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Oatmeal-Currant Scones

Reviewed: Jun. 6, 2009
I made these for the first time the morning of a church bake sale. The scones were a hit and all of them sold. Being mindful of other reviewers' comments about the stickiness of the dough, I added a little less milk than called for and the resulting dough was easy enough to work with. I used 1/2 sweetened, dried cranberries and 1/2 chopped dried apricots instead of currents and used a wonderful whole cane sugar instead of white sugar. I also added a capful of orange extract and I used salted butter because it was what I had on hand and besides I like the flavor of a little salt in my baked goods. I cut them in slightly smaller scones and baked them for 15 minutes. I tend to like my scones on the less sweet side and I liked these, but they probably would have still been fine with another tablespoon of sugar. They were a tad dry, but maybe wouldn't have been if I'd used all the milk called for. Overall, a good recipe that I will use again.
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Quick and Almost-Professional Buttercream Icing

Reviewed: May 10, 2009
I tried this recipe tonight after reading a bunch of them the other night. My mission: ice 4 dozen cupcakes for a bake sale. It really needed to work and it did, beautifully. I give it 4 stars instead of five only because even after doubling the recipe I had several cupcakes left over un-iced, which was not the end of the world, but I would have liked to have been able to ice the rest of them a little bit heavier, too. Other than that, it turned out perfect. I creamed the butter and confectioners sugar with an electric hand mixer, keeping it on low so I didn't overhead the butter. I thought the proportion of sugar to butter was good, and I used salted butter because I like that salt taste to balance the sweetness. After adding half the called for amount of vanilla extract and mixing some more, I divided it into four smaller bowls. To two of the bowls I added the cream, plus a gel food coloring to make it pink in one. In the other with the cream, I added nutmeg and cardomom to make a slightly spicy icing which was yummy!! That one got no food coloring. To one of the remaining bowls I added an organic peppermint extract and about a teaspoon (more or less) of peppermint syrup that I had on hand, and some green gel food coloring. The last bowl got yellow gel food coloring, some organic lemon extract, and the juice of half of a lime (no lemons on hand). I didn't use the cream in these last two bowls being mindful of other reviewers' complaints about it being too runny
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