION 1- Twist small amounts of dough (about the size of a large egg or a tennis ball, depending on whether you’re making small or larger buns). Roll each piece of dough into a long “sausage”, then twist it from both ends to form a letter S.
    OPTION 2, Sweeter Rolls- Roll the dough out pretty flat and cover it with extra butter and sugar. Then cut the dough into strips, twist the dough, and then create the S-shape rolls.
  6. Place the shaped buns onto a baking sheet that’s been covered with a parchment paper. Leave to rise for another 10-15 minutes, then press a raisin or a craisin into each end.
  7. Brush with an egg wash (an egg whisked with a spoonful of water).
  8. Bake in a pre-heated 425 F oven for 12-15 minutes, until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven, transfer onto a metal rack to cool a little. If you want softer buns, then cover them with a clean tea towel when they’re cooling.
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