Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones

baconcheddersconeMany years ago I attempted to bake scones.  The result scarred my family.  Any time I would think about giving scones another try I was quickly reminded of the failure of my first attempt.   The inspiration for the following recipe came from eating ham and cheese scones from a local coffee shop in Austin.  Unfortunately, I think the baker must have left because they just stopped serving them.  I’ve been in the search of a scone recipe ever since.


Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones

  • 2 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 T Baking powder
  • 2 t Granulated sugar
  • 4 T Butter (Cold)
  • 1 Cup Cheddar cheese (Diced)
  • 1/2 lb Bacon (Cooked,cooled and crumbled)
  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces. Stir in the cubed cheese, chives and bacon until evenly distributed. Add 3/4 C. of the cream, stirring to combine. If the dough seems dry, add additional cream 1 T at a time until the dough just comes together. Transfer the mixture to a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a smooth disk about 34″ thick. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart on the pan. Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

The Perfect White Layer Cake

I ran across this white cake recipe while searching for the perfect cake to bake for my beautiful granddaughter’s first birthday. I wanted a cake that wasn’t too heavy or too sweet.   This cake is moist, delicious and relatively easy to make.

Two very important steps for a perfect cake are:

1.  all ingredients must be at room temp

2. DO NOT open the oven door during baking.  Your cake will fall!! I speak from experience.  Wait until the baking time is done and the edges of the cake just start to pull away from the pan.

I frosted the cake with the perfect crusting butter cream frosting to get the beautiful look of this “rose cake”.  Thanks to “I Am a Baker ” for the inspiration.

This will be my go to White Cake recipe!


The Perfect White Layer Cake

This cake is moist, tender and delicious! A definite keeper!

  • 2 1/4 C. cake flour ((9 ounces))
  • 1 C Whole milk (at room temperature)
  • 6 large egg whites (3/4 C. at room temperature )
  • 2 1/2 t. Vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t table salt
  • 12 T. unsalted butter ((1 1/2 sticks, softened but still cool ) )
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.

    Pour milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract into bowl and whisk until blended. Combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating
    at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture
    and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
    Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely before frosting, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortbread Cookies

I love the simplicity of a buttery shortbread cookie.  They’re great at mid-day with a cup of coffee or hot tea.  Using a really good quality butter and fresh ingredients will yield the best cookies.

Shortbread Cookies

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,mix together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt,then ad them to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with the flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

    Roll the dough 1/2 inch thick and press into your cookie mold or cut into your desired shape. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. If using a shortbread mold pan, let cool 8 minutes, flip, remove the pan and cut where indicated.

    Optional: Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Carefully, dip the back of the cookie in the chocolate, letting all the excess drip back into the bowl, place chocolate side up on a parchment lined sheet until chocolate is set.

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream Frosting

When researching cake ideas for my grand daughters first birthday I came across this recipe.  It is the “perfect crusting” frosting needed to decorate a birthday cake AND it tastes wonderful!

The Perfect Crusting Buttercream Frosting

This quick and easy frosting recipe is perfect for piping decorations onto your favorite cakes. AND, most importantly, it’s delicious!

  • 2 lb powder sugar
  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 C. Crisco shortening (room temperature)
  • 2 t. Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C Whole milk
  1. Place room temp. butter and shortening in mixer. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup milk. Turn mixer on low speed and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn mixer up to med-high and mix for 2-4 minutes.

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

While finishing up a great lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Austin,  I was presented with the difficult decision on choosing which dessert to share with my good friend and fellow foodie Heather; Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake was the special of the day.  Honestly, I turned up my nose at the idea of a grapefruit cake!  Heather was shocked that I had not ever tried an olive oil cake and  insisted we order a slice but,  just to be safe we ordered a back up dessert!  Well, I took one bite and fell in love!

I ran across the following recipe which was adapted from Melissa Clark’s blood orange olive oil cake.   The cake has a great texture and isn’t overwhelmingly heavy or sweet. It is a wonderful treat to enjoy at mid-day with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

As I am an empty nester, a large bundt cake is just too much cake for the two of us.  I baked this recipe in three mini bundt pans; kept one at home and took two to the office to share with friends. These make beautiful edible gifts!

For the cake:
2 grapefruits
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice from one of the grapefruits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard bundt pan.

Zest the 2 grapefruits into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar to the bowl, and using your fingers, rub the zest and sugar together until they’re well-incorporated to infuse the sugar with the grapefruit essential oils.

Halve one of the grapefruits and squeeze its juice into a measuring cup. Add buttermilk to juice in the measuring cup until there is a total of about 2/3 cup of liquid (you may not need the entire 1/2 cup of buttermilk, depending on the size of your grapefruit).Pour the grapefruit juice/buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the zest and sugar and whisk well. Whisk in the eggs and olive oil.

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, until it is golden brown on top until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, remove the cake to a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges and unmold the cake onto a cake platter.

For the glaze, halve and squeeze the juice from the remaining grapefruit into a small sauce pan.  Add the brown sugar and simmer just to dissolve the sugar.   Using a toothpick, prick the cake all over, slowly brush the glaze over the entire cake.