Bakery-Style Scones

We go through a lot of half-and-half at home between my sister and I. We each have a minimum of a morning cup of coffee every day during the week, and very often more whenever we can make it work, each with a little dollop of half-and-half because that’s the only way to drink it in my opinion. There are no boundaries on the weekend. In other words, we also go through a lot of coffee too.

Recently, when I walked to the neighborhood grocery store to pick up a pint of half-and-half they were out of my brand, at least in the pint size. But they did have the quart, so why not? Well, we did a good job working our way through that container, but as 3 weeks were quickly approaching I decided something had to be done to use up what was left. After thinking for a bit, I decided on scones because, well, scones. :) If you’re in the same predicament as I was, give this recipe a try, they’re delish!


I made this recipe twice. The first time I made a 1.5x batch to get a really nice sized scone. They turned out beautifully, but unfortunately they were too salty. Since they just have a little sugar in them, as scones should, the salt was overpowering. Still completely edible with a nice spoonful of homemade jam, but certainly not top notch. I made them again with half the salt and a smidge more sugar and enjoyed them much more. The original recipe also calls for 2 tablespoons of milk and 4 tablespoons of cream. I just replaced all of the liquid with the half-and-half and it worked great. Perfect way to use up that last little bit of the carton!


Bakery-Style Scones
Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups, spooned; 255g), plus more for dusting

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 ounces cold unsalted butter (4 tablespoons; 55g), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 6 ounces roughly chopped milk chocolate (1 cup; 170g)

  • 6-8 ounces half-and-half (or a mix of milk [2 ounces] and heavy cream [4 ounces])

  • ~1 cup mixed nuts and dried fruit (I used almonds, pecans, cranberries and cherries)

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F (204°C). Sift flour into a medium bowl, then whisk in baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry blender, or two forks, to work the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. Add nuts and dried fruit and toss to combine, then stir in the 1/2 and 1/2 to form a soft (but not wet) dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch round. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges with a chef’s knife or a bench scraper. Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar, and arrange on a parchment-lined half sheet pan. Bake until puffed and golden, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with clotted cream, jam, or a spoonful of whipped cream.

Scones are best eaten the day they are made. They do freeze well however if you have leftovers. When ready to eat, thaw to room temperatures. Reheat in a preheated 425 degree oven for 4-6 minutes until heated through and crisp, but before they start to bake through again and dry out.

Lavender Orange Scones

This past week I was feeling the itch to bake something special, but wasn't sure what that should be. I took stock of what I had in the fridge and pantry and found a lonely little orange as well as some dried lavender from last spring. With a quick recipe search I found a recipe for chocolate orange scones. Perfect. At first I was going to go with the classic chocolate orange combination, but then decided that since it's spring and I have some beautiful dried lavender that I would try that combination instead. I figured that the sweet and tart orange would pair well with the floral lavender and I was right. These two flavors compliment each other perfectly and make for a light and fragrant scone, perfect for a leiesurely spring breakfast. 

I've used citrus zest and juice in baked goods plenty of times in the past, but I've never put the actual flesh into a muffin or scone or cake so I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. I should not have worried, these scones baked up perfectly with little pockets of sweetness due to the orange segments mixed throughout. If you have it, I think some chopped white chocolate would also be a wonderful addition to these lovely spring scones. 


Lavender Orange Scones
Adapted from Vanilla and Bean

  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) cold butter
  • 1 Orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (70 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, optional

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes and place in the refrigerator while prepping the other ingredients.

Zest the orange, peel and chop the flesh into small pieces, taking care to reserve the juices. Place the flesh into a small bowl and add about 1 Tbs of all purpose flour. Stir to coat. Set aside. In a measuring cup mix the orange juice and zest, milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Set aside. 

Add the flours, corn starch, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lavender into a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter to the sifted ingredients and use a pastry cutter (or two forks) to cut in the butter into the pastry. The butter should be about pea size, evenly coated, and distributed in the flour.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently stir the mixture until the flour is just moistened. The dough will be shaggy and seem dry but avoid the temptation to add additional liquid. Add the chopped orange pieces. Fold in to incorporate, eventually using your hands to press and fold the dough together, just a few times. Squeeze a portion of the dough in your fist. It should loosely hold together. 

Dump the contents out of the bowl onto a flour dusted work surface and press the dough together forming a circle. You may need to work it a little bit with your hands to bring it all together. Work gently, but quickly to keep the dough as cold as possible. Use a bench scraper, or a knife, to cut the circle into 4 to 6 triangles. Transfer the cut scone to the prepared baking sheet. 

Place scones on the parchment lined sheet pan and rest in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes, while the oven is preheating to 425F. 

Before baking, moisten the top of the scones with a little milk and sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over the top of each scone. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the scones are golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and carefully transfer scones to a cooling rack. 

