Posted at 5:00 am
I love scones, but they’re something I don’t normally think to make. These white chocolate cranberry scones would be perfect to serve on Christmas morning. They’re lovely with a cup of coffee or tea and not too sweet with the tart tang of fresh cranberries. Another plus is that you can make them the day before and store them in an airtight container. They will keep up to two days, but they’re best if eaten within 24 hours. If you want to make them further in advance, just freeze them. They’ll last a month in your freezer.
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones
- 4 cups flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks of cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white chocolate chips + 1/2 cup more for melting and drizzling on top
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 egg + 2 tsp water for egg washing the tops of scones
- coarse sugar or regular granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt) into a large mixing bowl.
- Add butter to bowl and combine ingredients with clean hands. The mixture should be the consistency of small pebbles. Add 1 cup white chocolate chips.
- In a separate bowl combine sour cream, vanilla and eggs.
- Pour wet ingredients in with dry ingredients using a fork to stir. Fold in 2 cups fresh cranberries.
- Form two equal-sized balls from the dough.
- On a clean surface, sprinkle flour and form one of the balls into a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick.
- Slice the dough like a pizza with 8 equal slices.
- Place each triangular piece of dough onto your baking sheet. Use a spoon or kitchen brush to coat the tops of each scone with the egg wash. Sprinkle each scone with sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 14-17 minutes until the tops of the scones are golden.
- Do the same process for your other ball of dough and bake.
- Melt the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Drizzle over the top of scones.
Posted at 5:00 am
These cookies are minty, chocolatey and have a hint of mocha. The perfect cookie for the Grinch to slink up to and snag all for himself.
My daughter, who loves the Grinch, was my taste tester. She was disappointed that a Grinch face wasn’t decorated on top. 🙂 Okay, so I lost points for presentation. In my humble opinion, they taste great with a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbl instant coffee granules
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Green food coloring (I used gel food coloring. Add as much to your desired level of greenness)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Andes Mints (you can buy the baking bits or chop them yourself)
- Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, instant coffee and cornstarch in a large bowl with a whisk.
- In a smaller, separate bowl combine melted butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla and green food coloring.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Fold in Andes chopped mints.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use about 3 Tbl and roll dough into a ball. Place 8 balls on cookie sheet spacing evenly.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on pan before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely.
Posted at 5:30 am
We opened this 2012 wine while we were out in Galena and my, did it taste good! This was a Christmas gift from my husband’s first boss out of college. This guy knows wine! Last year, we were lucky enough to try the Wine Spectator’s wine of the year, L Cabernet thanks to him. This year, the wine he gave us came directly from his daughter-in-law’s family vineyard out in Napa.
The Materra Right Bank drinks like a dominantly Cab blend so I was pretty shocked to see the breakdown with Merlot taking the lead at 96%! Maybe Wine Spectator is onto something here because their new wine of the year is Duckhorn’s Merlot. There’s only 2% Cabernet, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec rounding the Right Bank out nicely.
The color is a rich ruby red when poured into the glass. It smelled just like Napa. I tasted some bright red fruits with cocoa, vanilla and loamy earth on the finish. Extremely smooth and paired very well with the Sartori peppercorn cheese and Lindt chocolate truffles we served.
You can order this wine on the Materra wines website for $50. An outstanding wine and perfectly priced.
Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷1/2 out of 5 wine glasses
Cheers my dears!
Posted at 5:00 am
We skipped town last weekend. It sounds a little crazy with everything that we have left to tackle before Christmas, but I’m thinking we might need to do this every December. Galena, IL has always been the place to recharge the batteries. The reception is complete crap out there so the family can’t stay glued to their devices and there isn’t much to watch on T.V. other than a fishing or hunting show (I grew up on these so don’t get me wrong I have nothing against them.) It’s just the crackle of the fire, a good book to read and occasionally looking out the big picture window in the hopes of catching a deer or some other woodland creature wandering through the yard. The kids are forced to use their (gulp) imagination. They can explore in the woods, dust off a board game, play cards or chess. We pack lots of fun snacks and some good wine for Mom and Dad. Life is good!
I’d read somewhere that there’s an annual live window shop display and Luminaria a few weeks before Christmas so we made a plan to go. Just the hubby, kids, dog and me. There’s the Grinch we saw above.
The window shops were okay. It got pretty crowded along the streets so if you love shopping and don’t mind all of the people milling around then you would probably love it. I would highly recommend a visit to see the candle display. It’s a pretty incredible sight. Especially if you venture to climb the steps to the top of town and look down on the little pathways lighted along the river and through the Main St. Breathtaking. Magical. It puts the true meaning back into Christmas. A time to spend with your loved ones and appreciate all your blessings.
Here’s the view when we were almost to the top. See the little lights down below? Those are all the bags with real candles lit inside each one!
Made it to the top! Dress warm because it’s a chilly walk, but definitely worth it. Here you can see the candles lined up along the river walk.
Looking back up after we began our descent. Check it out sometime! It’s a relaxing way to prepare for the busy holiday season. Merry Christmas!