Silk Almond-Coconut Scones with Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs

I was super excited to work with Silk on this campaign for their new "Blends" line! In our house all we have is almond milk because I suffer from lactose intolerance *says a silent prayer for pizza and cheesecake* and sometimes it can be tough. After having the new Silk AlmondCoconut blend I was hooked - it had the subtle nutty almond taste I know and love but now it was richer from coconut milk without the pulpiness I often find in the canned version I use for baking. I also liked that the milk comes in unsweetened or sweetened versions. As a baker, we like to have complete control of our levels of flavor. So for the same reason you'll always see recipes calling for unsalted butter to control salt, I opted for the unsweetened milk to better control taste


I thought about what I could bake with this almond-coconut blend and first limited myself to a direct replacement for cow's milk of the same ratio which pretty much meant my only option was cake - boring! I expanded my search to replacing cream with the blend which led me to the idea of scones. Here's the thing about scones - they only fall on one of two sides of the scone spectrum (disclosure: I may or may not have just invented said spectrum) - one side being dry, crumbly, and flavorless and the other moist interior, flaky exterior,and subtlety sweet. These scones fall on the latter and I think I know why...

A side bar into one of my deep held secrets - one time I was making pancakes and replaced the cow's milk with coconut milk. The result - the fluffiest pancakes I had ever had in my life. From that point on it's been my secret pancake weapon. I had doubts about replacing cream with milk for this recipe and worried the batter would be too thin and the scone would come out flat; however, with the blended AlmondCoconut milk these scones baked up perfectly fluffy.

This story reminds me that I am going to use the remaining Silk AlmondCoconut milk to make pancakes this weekend, but in the meantime I'll be making some tea and enjoying my Almond-Coconut Scones stuffed with the bitter-sweet crunch of chocolate covered cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate.

What ideas do you have for Silk AlmondCoconut Milk?
Head over to the Silk Facebook page and pick up a coupon for your very own carton here: https://www.facebook.com/SilkUS



Silk Almond-Coconut Scones with Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Silk AlmondCoconut Milk (unsweetened)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2/3 cup chocolate covered cacao nibs
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together Silk AlmondCoconut Milk, Greek yogurt, coconut extract, and egg

3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

4. With a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles the texture of wet sand, with a few butter pieces remaining. Stir in chocolate covered cacao nibs.

5. Stir in almond-coconut milk mixture until just combined - DO NOT overwork the dough, only mix it until everything is just moist - if a few dry bits remain let them be.

6. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface and pat into a 6-inch circle Cut into six wedges and transfer to the lined baking sheet. If desired, brush tops of scones with a bit of the Silk Almond-Coconut Milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

7. Bake until golden, 16-18 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

One Bowl Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie

One Bowl Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

There is a special place in my heart for one-bowl desserts.  They are ideal for last minute party contributions or whipping up a spontaneous sweet snack. We recently added a 10" cast iron skillet from Lodge to our collection of cookware and have been finding reasons to make everything we can in it. This is course - includes dessert.

I searched recipes for skillet cookies and was baffled to find that 90% of my results brought back chocolate chip. I was curious if other add-ins were difficult to incorporate in this skillet form and decided to test it out with some heath bar chips. Turns out the heath worked just fine! Toffee and milk chocolate swirled throughout my pizza shaped cookie and I was thrilled to cut thick chewy slices from the pan and top it with creamy vanilla ice cream. The whole process took about 45 minutes from bowl to cool so this is perfect for your next potluck or party treat!

One Bowl Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
One Bowl Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie
Makes one 10" skillet cookie

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heath bar chips or chopped bars

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy

3. Stir in egg and vanilla with mixer on low. Add baking soda, salt, and flour.

4. Gently fold in heath bar chips with a spatula or wooden spoon

5. Transfer to a 10" cast iron skillet pan; smooth top.  I used this skillet from Lodge

6. Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, 20-30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

Tips:
Do NOT grease your cast iron pan, the butter in the cookie will keep it from sticking
The cookie might still jiggle a bit in the center - it will set as it cools

One Bowl Cast Iron Skillet Heath Bar Cookie | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography
Recipe Adapted from: Martha Stewart 

Pastel Petit Fours

Pastel Petit Fours | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Petit Fours are pretty nostalgic for me. I remember them as a reward for sitting patiently through what seemed like an eternity of religious services. After the last "amen" I would enter a room filled with giant loaves of bread, vibrantly colored cookies filled with dark chocolate, cherry, and coconut, and these little cakes that seemed impossible to recreate. I remember being baffled as tot and wondering if each of the tiny square layers was made with it's own individual cake pan. Can you imagine? 

Finally I was able to understand how these are actually made - and it's a lot easier than my imagination!! I love the pretty pastel tone and was impressed with how well the poured fondant held the design on top. These would be perfect for a cup of tea which inspired me to pull out a book my grandmother gave me a few years ago called Tea & Cakes London. What kind of combos can you come up with for your own Petit Fours? 

Pastel Petit Fours | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com) 
Pastel Petit Fours | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com) 
Pastel Petit Fours | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Pastel Petit Fours

Ingredients:

  1. Using a circular, oval, or square cookie cutter, cut out shapes from 9" pound cake rounds. I recommend this set from Ateco
  2. Level the top, making sure any brown from the oven has been cut off
  3. Cut the shape into three event layers
  4. Place a dab of strawberry jam (or any other flavor!) between the layers and give them a squeeze. Try not to let it ooze out of the sides, a little goes a long way. 
  5. Tap off any crumbs and place un-iced cake shapes on a tray in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm
  6. Dip the cakes into the fondant and cover all sides. Tap off excess icing and place on a piece of parchment paper to set. Another way to do this is placing a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pour the fondant over the cakes making sure all sides are covered. 
  7. When cakes have set, place some of the poured fondant icing in a pastry bag with a fine tip and pipe some decorations on top! It stays pretty well without spreading so you can get creative! 

Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

My Baker's Dozen

A baker's dozen is a little something extra. Here are some bits representing the thirteenth pastry of my week! 

1. Zac took a trip to Montreal and brought back some awesome Canadian treats! I loved the Aerobar the best. 

2. I went to see Jeremy Sewell from Island Creek Oyster Bar speak at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and it was excellent! I learned so much about the seafood industry and got to sample fresh oysters and striped bass ceviche. Yum! 

3. Had a BBQ skewer night with a few friends. I absolutely love grilled pineapple! What's your favorite thing to throw on the grill? 

4. I got to see BEYONCE and JAY-Z's On The Run Tour and there are honestly no words for how incredible it was. When Queen Bey played "Crazy in Love" I just got super overwhelmed with happiness #bowdown

5. We brought The Danger Booth to Roxy's Grilled Cheese brick-and-mortar in Allston for their industry night event. It was so much fun and I loved the bold yellow striped backdrop! 

6. Here is Lolli being unbearably cute.