Yields: 4-6 scones

American Style Vanilla Biscotti

I've found myself making a lot of biscotti lately. I just can't seem to sit down with a cup of coffee without wanting something small and sweet to snack on and biscotti are the perfect way for me to fix this problem. They are easy to make, usually make a large batch, and can be shaped into whatever size you might want. For the last couple of rounds of biscotti making I've been playing around with different variations on this recipe from King Arthur Flour. They call it American style biscotti because it is not quite as rock hard as some of the traditional Italian biscotti recipes. These cookies bake up crisp and light, crunchy without being teeth shattering. I think they have the perfect balance of crunchy sweetness to go alongside my cup of afternoon coffee. And the great thing about biscotti is they last for several weeks in an airtight container on you counter or in the cupboard. That means not having to worry about running out anytime soon or having them go bad. It is the perfect way to ensure you always have a sweet treat around for snacking on for those moments when you just need a little something to get yourself through the afternoon. 

These cookies are wonderful just straight up and plain, but for this batch I decided to go with a little drizzle of chocolate for a little added visual interests and of course to boost the flavor up just one more notch. This is a great recipe to use as a starting point for any number of wonderful combinations you might want to try. I've made several other batches that might make an appearance on the blog in the future. Really any dried fruit, any type of chocolate, or any nut/seed would make a wonderful add in. You can't go wrong so let your imagination go wild and give this recipe try. 

American Style Vanilla Biscotti


King Arthur Flour


  • 6 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract (if you're using it), and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.

Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Divide it in half, and shape it into two 9 1/2" x 2" logs, about 3/4" tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired, pressing it in gently.

Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.

Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the logs, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan; if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature; they'll stay good for weeks.

Yield: 30 to 40 biscotti, depending on size.

Chocolate Cocoa Nib Biscotti

It's time for another biscotti recipe. One of my favorite baked goods to make. I love the transformation from long, flat log of dough, into cute, crunchy little cookies. It amazes me every time. I also love how long they last in an airtight container in my cupboard. This is one of the few baked goods I make that I don't freeze right away. Because they are completely dried out they don't really go stale or lose their texture, at least not very fast anyway. 

This chocolate cocoa nib biscotti turned out perfectly. I decided to add a few cocoa nibs to the dough and I loved the combination with the chocolate chips. The cocoa nibs add a different flavor and texture to the cookie that really help them stand out. A hint of espresso powder in the dough complements the chocolate and brings all the flavors together into a perfectly balanced treat.

Don't worry if you don't have any cocoa nibs, the biscotti will still be wonderful without them, but if you happen to have some on hand I highly suggest the addition. The same with the espresso powder. You can really add whatever flavors you have on hand. Be creative and do what you like. Don't have espresso powder, how about some cinnamon instead, for that chocolate-spice mix? Have an orange lying in your fridge? Zest it up and throw it in for a wonderful chocolate orange combo. How about swapping out some or all of the chocolate for some dried fruit, or some chopped nuts, or both! Let your imagination go wild!

Chocolate Cocoa Nib Biscotti

Adapted from 

Deliciously Declassified


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (4 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso 
  • 1/2-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa nibs 
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top


In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and espresso, set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time followed by the vanilla, mixing well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixer in two parts, mixing until just combined after each addition. 

Mix in the the chocolate chips and cocoa nibs, if using. 

Split the dough in half, and shape each half into a long log, about 1 1/2 inches wide on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving a little room between each log. Sprinkle the top of each log with turbinado sugar. 

Bake the cookies at 350°F for 25 minutes, until a light golden color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temp t o 300°F

After the 30 minutes, slice the biscotti to your desired thickness (I got about 25 cookies) and arrange the slices on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, until biscotti are completely dried through. Cool on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container. 

Almond Cornmeal Biscotti

Sitting down on a lazy afternoon with a cup of coffee doesn't feel complete without a little sweet treat to go along with it. Biscotti is one of my favorite coffee time snacks. It's fun to make, and it lasts forever in an airtight container. I've tried many different biscotti recipes over the last several years, some are better than others, but none have been bad. This one ranks near the top of the list. What I really like about it is the addition of a little cornmeal to the dough. This cornmeal adds just enough crunch to make things interesting, it just livens the cookie right up! The almonds also add to the crunch factor, a perfect combination. I actually made this recipe twice in less than a week the first time I made it, it was that good. And it will definitely be a regular in the coffee time cookie rotation from now on!

The original recipe is for almond anise biscotti, but I'm not a huge fan of anise flavor. I just omitted it and added in a little almond extract to amp up that almond flavoring instead. It turned out great! I love crunchy, almond-y, buttery cookies, especially with a delicious cup of coffee!

Almond Cornmeal Biscotti

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook


  • 1-1 1/2 cups (4.75-7.5 oz) almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 eggs, plus 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until fragant and just beginning to turn light golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a clean surface; spread evenly, and let cool completely. 

Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Mix in toasted almonds.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead to evenly distribute the nuts. Divide in half. Shape each piece into a 18-inch log, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart (note: this biscotti does not spread a lot during the first bake, so shape accordingly). Brush beaten egg over the surface of the logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar, if using.

Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer parchment and logs to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices cut side down on the rack. Bake until firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack. Store in an airtight container. 

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love going out for coffee. Sitting at a warm, cozy coffee shop with a comforting cup of coffee, talking with family members or friends about nothing at all is so relaxing and enjoyable. Most of the time I just stick with my mug of coffee and call it good, but I have to admit, I always want something to go with it. A muffin, a pastry, a chocolate chip cookie, anything at all really. It's so nice to have something sweet to balance out that cup of coffee. Biscotti is another great option that sometimes fits the bill perfectly. Crunchy, slightly sweet and just the right size. It's also fun to make at home, pretty easy to throw together and lasts forever in the cupboard because it is dried out to begin with. This chocolate espresso biscotti is one of my favorites, and it really is the perfect companion to your morning coffee.

 I've made a few different biscotti recipes now, and this one is pretty close to the top. The texture is perfect, it's crunchy, but not so hard that you feel like you are going to crack your teeth on it. I love the slightly bitter espresso flavor that is balanced out by the bittersweet chocolate, it's a perfect combination.

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Adapted from 

Sage Recipes


  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (If using regular size, chop coarsely)


Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line 1 sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso powder with 1 tablespoon hot water. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the espresso flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips  until just incorporated.

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and form each portion into a log (~1 1/2 inches thick). Do not flatten the logs (the dough will be sticky). Place the logs onto the sheet pan, a few inches apart from each other. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 275ºF. Transfer logs to a clean cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs diagonally, 1/2 inch thick. Discard the end pieces (or munch on them like I did). Place the cookies cut side down on the sheet pan and bake for another 45 minutes, until toasted and dry.

Brown Sugar Honey Madeleines

I've posted a couple of different madeleine recipes on this blog so far, and they've all been good, but this recipe takes the cake, literally! I was looking for a simple recipe that wouldn't take too long to make, that I could snack on with my coffee. After browsing through a handful of recipes I decided on this one due to the additions of brown sugar and honey, as well as plenty of melted butter. And let me tell you, the butter definitely shines through. These madeleines were so light and buttery, with just the right amount of sweetness from the three different kinds of sugar. One little cake is perfect for me to satisfy my cake craving for the afternoon, and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee.

The batter for these madeleines whips up in just a few minutes. The batter does need to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but that's not too bad. By the time you're done cleaning up and getting your coffee ready you can pop these puppies into the oven and have freshly baked mini cakes in just a few minutes. That's the beauty about madeleines, you get to eat cake without feeling guilty because they are so small and light. The batter can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days as well, so you can mix it up in advance if needed. Very versatile, and very yummy!

Brown Sugar and Honey Madeleines

Adapted from 

Di's Kitchen Notebook


  • 2/3 cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon honey (I substituted golden syrup)
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the dry ingredients, followed by the vanilla. Gently whisk in the melted butter, and finally, the honey. You'll have a thick, smooth, shiny batter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously butter madeleine pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess.

Fill each madeleine mold with about a teaspoon of batter; the molds should be about three-quarters full. Don't worry about leveling the batter--it will do it by itself in the oven.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and either serve the madeleines immediately or put them on a rack to cool.

Repeat with any remaining batter, making certain to cool and rebutter and flour or respray the pan(s).

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioner's sugar. Makes around 18-20 madeleines.

Cranberry Bliss Bars

I've never actually bought the cranberry bliss bars from Starbucks, but every single time I see them I want to try them. They are just so pretty, and look so tasty, but I never want to shell out the money to buy a tiny little bar, especially when I can probably make them at home! I've had this recipe for cranberry bliss bars in my recipe folder for quite some time, but it took me forever to get around to making them. The recipe calls for cream cheese, dried cranberries, and white chocolate, and I never seemed to have all three of those at the same time.

Finally, over this past Christmas break I decided I had to do it, so I went out and bought these three ingredients so I would no longer have any excuses not to make these bars. I'm glad I finally did it. I thought these bars were fantastic. The blondie base layer is buttery and chewy, and filled with white chocolate and cranberries. Topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, covered in more cranberries and drizzled with more white chocolate, they are absolutely delicious. I still haven't tried the real thing from Starbucks so I can't compare them, but I really don't feel like I have to!

Like I said, the blondie is delicious, and could probably work as the base for some other bars. I'll have to play around with that a little. They're not difficult at all to throw together, I love anything with melted butter because I can still make it right away, even if I forgot to soften the butter. So if you are craving coffee shop pastries at home, take the initiative and make your own, it's worth it!

Cranberry Bliss Bars


Recipe Girl


Blondie Layer:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).

Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.