A few nights ago I was laying in bed and really craving scones, but didn’t have any butter in the fridge. So I googled  “scone recipe without butter” and what do you know, it exists! The next morning I whipped up a batch, unsure if they would come out any good. The recipe was extremely simple that it seemed too good to be true. After a quick 12 minutes in the oven, I let them rest for a quick 30 seconds (just so I wouldn’t burn my tongue) and they were just about perfect and exactly what I was craving.

I had enough cream to make them again, so this past weekend I made another batch, but this time with a bit of rye flour to see how they’d fair. Because the recipe is so simple, I was afraid they won’t take well to any adjustments, but what do you know, they were perfect once again. I brought them to my mom’s and we had afternoon tea with cream and jam.

This recipe is really easy to customize. You can add fruit, such as fresh or frozen blueberries (not thawed). You can replace some of the all purpose flour with others such as spelt or buckwheat. You can even mix the dry ingredients in advance and just pour in the cream before you’re ready to make them. This recipe makes 8 mini scones, but it can easily be doubled for more servings.

Easy Cream Scones Recipe
 
Prep time
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Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Author:
Recipe type: Easy Cream Scones
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ c all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ c heavy cream
  • turbinado sugar for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Gradually pour in cream and stir until just combined.
  4. Place dough on lightly floured surface and gently knead/pat together until cohesive. Do not overwork dough.
  5. Press dough into ¾" thickness. Using a bench scraper, knife, or small circle cutter, cut dough into equal pieces.
  6. Place 1" apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with heavy cream and top with a generous pinch of turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

 

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For our third collaboration as MK/BITA, we introduce our Valentine gift basket!  Each package includes one crepe paper peony and one dozen shortbread cookies.

Ji of Blooms in the Air carefully handcrafts each peony from high quality European crepe paper. It is amazing how much attention to detail put into each flower. Peonies come in two colors, ombré fuchsia and light blush pink.

The shortbread cookies come in two flavors, rosewater and chocolate chili. As with everything else Matchbox Kitchen, all ingredients are organic and thoughtfully sourced.

And, just for friends and blog readers, we are offering free shipping on orders placed by Sunday, January 25! No code necessary, just check out as normal. Click here to shop now.






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A couple weekends before Christmas I held my first pop up at Handcraft & Hart. I met Russ through a fellow cake club member, Elsie, and we held one of our meetings there. Russ was so welcoming and such a great host, so when the holiday season came around I emailed him on a whim to see if he was interested in hosting a pop up. Thankfully he was, and quickly set up a time and date for myself and The Motley to set up a shop!

The week leading up to the event I went through a range of emotions. What if no one comes? What if I run out of cake? Should I make more cake or donuts? In the end everything worked out perfectly. By 3:30 I was sold out!

It was such a great experience to meet a lot of instagram/online friends in person. I am so grateful that so many of you stopped by! Thank you again, Russ, for the opportunity.

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If any coffee shops, gift shops, cafes, and everything in between would like to host a Matchbox Kitchen pop up or event, I welcome any ideas and opportunities! Please contact me through my website.

Sticky toffee pudding cake.

Raspberry rose velvet cake: vanilla bean with raspberry rose jam and white chocolate. The first cake to sell out!

Fresh donuts! These sold out within an hour!

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It really is true that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. I wasn’t feeling too enthusiastic about reflecting on 2014. My mind immediately went to all the things I didn’t accomplish. Of course, it wasn’t until that silly facebook year in a review that I realized I did a bit more than I thought. Overall, I’m very happy with how the past year went, but I can’t wait for a fresh start and whatever else 2015 has in store for me. Here are a few highlights from 2014!


I started the LA Cake Club! I heard of this from another blogger in Australia and loved the idea. I ran it by my friend Natalie to see if other would be interested and she encouraged me to try it out, so I did! The first meeting was about 14 people and held at Griffith Park. By our fifth meeting in October, we were pushing 35-40 members, with RSVPs filling up within 2 hours! I’ve made many new friends through the LA cake club and so happy to connect with fellow dessert lovers.


I took some photos for Carmela ice cream and they were published in Westways Magazine and LA Times‘ Summer Entertainment Guide! It was exciting to see my first published photos.


Ji from Blooms in the Air and I created MK/BITA. Our first project was a mother’s day gift box with shortbread cookies and a crepe paper peony. We sold out on our very first run!


I had three of my recipes published in Zooey Magazine’s spring issue, and 3 more in their fall issue. Both times I was introduced to amazing photographers, Amanda Crew (who also photographed my cake class) and Natasha Lee.


I went to Australia to surprise my grandpa for his birthday! We spent two weeks there, ate a LOT, spent lots of time with family, and visited Melbourne for the first time in several years. A big draw to the trip was visiting the zero waste restaurant, Brothl. To my surprise we also got to meet Joost Bakker! I even got his “autograph“, ha!


We adopted a new kitten, Rufus, after we found him on the streets in Little Tokyo/DTLA. He certainly adds a lot of energy to our apartment, and now we are bursting at the seams with three cats!


I taught my first cake class at LittlemeatsLA! I actually met Johanna and Robin through the LA Cake Club when they graciously hosted our second meeting. I was a bit unprepared, incredibly nervous, but had such a great time teaching. Also, I had no idea how long I could go on and on about baking!


