Inaugural Apartment Cooking Extravaganza: Raspberry scones, fish and chicken marinade, and fudgy brownies

Hey friends! Sorry for the silence. We have been quite busy with hectic end of the year shenanigans. It’s been fun, but between the two of us, in the past couple months, we have graduated high school, taken two sets of finals, moved from the dorms into an apartment and spent time exploring everywhere from the beach to the city. Needless to say, that leaves little time for cooking fantastic things, and even less for sharing those creations with you! So, since Elizabeth broke the silence last night, I am adding my contributions today.

As I mentioned, I moved earlier this month. This past weekend was the first weekend in my new kitchen, so I went a little bananas trying to cook lots of things. I made scones, fish, roasted vegetables, rice, brownies, chocolate chip pancakes, smoothies and bibimbap. I am going to slowly start posting the recipes, but here are a few to get you all started 😉

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Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones (aka the moistest scones you will ever taste)

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 cup (136 grams or 4 3/4 ounces) fresh raspberries
3/4 cup (189 grams) whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup (79 ml) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together.

Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries on a cutting board and stir them into the butter-flour mixture. Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula.Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. 

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With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.

The picture may not make them look quite as delicious as they taste, but I promise you they are amazing! We paired ours with more ricotta cheese and raspberry jam on top. Yum!

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Vermont Marinade

We created this marinade during our long summers in Vermont as kids. It is good on pretty much anything: chicken, vegetables, steak… you name it! This was the first time I had ever done it on fish, and I think it turned out really well.

Marinade the food items of your choice in the following ingredients (add to taste): Soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper. Allow to sit to soak up the flavors of the marinade, and then grill, pan fry, bake, or broil. We paired our marinated fish with some roasted squash, onion and tomato, and brown rice.

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Brownies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (75 grams) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. 

Like the scones, we added some mascarpone cheese and raspberry jam on top. A decadent end to a delicious day of food, and a hectic past few months. Cheers to that!

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