Orange Zest

Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is what you would trade mushy oatmeal for if you had the time.  Baked oatmeal is that Sunday morning warm hug brunch dish.  It’s a little sinful, but not as bad in fat and calories as your stack of pancakes or french toast.  Baked oatmeal has more textures and flavors than your regular bowl of oatmeal.  It’s toasty, sweet, chewy and crunchy.  It’s like granola and oatmeal had a love child in the 70’s and named it baked oatmeal. Get it? Haha…

Baked Oatmeal Something SweetThis baked oatmeal is best served with warm milk.  Someone who doesn’t like oatmeal might change their mind with this recipe.

Baked Oatmeal Recipe: (Serves 4)
1 1/2 C. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Melted Butter
1 Egg Beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp. Orange Oil or 1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 Green Apple Chopped
1/3 C. Dried Cherries or Cranberries
1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Instructions:
1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

2. To the oat mixture, add and mix in the melted butter, beaten egg, milk, vanilla, and orange oil or zest.

3. Add the fruit and nuts of your choice and mix well.

4. In a greased 9×9 baking dish, spread the oatmeal mixture evenly in the pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.

For leftovers – place the oatmeal in an oven safe dish or on a foil covered sheet pan.  Toast the oatmeal in the oven or toaster oven until it just starts to turn golden brown.

 Thanks for reading!

xo,
Marlee

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Spiced Dried Fruit Tea Cookies

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something SweetFruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet2

When you curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea, you need something slightly sweet and warm with spices to counter the bitter and floral notes of the tea.  These chewy and mildly sweet cookies are the perfect match to your cup of tea.

These cookies were inspired by my love of spices, dried fruits and nuts.  I’m not a fan of chocolate sweets with a cup of tea, so I needed to create something to nibble on.  I was inspired by Ina Garten’s Fruit Cake Cookies and a certain cookie dough from the bakery I work at.  Sometimes taking two really good recipes and mashing them up can create a really good cookie!

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet3

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies

I think I would make the British proud with this cookie or “biscuit.” If you’re having a tea party, I guarantee your guests will be grabbing more than one! These are a great gift to give to your tea obsessed friends as well!

You can make these cookies all your own by adding what ever dried fruits and nuts you want.  I chose dried dates, cherries, apricots and walnuts, but you could use raisins, pecans, pineapple, etc.

Fruit Cake Tea Cookies Something Sweet1

Spiced Dried Fruit Tea Cookie Recipe:
1/2 C. Softened Butter
1/4 C. Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Orange Zest
1/2 C. Chopped Dried Dates
1/4 C. Chopped Dried Cherries
1/4 C. Chopped Dried Apricots
1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 1/2 C. Bread Flour
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions:

1. In a stand mixer, cream your butter. Once light and fluffy, add your brown sugar and mix until fluffy.

2. To your butter and sugar mixture, add your honey, dried fruits, nuts and orange zest. Mix together.

3. Add your egg and vanilla extract.

4. To your wet ingredients in the stand mixer, add the bread flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Mix only until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.  

**If you over mix your cookie dough, it will not keep its form while baking.

5. On a sheet of plastic wrap, form your dough into a 1 1/2 – 2 inch width log.  Let the dough sit in your freezer or refrigerator until firm.  Cut dough into 1/4.” Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies just start to show color.

Your cookie should be light, firm and chewy.

I hope you enjoy this cookie with your next cup of tea! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

xo,
Marlee

P.S.
My go to and favorite teas are Tazo’s Organic Peachy Green and Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Scones

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Happy November! In honor of November and the soon approaching American holiday, Thanksgiving, I had to utilize the fruit of November – Cranberries! With fall, comes fresh cranberries.  Fresh cranberries seem to only enter your local grocery store between mid-October through the holidays, which stinks.  Luckily fresh cranberries freeze well and can be stored all year long, so stock up now! I’ve been wanting to make fresh cranberry scones since May, well now I finally can and they were worth the wait.

They are without a doubt my new favorite scone recipe! The tart cranberries pair beautifully with fresh orange zest and the soft pillowy dough. I like to top these scones with turbinado (raw) sugar for an added crunch to contrast the soft inside.  These scones are even better with a small smear of soft butter and a cup of camomile tea or coffee.  Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea.

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Scones are easy to make and don’t take long to whip up! If you have guests from out of town or friends and family coming for brunch, these are a must have.  This recipe is great, if you have left over cranberries from Thanksgiving and don’t want to through them out.

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Fresh Cranberry Orange Scone Recipe:
1 C. Roughly Chopped Fresh Cranberries
1 Orange Zested
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp. Sugar
2 C. All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Cold Butter
1 Egg (Beaten)
4-6 tbsp. Milk
Turbinado (Raw) Sugar

Preheat oven to 400.

Instructions:
1. In a small bowl, add roughly chopped cranberries, orange zest, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix together and set aside.

2. In a medium size bowl, measure out and mix your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

3. Add your cubed butter into your dry ingredients. You will want to use a pastry blender or the tips of your finger to incorporate the butter and dry ingredients. The consistency should look like wet sand.

