Monday, May 25, 2015

Cardamom Biscones for Strawberry Shortcake

I currently have the newest cookbook from Cheryl and Griffith Day checked out from the library: Back in the Day Bakery Made With Love. In it, they have a recipe for whole wheat biscones, a take on their "usual" biscones. A biscone is as it sounds - a hybrid between biscuit and scone. I hunted down a version of the original recipe because that sounded perfect to eat with the fresh local strawberries we picked up at the Travelers Rest Farmers Market.

I found the recipe on Pure Wow, but they took it from the original Back in the Day Bakery cookbook. I visited this bakery briefly when I was in Savannah, and if I remember correctly, my sister and I split a brownie. Their baking is very similar to my style - simple but delicious, nothing super fancy but everything tasty.

The biscones fit that description, and they were very tasty with strawberries and whipped cream!

Buttermilk Biscones
 (slight adaptations to directions by yours truly since the original had berries in the dough)
  • Makes 12 biscones
  • Start to Finish: 45 minutes

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder


1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I love cardamom and used 1/2 tsp)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus more as needed (I used whole milk + lemon juice)

1 large egg

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and cardamom until combined. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, work in the butter until you have various-size pieces ranging from sandy patches to pea-size chunks and some larger bits as well.

3. Gradually pour in the buttermilk and gently fold the mixture until there are no bits of flour remaining in the bottom of the bowl. If the dough seems dry, add a little more buttermilk until it is moist and slightly sticky.

4. Using a large ice-cream scoop, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart. Lightly tap down the tops of the biscones with the scoop.

5. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the tops of the biscones liberally with the egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the biscones are golden and fully baked. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the grated lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over the biscones and serve immediately. (I skipped this step since I was using them as shortcakes.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp - lower sugar, gluten-free

Everyone pairs rhubarb with strawberries, but sometimes I feel like strawberries are too sweet to really balance the tartness of the rhubarb.  I picked some mellow-tart blackberries to put with the rhubarb in this crisp.  This is my recipe, a conglomeration of and inspired by multiple recipes on the internet - Blackberry Rhubarb Crumble from The Kitchn, Strawberry Rhubarb Bourbon Cobbler with Ginger Oat Scones from The Bojon Gourmet, and Rhubarb Cobbler from The Pioneer Woman. I took their general ideas, made it lower-sugar and gluten-free, and called it crisp. I'm actually not sure of the difference between crumble and crisp but I've always called what this is crisp.

Now because I followed The Kitchn's baking time, my rhubarb was still crunchy. I would do what others have done and let the fruit cook by itself for 10-15 minutes and then add the topping. Nobody wants to be reminded that rhubarb started out looking like celery!

Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp

1 lb fresh blackberries, washed and picked over
1 lb - 1.5 lbs fresh rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/4-inch thick half moons
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar Splenda (may use coconut sugar again)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

Heat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a baking dish - 8x8 pan will work (I used a 10" oval casserole dish).

Toss the blackberries and rhubarb together gently with the lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Spread in the prepared baking dish and bake without topping for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flours and oats with the spices, baking powder,  and salt. Whisk in the brown sugar Splenda, breaking up any large clumps. In a small separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and use your hands to mix the eggs into the flour. Let the mixture vary in texture.

Drop the larger, wetter clumps of dough over the fruit. Shake the drier crumbs over top, distributing the dough evenly over the fruit. Pour the melted butter over everything.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the crumble is baked through. Let sit for about 30 minutes before eating.