Scranton Seahorse Inn

Hazelnut Scones with Cherries and Oats

Hazelnut Scones

with toasted oats and dried cherries

I love making this recipe and the hazelnuts are the star.  The aroma of the oats and hazelnuts while they’re roasting is a sign of delicious things to come.  Because of the oats I use less flour and the end result are crunchy flaky scones.  If you don’t have dried cherries you can use dried cranberries in their place.  But if you can get your hands on them it’s worth it.  Because the oats absorb some of the liquid I use 1/2 & 1/2 (versus heavy cream).

 

 

  • 1   1/4 cups Quaker oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1  1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Using two sheet pans, spread oats on one and the chopped hazelnuts on the other and toast until lightly browned and fragrant.    The nuts should take about 7 minutes and the oats about 5 minutes longer.  Keep an eye on them and be sure not to burn the hazelnuts.   Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Raise temperature of your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Whisk together cream and egg.  Reserving 2 tablespoons for glazing the scones.
  4. In a food processor combine 3/4 cup of oats, the flour, sugar and baking powder and pulse a few times to combine.  Scatter in the cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse cornmeal.   Transfer this mixture to a good size mixing bowl.    Using a large rubber spatula fold in the remaining oats and nuts.  Add the cherries.
  5. Fold in the liquid ingredients until large clumps form.   Using your hand mix the dough a few more times until a large ball is formed.
  6. Dust your work surface with a little flour and then gently pat the mixture until a 7″ circle until it’s about 1″ thick.  Using a sharp knife cut into 8 wedges.  Line a sheet pan with parchment and place wedge 2″ apart.  Brush each wedge with the reserved liquid and sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar.    Place sheet pan with scones in freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Bake until golden brown and delicious – about 12 – 14 minutes.  Let them cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

This recipe doubles easily.  Uncooked wedges can be wrapped and frozen for 2 weeks.   If you plan to freeze the uncooked wedges don’t glaze or sugar them until your ready to cook (you can use 1/2 & 1/2)   Cook them frozen and increase the cooking time by a 5 minutes.

 

 

 

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones

with a very special secret ingredient…..

Here’s another scone recipe that is a favorite among our guests at the Scranton Seahorse Inn.   This recipe comes together very quickly because I add the dry ingredients and the butter in food processor to create the scone dough.   This is also one of the few scone recipes that I use cake flour versus all purpose flour which makes for a lighter and less dense scone.

The secret ingredient is curry.  Curry is a sweet spice but it does introduce a slight kick.  The cherries and the sugar tone down the very subtle curry flavor so there’s a terrific sweet and savory balance.    I don’t usually tell my guests about the secret ingredient until they’ve tried them.   I worry that the picky eaters might turn them down before trying them.  I’d guess that 95-99% of my guests that have tried them have enjoyed them.  It’s ok to reduce the amount of curry to 1T the first time you make them but I’m confident the second time around you’ll increase it.

  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup granulate sugar
  • 1 T Baking powder
  • 2 T Curry Powder
  • 1 t Baking Soda
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 12 T  cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes

Preheat Oven to 375

  1. Add all the dry ingredients together and place into the work bowl of your food processor and pulse a couple times to combine.
  2. Sprinkle chilled butter into food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency of small peas or coarse sand. Take care to not over process.   Turn flour / butter mixture into a large bowl.   Add cherries and stir to mix.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together 1 of the eggs and cream.
  4. Add the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and using a large rubber spatula gently fold until completely incorporated taking care to not over mix.   With lightly floured hands knead the dough making sure all the flour is incorporated before turning out onto a light floured counter or large cutting board.
  5. Using a sharp knife divide the scone dough into two equal parts.   Shape both pieces into into 6”discs. They should be about ¾ – 1” high. Cut each disc into 6 wedges by first cutting in half then cutting each half into 3 equal wedges.
  6. Place the wedges on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silpat. Whisk the remaining egg with a splash of water and brush the tops of each.  Sprinkle turbinado sugar onto the tops.
  7. Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes until gold brown and delicious.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before serving

 

 

 

 

 

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Rum Raisin Scones

Rum Raisin Scones

the perfect accompaniment with a good cup of tea….

The rum soaked raisins make these scones so scrumptious.    The longer the raisins soak in the rum the more intense the flavor gets.    The raisins will keep 8-10 weeks in the refridgerator so I make a large batch and have them ready.  If you don’t like or can’t have rum just plump up the raisins as indicated below and skip the rum.

