Casual Confections now has a shop on Threadless! There are four designs currently available with more on the way. And you know food and baking puns are going to make an appearance!
It’s strawberry season in my neck of the woods and someone asked when a fresh strawberry recipe would be up. So here we are! Strawberry scones! Few ingredients, easy to put together, and something that can wow others. Bake along with me using the video or grab the recipe and give it a go. How did yours turn out? Let me know in the comments!
Strawberry Scones – Two Peas and Their Pod
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder (note that this is baking powder, not baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt (optional, I left this out because I typically leave salt out of my bakes)
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream plus 1 Tbsp for brushing the scones
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar (I used granulated sugar)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
(note, my version of the recipe will have steps in a slightly different order than they are on the Two Peas site)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Using a pastry blender or your hands, quickly cut the cold butter into the flour mixture. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few large butter lumps.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t over mix. Gently fold in strawberries.
Transfer dough to a floured countertop and gently push the dough together with your hands, just until it forms a ball. Form the dough into a 1 inch circle by patting the dough and gently pressing the dough. Don’t overwork the dough. You want to work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm. Use a sharp knife to cut the scones into eight triangles.
Place the scones on a prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or an oven-safe non-slip mat) and put in the freezer for 15-20 mins. This will prevent the scones from spreading while baking.
Near the end of the freezer time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the scones from the freezer. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones with the additional heavy cream. Sprinkle the scones with turbinado (or granulated) sugar. Bake for 18-23 mins or until the scones are golden brown on the bottom and around the edges. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle glaze generously over the cooled scones.
This is one of my most popular offerings. Even those who aren’t fans of butterscotch or don’t typically enjoy fudge have found themselves happily nibbling away at one of these frothy-looking squares. The recipe has been on this site since 2018, but that doesn’t mean you’ve given it a go yet. Making fudge can be quite unnerving if you’re not used to making candy. The base gets quite hot and can easily burn you, you need to hit the right temperature in the softball stage range to get the consistency you want, you have to mix your ingredients so they’re smooth before they set, and then there’s the clean up which looks intimidating (just soak everything in hot water with a drop of dish soap).
If you’ve been holding off on trying this recipe for want of a push, here’s a slight nudge. Watch me cook up a batch and then bake along with me on your second watch! Come back and tell me how it went. How did the batch turn out? Did you end with more confidence than when you started? Are you going to make another batch now that you got all the nerves out in the first batch? What did you end up doing with all of that fudge?! (Pssst, fudge freezes really well, lasts a long time, and takes no time to thaw on a countertop.)
One thing to note: If you are gluten free, find butterscotch chips that are not Nestle. Nestle uses barley protein as part of their flavoring/coloring. This is not labeled on all of the bags. If you’re not concerned with gluten, then grab a bag and go to town.
Ready? Let’s do this!
Come do a baking experiment with me! In this video, we try making a five layer cookie bar we saw on Instagram from Fitwaffle Kitchen! This one is great for people who are a little nervous about baking as you can use pre-made ingredients and practice layering.
Ready to give it a try? Great! You’ll need a batch of cookie dough (made from scratch or bought premade) – can be sugar cookie, chocolate chip, or other , a jar of Nutella, a jar of Biscoff cookie butter, a baking pan, non-stick spray or parchment paper, and something to spread with (butter knife, spoon, rubber spatula, offset spatula). That’s it! At Casual Confections, there are very few fails, lots of accidental successes, and plenty of tasty tasty mistakes. Let’s do this!
5 Layer Cookie Bar – Fitwaffle Kitchen
1 batch of cookie dough
1 jar of Nutella
1 jar of Biscoff cookie butter
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Spray 8×8 baking pan with non-stick spray or cover with parchment paper. Press down enough cookie dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Spread a layer of Nutella over the top of the cookie layer. Press a second layer of cookie dough on top of the Nutella. Spread a layer of Biscoff cookie butter over the cookie dough. Then add the rest of the dough on top of the cookie butter. If it does not cover edge to edge, it is ok.
Bake for 30-40 mins on a middle rack. If your top layer is browning too fast, place a piece of foil loosely over the top. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Cooling may take a while as the bars are thick. Leave out to cool at room temperature or place in the fridge. Once cooled, run a knife or spatula around the edges to loosen it up. Flip bars onto a cutting board. Slice and serve.
Are you on TikTok? I am finally getting on board! Follow CasualConfections for fun geeky videos, baking clips, and more. Hit me up for stitches and duets!
This is a fun, quick, and easy recipe and turns out a dessert in perfect portions for small to medium groups or individuals! For a shopping list of ingredients and tools, jump over to the previous post.
Paradise Pie (via KeyIngredient)
3 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl (15 second increments). Mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar, then add in melted butter. Combine well.
Put mixture into a one-quart casserole dish. Spread evenly. Press firmly into bottom of dish. Top evenly with chocolate chips.