To finish off the year, I had my first pop up at Handcraft & Hart! Russ is another person I met through the LA Cake Club. It was so fun meeting instagram friends and serving up cake by the slice, as well as the some donuts and cookies. I ended up selling out of everything!

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Thank you for all your support and for following wherever Matchbox Kitchen has taken me. Sometimes it feels like a giant experiment, but it’s also led to many new friendships and experiences!

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This past summer I had the opportunity to make Whitney and Brent’s wedding cake. Whitney is the owner of a local clothing shop called Myrtle that carries only women designers. She ordered my hot chocolate cake (chocolate cake with spicy caramel sauce and spicy fudge frosting) for Valentine’s day a few years ago and I was more than happy to make a bigger one for their wedding! They also ordered a lemon cake for the remaining servings. I heard from many sources that the cake was thoroughly enjoyed and that the caterers couldn’t cut slices quick enough for everyone! That’s always a generous compliment, especially for a wedding cake. This gorgeous film photo was taken by their photographer, Megan McIsaac.

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I don’t take on too many weddings a year, but if you are having a smaller sized wedding (around 100 guests or less) you are welcome to email me for details and pricing. The cake pictured here is the largest I offer, about 75 servings. I also offer many smaller cakes for a variety of flavors which is great for a dessert table.

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Hello! I just added a couple cake basics classes to my shop for the new year. Perhaps your resolution is to learn how to bake and assemble a layered cake? Check out all the details here.

These classes will have the same exact information covered as my previous cake basics class in October. The only difference is I’ve decided to host fewer students at a time so I can give each person more attention and answer more questions. You will go home with your own cake that you’ve assembled, frosted, and decorated yourself, as well as a recipe and resource booklet and little goodie bag.

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For the last installment of my collaboration with Cotton & Flax, we put together a sweet holiday / housewarming gift basket. A simple wooden basket (that can be purchased up online or at a local craft store) is lined with a black chambray plus tea towel, then filled with Blue Bottle Coffee beans, a set of green confetti wool coasters, and a homemade nut and fig loaf cake.

The loaf cake goes nicely with jam and a cup of tea or coffee. It also keeps well wrapped or placed in a sealed container for up to a week.

(SQIRL jam and a jar of Savour This Kitchen‘s spice blend also make a nice addition to the basket)

Nut and Fig Loaf Cake
 
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Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 125 g (about 6) dried figs
  • 75 g nuts and seeds (I used pumpkin, walnut, sunflower, and sesame)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 112 g (about ¾ cup) flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • hot water, with ¼ cup reserved
Instructions
  1. Place dried figs in a bowl and pour just enough water to cover. Let stand until softened, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Grease and line with parchment a medium loaf pan, about 7" x 3.5". Preheat oven to 325° F.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. Toast nuts and seeds in a skillet over medium heat, being sure not to burn them. If you're using larger nuts such as walnuts and almonds, let them cool then chop into smaller pieces. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Drain the figs, reserving ¼ cup water. Chop figs into bite sized pieces, about ¼ - ½ inch cubes. Add to large bowl with nuts.
  6. Pour reserved ¼ cup water into a small saucepan and add brown sugar and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved. Pour over nut and fig mixture and stir together with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. Mix in beaten egg and vanilla, then add flour mixture. Stir until just combined and there is no more traces of dry flour. The batter will be very thick, but add up to 1 tbsp water if the mixture will not come together. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

 

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The Holiday season is finally here, and even though the temperature here in LA rarely dips below 50°, we’re still celebrating with some festive treats. Spiced apple cider makes a great compliment to the gingerbread cookies I shared last week (or any leftover pie you might still have in the fridge).

(Shown with Cotton & Flax chambray plus tea towel, triangle cocktail napkin, and assorted wool felt coasters.)

Mulled Apple Cider
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • ½" fresh ginger, peeled
  • 8 cups (1/2 gallon) apple cider
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

 

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(Above photo by Laure Joliet, shown with Triangle Coctail Napkins)

My friend Erin, who has a home goods company called Cotton & Flax, recently asked me to make some gingerbread cookies for her Fall/Winter photoshoot. I thought it would be fun to share the recipe with all of you, just in time for holiday baking.

(White Plus Tea Towel)

Perfectly paired with spiced cider, recipe coming soon! (Triangle Cocktail Napkins)

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ c dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ c molasses
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients. Place doughplastic wrap; pat into an 8-inch square. Wrap well; chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ⅛" thick, occasionally moving around dough to prevent sticking, only adding flour as much as you need it. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once your baking sheet is full, place in freezer for 5-10 minutes until stiff.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until firm and edges begin to darken. Let cool completely then decorate or store in airtight container.

 

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Ji of Blooms In The Air and I have paired up again to create a special holiday gift box!
For this winter edition, Ji has created mistletoe, hand cut from high quality European crepe paper with hand made silver or red berries coated in German glass glitter. The other half of the gift box is my s’mores kit, similar to what I used to offer a few years ago. Both the marshmallows and graham crackers are house made with organic or sustainably sourced ingredients. The gift box also includes a holiday post card by Clap Clap that can include a personalized hand written message if you like. Lastly, everything is tied up with Italian cotton ribbon and securely packaged in a wooden basket.

We put a lot of work and careful thought into putting these boxes together. Everything from the product itself to how the shipping box opens has been carefully examined. For the holiday season we are offering two separate shipping dates to best suit your schedule. For more information and to purchase, visit our shop here: mkbita.bigcartel.com.

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