 

 

 

 

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark rum (I use Meyers)
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/2 kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoons to brush the scones with
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  1. Place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with water.   Bring to a boil then strain.   Now place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the rum and let it set for at least an hour.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt.  Toss in the cut up butter and place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Using the paddle attachment mix on low until the butter is broken up into pebble sized pieces (3 minutes).
  4. Strain the raisins reserving the rum.    Add the raisins to the flour mixture and beat just once or twice and evenly distribute them.
  5. With the mixer still on low speed and add the 1/4 cup of rum and the heavy cream until the dough comes together.
  6. Using your hands, knead the mixure in the bowl until the dough comes together completely. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round – about 3/4 inch thick.   Using a sharp knife cut in 12 equals wedges.  The wedges will look small but they will spread and rise in the oven.
  7. Place wedges on your baking sheet at least 1/2″ apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and freee for 15 minutes.  In the meantime preheat your oven to 375.
  8. Brush the scones with heavy cream and spinkle with the Demerara sugar.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway through.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm.

Cocoa Banana Bread Recipe

 

Going Bananas

Cocoa Banana Bread

This is an easy recipe to make when you’ve got some over ripe bananas in the house.   This is a fun chocolatey breakfast bread that’s always a hit at The Scranton Seahorse Inn.   It’s fun to watch our guests react to the idea that they’re having chocolate at breakfast.  I have found this is also a great recipe to make if you’re invited to a brunch.

This is a super moist bread that’s best served the same or next day.  My experience is that it doesn’t freeze well so have a second helping!

 

 

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3  cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 medium very ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 12 tbs softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350F

  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt into a mixing bowl
  2. In another bowl mix bananas and sour cream together
  3. Cut the butter into 1″ pieces and add to the bowl of an  electric mixer with the sugar and brown sugar.   With the paddle attachment combine on medium speed until well mixed.   It should be fluffy and lightened in color.  About 2 minutes
  4. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time beating smooth before each addition.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low.   Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture.   Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle.  Add the banana mixture until it is thoroughly absorbed – about 1 minute.  Add the remaining flour mixture.   Stop and scrape down the bowl and beater one more time.
  6. Remove the bowl and using a large rubber spatula give the batter a final mixing.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Smooth the top with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
  8. Place the loaf pan in middle rack of your preheated oven.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes.   The bread should be well risen, firm to the touch.  Use a cake tester or paring knife to test the doneness.   Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack..

Variation:   This batter can be used to make muffins too.  Yield would be 20-24.   Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

 

 

Macaroni & Cheese Every Monday

Mac & Cheese Mondays

All Winter Long!

 

Mac 'n' cheese One of my favorite foods growing up was macaroni & cheese.  Now granted, my idea of GOOD macaroni and cheese has evolved from the boxed-orangey stuff,  but that’s besides the point.   On cold nights in winter time there’s really nothing quite like a warm dish of pasta that’s baked with a good variety of cheeses.

We all have our favorite recipes don’t we?   The type of pasta matters to many people.  Elbows, ziti, or bowties?  Some just want cheese and macaroni, others want bacon, pancetta, or (god forbid) broccoli included.    Even when it comes to the toppings we all have our favorites.    Are you a dried bread crumbs or panko person?    Maybe just another layer of cheese?

This winter at The Scranton Seahorse Inn we are going all over the place and trying different recipes we’ve tried, we’ve wanted to try or ones that you send us and insist we try.    We’re cooking up a big dish every Monday and sharing it for dinner in our dining room with our guests.

Book your room for Monday nights, bring your favorite beverage and dinner is on us!    If you have a favorite recipe that you think I should try send it to me at info@scrantonseahorseinn.com    If you can’t make it to us on a Monday night I’ll be sure to give you feedback from our weekly “judges”.

Give us a call at 203.245.0550 for make your room reservation and to reserve your spot at the table for some free macaroni and cheese.   Or, book online at this link.

See ou at the inn!

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cookies – Gluten Free

Gluten Free CookiesI TRY to keep our cookie jar full and I have a few go to recipes that I use to make sure our guests with cookie cravings in the middle of the night have somewhere to go.   When I know I have a gluten free guest checking in to the Scranton Seahorse Inn my peanut butter cookie recipe the one I use.   It is so ridiculously simple but so nutty and delicious.   They are so satisfying at midnight with a cup of coffee or tea too.