Bake for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted. With rubber spatula, spread melted chocolate out smoothly. Set aside.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, oil, and vanilla and mix on low, until smooth. With mixer still on low, add chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts. When thoroughly mixed, pour filling over crust. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean.
Spoon 2 tablespoons butter on ovenproof plate and place in oven until butter melts. Remove plate from oven and place large piece of warm pie right on top of the melted butter. Top pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with hot fudge & caramel toppings. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Pi Day is coming up and I have a small-portion dessert to help us celebrate! Gather these ingredients and tools and get ready to bake up a tasty treat! Video link for bake-along will be posted later this week.
Copycat Recipe Chili’s Paradise Pie
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (separated into 2 1/3 cups)
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup chopped or crushed walnuts
The latest video on the Casual Confections YouTube channel walks you through cutting a recipe in half. We work through a box of cake mix and a cookie recipe.
Amazon Affiliate Links:
Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake: https://amzn.to/3kv9dPV
Duncan Hines White Cake: https://amzn.to/3bI8sip
Nestle chocolate chips: https://amzn.to/2ZZvegd
LetsLearnAboutScience is an Instagram page focused on young kids and science education. It includes lots of science activities you can do at home! Let’s Learn About Science is currently doing a series on learning about jobs. This week is baking/cooking week and Casual Confections was more than happy to lend a hand!
Charlie designed his own version of the cookie experiment! Head on over to Instagram to see his work and results and then head to our YouTube channel to learn how you can run your own edible experiment!
Check out the latest video on the Casual Confections YouTube channel.
Do your own experiment! Try it with the Tollhouse recipe or grab a recipe off this blog! Let me know what you did and how it turned out! Comment here or shoot me an email.
Pair this write up with the video to run your own experiments!
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Recipe
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Notes: I left out the salt (personal choice) and nuts (better visuals for the trials I selected) for my experiments.
- Determine what trials you’re going to run. For example, if you’re going to test how different amounts of flour change your cookies, then you won’t want to add the full amount of flour right away. Planning ahead will help you determine how you will modify the recipe.
- I had a control and three changes: baking powder instead of baking soda, no baking soda or baking powder, and too much sugar.
- Prepare labels that you can attach to your bowls and your cookie sheet so that you can keep track of your batches.
- I broke my experiments out using two batches of cookies for a quick and easy breakdown but you can break down a single batch.
- 2 ¼ cups of flour split into two is 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda split into two is ½ tsp of baking soda
- I had four bowls of dry ingredients:
- 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking soda (control)
- 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking soda (too much sugar)
- 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking powder (baking powder instead of baking soda)
- 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour (no baking soda or baking powder)
- I added the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and eggs as instructed. I then separated out the wet dough into even batches, one part for each bowl of dry ingredients. One section of wet dough was kept in the mixer and had another 1/4 cup of granulated sugar added to it before moving on. (too much sugar)
- Slowly add one bowl of dry ingredients to one bowl of wet ingredients. Once the two bowls are combined, mix in the chocolate chips and, if using them, nuts.
- Section your cookie sheet(s) and be sure to label them so you can track which recipe baked up in which way. Scoop your dough onto the cookie sheet. Try to keep the size of the dough balls as similar in size as possible for a better comparison of how they baked up.
- I had four bowls of dry ingredients:
- Science notebook: record what you notice during the experiment
- Do your dry ingredients look different from each other once combined?
- Do your wet ingredients look different from each other once mixed?
- When your wet and dry ingredients are combined, do your doughs look different? What is the texture of each dough?
- When you scooped out the dough, did your dough change texture?
- What did each cookie look like before it was baked?
- What did each cookie look like after it was baked? (please wait for cookies to cool to room temperature before examining with touch and taste)
- Mouth-feel (how it feels in your mouth while eating)
- Why other experiments can you try based on your results? What do you think will happen based on what you saw in these trials?
- Why did the changes happen? Investigate the chemistry of how ingredients combine and react to different conditions.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon (I use a 1 ½ Tbsp sized ice cream scoop) onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes (start at 9 mins and then increase time if needed in small increments) or until golden brown (the golden-brown color may not be achieved depending on the trial you’re running. Be sure to run all trials at the same temperature and time). Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
The combination of COVID-19 and pregnancy has kept me out of the bakery since March 2020. Now that the baby is here, it’s time to pivot to keep this baking train going while we work together to get some control over the spread of COVID-19.
This morning, Casual Confections’s channel went live on YouTube! The videos will evolve as time goes on and I play with style and approach. The first four videos are part of a series titled Nibbles of Knowledge. These are very short videos providing tidbits for baking. The channel will also include videos of baking experiments whose recipes will later be posted to the blog, some longer form videos that expand on the Nibbles, and more!
Be sure to subscribe and set notifications so you don’t miss a video. I look forward to you baking along with me!