Fall Baking in a Dorm Room: Small Batch Apple Cinnamon Scones

Cinnamon-Chip-Scones

By Collier Curran

Some of my fondest memories from home involve fall baking. I will always remember running off the bus after school and opening my front door to be greeted by the warm and comforting smell of cinnamon and nutmeg. Whatever my mom was baking–cupcakes, cookies, bread–would waft through the house and blanket the existing coziness of my favorite season.

Now that I am in college, I am determined to recreate the comfort of home baking in my studio apartment. One of my favorite ways to do so is through small batch recipes. Recipes that fall under this description generally feed about two people (or one if you are hungry and determined), cutting down on waste while still allowing for that comforting baking experience. Specifically, these small batch apple cinnamon scones are perfect for making in your dorm room or apartment. With them come certain advantages, such as: using cold butter (meaning that you can decide to make these on a whim and can avoid the pain of having to wait for the butter to soften when you just want to bake already), and How-to-Make-Soft-Scones-Picturehaving fresh pecans in every bite (this may be a stretch, but these provide a chunk of your daily protein!). I will warn you; I recently bought pecans at Morton Williams and my debit card was certainly not pleased. However, if you are willing to make the investment, you can chop them up into small pieces and make a minimal amount of nuts go a long way. Then, you have the rest of the bag to add to oatmeal, granola, or simply to snack on. If not (or if you have an allergy), these would also be delicious nut-free!

Lastly, I will provide a small tip for dorm room bakers. The recipe recommends that you roast the pecans before adding them to the scones. I will second this notion, because I believe roasting adds a great depth of flavor to the scones, but I know many of you are rolling your eyes even thinking about roasting the pecans in the oven before you even start the recipe. So, here comes the tip! Believe it or not, you can actually microwave your pecans and still get the wonderful roast-y flavor! Simply spread your chopped pecans out on a plate and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through if your microwave doesn’t automatically rotate the food. Microwaving the nuts is such a simple tip which will really amp up this dorm room recipe. Who knows, you may want to double this recipe once your friends catch wind of your new baking expertise!

Check out this recipe on the blog One Dish Kitchen in order to read the original commentary and find similar small batch treats.

Small Batch Apple Cinnamon Scones

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Makes 4 Scones

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter , cut into small pieces, 1/2 stick
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pecans , chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped apples (Appx. 1 small apple)

For the Glaze (optional, but delicious)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar , sifted
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

 

*A note: I also suggest using pre-made apple pie spice in place of just cinnamon. Similarly, do not be afraid to go a little heavy on spice. I find that in scones, the spice can often get lost among the other ingredients, so more is necessary to really get that spicy fall flavor.

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and sugar.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (Note: if you don’t have a pastry blender, don’t fear! You can simply mush the butter into the flour mixture with the back of a fork or with two crisscrossed knives.)
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the milk. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Gently stir in the toasted pecans and the diced apples.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead very lightly and form a circle. (Add a little more flour to the dough if the dough becomes too sticky to handle).
  8. Cut the dough into 4 wedges.
  9. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Let cool on baking sheet for a minute, then transfer onto wire rack.
  11. To prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream and maple syrup until smooth. Spread over the tops of the cooled scones. Top with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

Ta-da! There you have it. Beautiful scones for you to enjoy during the fall season, especially as midterms approach. Take a study break and try these out! If you liked this recipe, check back soon, as I am seeing these posts turning into a series…

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Ditch the Pumpkin Spice, Fall into Italian Rice

Fall is upon us, and whether we like it or not, we have to come to terms with the fact that the weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing color, and our wardrobes are changing. One of my favorite things about autumn are the delicious foods that become in season during this time of the year. A great recipe that I made with my mom frequently during the colder months last year and have come to adore is risotto. Risotto is a surprisingly easy Italian rice dish that is a delicious and customizable one pot meal. Me and my mom’s favorite types of risotto are butternut squash, mushroom, and asparagus. The basics of any risotto are essentially the same, and the recipe varies when it comes to the flavor of the dish. Here is the recipe that I use that has always been successful for me (all measurements can be adjusted or eyeballed, in all honesty):

  • 1 cup of arborio rice; about ⅓ cup per person is a main course size (arborio rice is a must for risotto– it has a higher starch content than usual rice, which makes the risotto creamier)
  • About 4-6 cups of stock (I always use mushroom stock made by adding dried mushrooms to a pot of water and letting it simmer. You can also use any kind of vegetable or chicken stock.)
  • ½ a large onion or 1 whole shallot
  • ½ cup of white wine (I usually add more)
  • ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons
  • About 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Risotto should ideally be cooked in a heavy-bottomed pot, but any pot with a large surface area will work. Start by adding the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot pot. While the butter melts and the oil heats up, dice the onion, and add it to the pot. Let the onion soften for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Once the onion starts becoming translucent, add in the rice, allowing it to toast in the pot for a few minutes. Be careful during this step — it is crucial that you stir the rice around and keep the pot on low heat so that the rice does not burn. Then add the white wine, stirring thoroughly. Once the liquid has absorbed, add the stock in half-cup increments, letting it absorb into the rice almost completely before adding the next increment. Stir the rice constantly throughout this process. Add the stock until the rice is finished cooking, which I usually determine by taste. After the rice is sufficiently cooked, add in some mashed butternut squash, sautéed mushrooms, steamed asparagus, or whatever you want to the risotto. Once your ingredients have been incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste, and finish with the parmesan cheese and remaining butter.

