Writing these White House Chef novels is a blast because I'm learning so much about the White House and its workings as I dig. I'm very excited to have State of the Onion nominated for both an Anthony and Barry Award this year. And if you really love recipes, come visit Mystery Lovers Kitchen where I am one of six culinary mystery writers who write the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog where we share lots of recipes, information about our books, and more recipes. Please stop by and say hello!
Readers, enjoy her Honey Almond Scones and Garlic Green Bean Bundles!
Honey Almond Scones
1/4 C. buttermilk or plain yogurt
3/4 C. honey
1/4 t. almond extract
3 C. flour
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. finely chopped almonds
3 T. butter, melted
1 T. hot water
1 t. vanilla extract
2 drops almond extract
1 C. confectioner’s sugar
Heat oven to 375°F.
- Grease scone pan or place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Add honey to buttermilk, stir, then beat in the eggs.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter. Add sugar, and almonds. Toss to coat.
- Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until a ball forms. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead 5 to 6 times to make sure it is well mixed.
- If using scone pan, spoon dough into the pan, spreading evenly among the indentations. If using baking sheet, roll dough into a ball and flatten it some. Cut into 8 wedges.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until medium golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
**I’ve found it easier to use a mini-muffin pan sprayed with nonstick coating. The baking is nice and even (a little bit shorter than 25 minutes. Watch them till they turn golden). Though the scones come out muffin shaped, they’re delicious and perfect two-bite sized.
In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, and hot water. Add confectioner’s sugar. Stir. If glaze is too thick to pour, add more hot water, a teaspoonful at a time, until the glaze has the consistency of thick syrup. Spoon the glaze over the warm scones.
I usually wait at least an hour before serving for the scones to stabilize, absorb the glaze, and develop a fine crumb texture.
Garlic Green Bean Bundles
Two pounds fresh green beans, washed, and with ends and strings (if applicable) removed.
1 pound good smoked bacon, raw.
1/2 cup olive oil.
3 cloves garlic, cleaned and minced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a sheet pan, cookie sheet, or jelly roll pan (e.g. a large flat pan with an edge sufficient to prevent the grease you’re about to make from running all over your nice clean oven), lay out the green beans in bundles of roughly 10-12 beans, with all the beans laid out in parallel formation.
- Wrap each bundle loosely with a slice of bacon, tying it on top with a simple knot and arranging the loose ends artistically.
- In a bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic. Brush this oil liberally over the green bean bundles.
- Bake until the bacon is cooked to taste and the green beans are warmed through.
- Remove bundles to a serving platter with a spatula. Serve warm.
Thank you for visiting and sharing your White House Chef secrets, Julie!