Congratulations Kershaw Cupcakes GO BLUE!

Sometimes, I am a walking, talking stereotype. (1) I love Disney (2) I’m in LA pursuing acting (3) I am a proud Dodger fan (4) Clayton Kershaw is my absolute favorite player. Can you blame me? I mean he is only one of the best pitchers to come out of baseball since…ever. And he comes across as such a genuine and humble person and having personally known my fair share of professional baseball players/athletes in general, I appreciate the rarity of someone like that.

IMG_7603_FotorThis past Sunday was the last game of the regular season and my mom and I sat in her car listening to the radio (damn you Time Warner) just to hear Kershaw break 300 strikeouts. 300 STRIKEOUTS! For you non-baseball fans, that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment. Needless to say we were super excited for him. And the Dodgers in general.

And hence we have these Congratulations Kershaw! baseball cupcakes. I really will take any excuse to bake! This post is all about the story behind the cupcakes–which you just read–and showing a fun way to decorate cupcakes. The recipe is just my basic but delicious vanilla cupcake with basic but delicious vanilla frosting. It’s so easy! Just spread a smooth layer of frosting over the cupcakes and pipe red lines to match the laces on a baseball. I used leftover red frosting in a tube with a Wilton 3 tip.

While I made and photographed these on Sunday, all ready to share them with you because no one should have to wait for cupcakes, my camera decided to take a vacation and I had to borrow my friend’s computer to get this picture to you. Just in time for post-season to start tomorrow! Let’s go Dodgers, let’s go!

And a personal note to Kershaw: Thanks for so much entertainment this season and all the rest :)

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

I’m a peanut butter addict. It’s a well-established fact with plenty of evidence taking over my pantry (at any one time there are at least four different jars of peanut butter on my shelf). A scone incorporating peanut butter was a foregone conclusion as soon as I decided to start experimenting with scone flavors and recipes, and there is no way I’m stopping at only one 😉

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

This recipe is the easiest way to add that addictive combination of peanut butter and chocolate to a scone. Chocolate chip scones are a common flavor at bakeries and tearooms, but I have yet to see a peanut butter chip added to a scone. Maybe a taste of these will change their minds? Because these scones need to happen. Every day.

I don’t know where to begin in describing these, other than basically imagine a peanut butter cup in a cream scone and you’ll know you’ve arrived in heaven. Peanut butter chips have a slight sweetness to them that combines with semisweet chocolate to sweeten a slightly savory scone. My opinion of plain scones is that they are often too sweet, so my go-to cream scone recipe uses very little sugar.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

All the great elements of my basic cream scones–the light yet sturdy texture, the balance of sweet and salt, the noticeable rise, the melt-in-your-mouth creaminess–are here, with the irresistibility of peanut butter and chocolate. Believe it or not, I don’t think clotted cream is a requirement with these scones (though it will never hurt a scone to add it, particularly when drinking tea) as they are practically a dessert rather than a tea time treat. But milk, whether in your tea or in an accompanying glass, is a must.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients

  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50 g ultrafine baking sugar
  • 150-200 mL heavy whipping cream (always start with the lower amount)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 220°C (450°F). Place rack as high as possible in oven. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift flour and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar and chips, mixing until well distributed.
Add 150 mL cream then work in by hand by rubbing in the cream trying to incorporate as much air as possible until fully mixed. DO NOT OVERMIX. If the mix is too dry, now add the extra cream until the dough is wet enough to hold together.
Place dough on a heavily floured surface and knead a couple of times until relatively smooth. Pat down to desired height (we did 1 cm as usual). Cut out 5 cm circles with a crimped scone cutter and place on the baking tray. HINT: dip the cutter in flour before cutting out each scone. Knead the extras back together and repeat until most of the dough is used up.
Bake for 6-8 minutes (we did 8) until they have risen and are slightly browned around the edges and on top. Hide leftovers from family members as they will be devoured on sight. Or immediately begin making another batch.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Welcome to Once Upon an Afternoon Tea!

IMG_3737Afternoon tea…the perfect girl’s day out, mother-daughter date, fourth date (real men are secure enough to have tea!), pretty much the all-around best answer for any escapism. This wonderful institution so associated with the United Kingdom is gaining in popularity here in the United States. And I for one couldn’t be happier. I love tea! I love the tea itself, the little finger sandwiches, the scones, the excuse to dress up, the break from everyday life, the scones, the “Britishness” of it all, the history, the scones, the people who run tea rooms.

And that is why Once Upon an Afternoon Tea is here. With so many tea rooms to try in Southern California alone, finding the quality amongst the quantity can be a challenge. I’m doing the sorting for you! (I know, it is such a burden testing out all these tea rooms 😉 ) Which tea room has the best tea selection? The best finger sandwiches? The best decor? Quality service? Authentic British scones? Real clotted cream? We’re finding out together and sharing in the wonderful tradition of afternoon tea.

But tea room reviews are not the only thing you’ll find at Once Upon an Afternoon Tea. You’ll also discover reviews of bakeries, recipes for tea time treats both savory and sweet, fun facts about tea and the afternoon tea tradition, and so much more. And we don’t just stop with the Greater Los Angeles area either; tea rooms and bakeries can be found nearly everywhere in the country and we’ve done some deliciously personal research in the UK, the heart of afternoon tea.

So curl up with your favorite cuppa and discover the joys of afternoon tea with us at Once Upon an Afternoon Tea!

The founders of Once Upon an Afternoon Tea

The founders of Once Upon an Afternoon Tea

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