That’s all there is to it! Making risotto does take a bit of time, but the process itself is fairly simple, and you can make a large quantity of it ahead of time and reheat it by adding a little stock and putting it in the microwave. Risotto is a delicious, filling fall meal that I hope you all try at home!

Hannah Welles is a first-year at Barnard and is a writer for Barnard Bite.

The Cottage on Beauchamp Point

by Olivia Nathan

Straining to hear the rain

from this cold bed,

beneath an electric blanket that’s not plugged in.

 

Was today about love or leaves?

I couldn’t tell.

 

Unraveling the braids in my hair

brought me closer to the lapping water on the yachts.

And the growing, falling

laughter from his gray suit jacket mouth.

 

Swear I hear it from this damp bed,

but not the rain.

fallpoeambbite(Photo courtesy of the writer herself)

Olivia Nathan is a junior at Barnard and an opinion editor for Barnard Bite.

The Calm Before the Winter – A Fall Poem

By Breana Hinds

I wonder where the leaves go after they hit the ground and dance around my feet

Perhaps they reconvene at every tree, intermingling colors like honey in tea

I wonder if the increasing chilly winds are mother nature’s sigh of relief,

she kept the summer too warm, it’s time for some calm storms

We need those midnight fall rains to reign and cleanse the sins of the summer,

It’s time for pumpkin spice and a nice, dark, coffee (hold the ice)

I wanna see warm color sherbet ombres in the sky before and after the sunrise,

and falling leaves masking that morning sunrise.

I wanna hear yellow rainboots ceremoniously canoodling with the collections of rain puddles,

and feel that splash of summer’s scorn hit my cool skin.

I’d like to be caressed by the cold air and kissed by the migrating birds

on their way to summer’s house.

I want cup holders and hoodies, timb boots and melted marshmallows

It’s time to despise the cool side of my pillow,

I want to finally be able to appreciate the sweat between us as we cuddle,

a sure sign of the battling temperatures on either side of the window-

Like the struggle between light and dark around 5 o’clock…

I’m patiently waiting on the hand turkeys and their basted cousins.

and much like the leaves, my braids twirl in the air as her chilly fingers pass through my hair-

I’ll appreciate the fall if only for a moment-

at least until everything is covered in white.

Autumn in Boston Public Garden
Image courtesy of Forbes

Breana Hinds is a junior at Barnard College and a Features Editor for Barnard Bite.

You Only Pumpkin Once

By Allison Yeh

The leaves have turned their different shades of orange, red, and yellow. The air feels like you just sprayed your nose with saline water. And that impulse brought pumpkin outside the grocery store has become your new best friend. That’s right, it’s Fall.

“But how ‘bout them apples?” Your roommate might ask when you bring home that 15 pound pumpkin from Zabars.

While she makes a good point, apples are indeed part of the autumn celebration, you ask her if she has ever dressed up as an apple for Halloween? You ask her if she has ever seen apple flavored Oreos. NO, she hasn’t, because fall doesn’t love apples the way it loves pumpkins, the way it defends them no matter what. Apples are the things you have on the side – the things you might secretly love more but will never admit until you are eating leftover pumpkin soup in March. Apples could be had any time of the year, but pumpkins are season specific.

In fall, you can do whatever you want with a pumpkin. You are invincible. The simple response when looked at strangely for spreading pumpkin spice butter on your pumpkin spice bagel: “Just Fall things!” Or when you decide to do your makeup modeled after that Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) you had that morning…

pumpkinspice

(from @lowcheekbones)

You’re not crazy, it’s just the season!

You don’t even have to say it twice for even “non-pumpkin believers” to start nodding their heads and asking where you got that pumpkin shaded blush.

“But pumpkin spice doesn’t have pumpkin in it!” Your roommate points out while watching pumpkin drool down your chin.

You then roll your eyes and tell her: it’s not the real pumpkin that matters, it’s the magic of the word and what it represents.

You tell her the idea is “YOPO” – You Only Pumpkin Once. There is only one time of the year where it is socially acceptable to turn pumpkin into a verb, and that’s now. Go pumpkining with your friends under the crisp autumn trees. Pumpkin your chips, your pop tarts, your toothpaste. Pumpkin your room, your table, your door entrance. You warn your roommate that there is only a limited amount of time to pumpkin because come winter, your pumpkin will turn into a carriage. And how the fuck are you supposed to make a latte out of a carriage?

Allison Yeh is a sophomore at Barnard and Lead Features Editor for Barnard Bite.