This recipe makes 24 cookies.  It’s 1 of everything so it’s quite easy to double, triple or quadruple.   Do what you gotta do!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup good quality creamy peanut butter.  
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Seasalt (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease cookie sheets or line with parchment or silpat.
  2. Beat together peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Add beaten egg and baking soda to peanut butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  4. Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
  5. Place dough balls one inch apart on cookie sheet.   Do the thing we all do with a fork to our peanut butter cookies.
  6. Sprinkle each with a little seasalt.
  7. Bake until puffed and a golden pale, about 10 minutes.
  8. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 2 minutes and then transfer with spatula to rack to cool.
  9. May be kept in air tight container at room temperature for 5 days.  If you have a wall safe – store them there.
  10. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

 

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

soda breadTis the season!  For Irish Soda Bread that is.    Not sure why I don’t make this more than I do.   Everyone seems to gobble it up when withI make it.   Maybe too much of a good thing comes into play.  Below is the recipe I’ve adapted from others I’ve experimented .   There’s no yeast in this bread so it’s quick to make.   It’s the bread flour in this recipe  that makes it cripy chewy so definitely splurge and use it in this recipe.

10 ounces White Whole Wheat Flour
5 1/4 ounces Unbleached Bread Flour
1 1/4 ounces granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces currants or raisins
1/2 stick very cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins. Using pastry fork cut in the butter until it’s evenly distributed and no large chunks remain.

In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. The dough will be stiff; if it’s too crumbly to squeeze together, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk.

Knead the dough a couple of times to make sure it’s holding together, then shape it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly, and place the loaf in a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch round cake pan.  Remember there is no yeast in bread so it won’t spread much, so the pan doesn’t have to be large. Use a sharp knife to cut a 1/2-inch deep cross, extending all the way to the edges, atop the loaf.

Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it’s golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and brush the top with melted butter.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

RhubarbCoffeeCakeYou know I love my rhubarb.  The only thing that I don’t like about it is that the growing season for rhubarb in Connecticut is too short.   I take advantage of the local harvest, including from my own garden, as much as I can.   A lot of our guests here at the Scranton Seahorse Inn have asked for this recipe – even from some that didn’t think they liked rhubarb.  The small chop on the rhubarb in this recipe doesn’t overwhelm but provides tasty tart bites.  The combination of the wheat and all purpose flour provide a nice nutty aroma and flavor.   I hope you enjoy this Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe.
CAKE:
 1 pound finely chopped rhubarb
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup  sour cream
1/2 teaspoon orange extract or 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
STREUSEL:
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. To prepare cake, combine rhubarb and 2 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl; toss well to coat.

3. Place brown sugar and 5 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, rind, and vanilla; beat until well combined.

4. Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Fold in rhubarb mixture. This is a thick batter.  Spread evenly into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

5. To prepare streusel, combine turbinado sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.   Cut into squares and enjoy.

Cooking Class – Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Our CSA from Bishops Orchard’s provided us with a bounty of local squash and pumpkin this season.   This leaves us no choice but to invite you into the Scranton Seahorse Inn kitchen to help cook up some of our favorite perfectly sweet fall flavors.   In this class we’ll start off by discussing the local varieties of squash and roasting techniques before we get started with a hands on class creating:

  • Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Cheese Cake
  • Pumpkin Harvest Bread
  • Pumpkin Cannoli

Details:

  • Wednesday November 12th
  • 5:30 –  8:30 (approximately
  • Maximum 8 students
  • $50 class only or
  • $160 class & over night accommodations  (single occupancy, $210 – double)

Call me at 203.245.0550 today to reserve your spot.    See you at the inn!

 

 

Strawberry-Rhubard Crisp

Rhubarb CrispCrisp Topping

Preheat oven to 350F

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugars, and salt.  Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender (or two forks) chop and toss the butter until the butter is pea-sized and coated with flour.   Careful to chop the butter – not mash it.  add the walnuts and mix and chop until the nuts are part of the butter and  flour mixture.

Fruit Mixture

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries (washed, dried and quartered)
  • 2 1/2 pounds dark red rhubarb (washed, dried and chopped in 1/4 inch pieces)
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large stainless bowl toss fruit with sugar, flour and salt.  Pack fruit mixture evenly into a 12x8x2 baking pan.    Spread the crisp topping evenly over the top of the fruit mixture taking care to not pack it down.

Back on center rack of  oven until the topping is browned and fruit it bubbling – about 45 minutes.     It’s ok to put it under broiler for the last 5 minutes to brown the topping further.    Let cool for 15 – 20 minutes before serving with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.