4. Add your beaten egg, cranberry mixture and milk and mix until you have a dry/sticky dough. If the mixture is dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, until the dough comes together. (You don’t want a super crummy dough, but you don’t want a really moist dough either).

5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place 6-9 blobs of dough down. Top with turbinado sugar and bake the scones for 12-15 minutes. Scones are done when the edges are a light golden brown and firm to the touch.

Hope you fall in love with these scones!

xo,
Marlee

Orange Blueberry Scones

Orange Blueberry Scones

So I really like scones, so I made these scrumptious little morsels! Orange blueberry scones with a glaze made of blueberry juice and orange zest.

Orange Blueberry Scones

Sometimes I’m not always a lover of blueberries in baked goods, since they become squishy and loose that tart bite that I love about blueberries.  With that being said, I decided to use dried blueberries instead of fresh!  I’ve never eaten or used dried blueberries before.  I was surprised by how sweet they were, which is kind of silly really, since dried fruits have a concentrated sweetness.

Orange Blueberry Scones

For this recipe I let the blueberries soak in a small amount of water,  just barely covering them.  This isn’t something that has to be done, but I wanted the residual blueberry water for the glaze.  By the way, scones are always better with glaze!

Orange Zest and Blueberry Juice

Orange Blueberry Scones

Orange Blueberry Scone Recipe:
2 C. All Purpose Flour
3 tbsp. Sugar
2.5 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 the zest from 1 Orange
1/3 C. Cold Butter
1 Egg Beaten
1/2 C. Dried Blueberries (Soaked in water – optional)
4-6 tbsp. Milk

Glaze:
1 C. Powdered Sugar
1-1 1/2 tbsp Blueberry Water or Milk
1/2 the zest from 1 Orange

Preheat oven to 400.

Instructions:
1. In a small dish, soak the dried blueberries in water. The water should just barely cover the dried blueberries. Set aside.

2. In a larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients and orange zest.

3. With a pastry cutter, combine the butter and dry ingredients. The consistency should look like wet sand.

4. Add the wet blueberries (without the liquid) into the dry/butter mixture. Be sure to save the blueberry water (you will want to use it for the glaze). Add the beaten egg and milk and mix together.

5. On a floured surface, form the dough and flatten to a 1/2 to 1 inch thickness and cut into any desired shape. Place onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.

6. Once cooled, combine the ingredients for the glaze and top each scone.

Orange Blueberry Scones

I hope you try these at home! They’re really good – I promise!

xo,
Marlee

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

Citrus-strawberry thumbprint butter cookies! Now that is a mouth full! A delicious mouthful that is! During the winter (or should I say cookie season) when I was in high school, I was in the mood for a fruity cookie.  I wanted a cookie that had a flaky dough with a jam center, but the thumbprint cookie that I typically bake during the holidays has a dense dough, is rolled in chopped pecans and has a frosting center (d0n’t worry! I’ll post that recipe in December!).  Any ways… This flaky, fruity cookie is great for the spring or for the holidays – if tweaked.

When I originally made this recipe, I didn’t use any citrus zest.  But for the spring, it adds a nice bright floral citrus flavor.  I’m not a huge fan of adding citrus zests to baked goods, but the zest pairs nicely with the strawberry jam center.

Orange and Lemon Zest

My recommended tool for zesting is a microplane.  You know that long tool that looks sort of like a cheese grater with a rubber ended handle? A helpful hint: When zesting citrus fruits, don’t zest in the same spot.  Zest the entire surface of the fruit, unless you don’t need very much.  If you zest in the same spot, you will have bitter zest and you will lose all of those fragrant oils.

Partially Cooked Dough - Thumbprint

Making the “thumbprints” in the partially cooked dough.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies

These cookies look like tasty little gems! It’s a good thing that they don’t cost as much as precious gems! What’s fun about these cookies is that you can be creative and change them up! Use different types of jams, use lime zest instead of orange and lemon, or use a lemon curd instead of jam.

Citrus-Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies Recipe: Makes 28 – 35 Cookies
1 C. Butter (2 Sticks Softened)
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Orange Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1/2 Lemon Zested (Divided) (Optional)
1 Jar Strawberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 400.

Instructions:
1. Cream the softened butter until fluffy. Add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and blend on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add flour, salt and vanilla and combine. Add half the zest of one orange and half the zest of half of a lemon. Beat the dough on medium.  You will know it’s ready when it comes together and forms a smooth cookie dough. Let dough chill for 30 minutes.

3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop and roll dough into a 1/2 inch ball. (I use a mini ice cream scoop to measure each ball of dough). DO NOT flatten dough balls before placing in the oven!

5. Bake the dough balls for 5 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and make wells in each cookie and fill with jam. (Be sure to not over fill cookies, to avoid spill over). Place back in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until bottom edges start to brown. 

6.  Let cool and garnish with the remaining orange and lemon zests.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you used other flavor combinations!!

xo,
Marlee