November is the month when we at the Red Apron get a bit of a break between our two busiest times of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a month where we might still be enjoying some of the harvest, before all of our farmers wind things down for the winter.
November is a time for cooking soups, bone broths, stews and slowly braised roasts. It’s a time of long nights, short days, and grey skies. It’s a month for pre-Christmas parties, shopping, pickling and preserving, crafting gifts for Christmas and visiting bake sales and craft shows. It’s a great month for sleeping-in, taking time for self care, for day spas and watching movies, slumber parties, and fires in the fireplace. It’s the perfect time for mulled wine, dinner with friends, and board games.
I like to spend my weekends in November with a warm cup of tea and a stack of cookbooks and food magazines, planning menus for the winter. Sundays in November are for early Sunday suppers with friends and family. November is the best month to bake bread, and cookies or muffins. I think that when approached with all these things in mind, November can be a fantastic month – a month to look forward to!
Don’t forget to join in the Help Santa Toy Parade on November 17th at 11am with the parade route ending at TD Place. Visit toyparade.ca for details.
The two recipes this month are for baked goods we love at the shop. Both of these items can be made in advance and frozen before baking, allowing you to remove them from the freezer and bake from frozen, so you can fill your home with warm smells on cold November weekend mornings.
These scones are an EXTREMELY popular item in our retail store. They are a delicious, quick breakfast item, and if you want to really glam it up I suggest you serve them fresh out of the oven, split open, with a poached egg on top and a side of bacon or sausage.
Seeded Sweet Potato Scones
½ Bag of Baby Spinach
3 ½ Cups of all purpose flour
1 ½ Tablespoons of Baking Powder
½ Tablespoon of Salt
Zest from 1/2 of a Lemon
⅓ Cup cold of Butter – small diced
2 ¼ Cups of Shredded Aged Cheddar
3 Cups of Diced and Roasted Sweet Potato
1 Small Bunch of Chives, finely chopped
1 ½ Cups of Whole Milk
¼ Cup assorted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, sesame)
Cover the spinach with boiling water to wilt and drain. Squeeze out the excess water and chop roughly.
Whisk together all the dry ingredients and add in the cold butter and mix with a pastry blender. Alternatively you can use a food processor and pulse 5-6 times until the butter and flour form a rough crumble – do not over-mix. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the milk and toss gently with a wooden spoon. Pour in the milk and gently fold until everything is moistened. Again, do not overmix.
Scoop out using a large ice cream scoop and place on a parchment lined baking tray. At this point you can freeze the scones and then package them in freezer bags or bins to bake at a later time.
Brush the tops of each scone with an egg wash and sprinkle on the seed mix. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes.
Robin’s Famous Gluten Free Cookies
Our dear Robin, co-owner of the Red Apron, doesn’t eat gluten so she bakes these delicious cookies and everyone, including Gluten Lovers, think they are fantastic.
½ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup brown sugar, packed
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 Cup gluten free flour (she uses Robin Hood brand, but we make our own blend in-house, see the note at the end of the recipe)
1 Package of Jello Vanilla Pudding Mix (dry) – OK this is a little outside of the Red Apron code of ethics, but it does give these cookies a delicious chew
1 Teaspoon baking soda
325 Grams of chocolate chips (dark chocolate is my preference but you can do milk, or a mixture of chips and chopped nuts)
Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar with salt until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg white and beat until mixed thoroughly. Add the dry jello pudding, the flour and baking soda. Mix well. Add your chips of choice and mix until evenly distributed.
Scoop into 24 balls onto two parchment lined baking sheet. At this point you can freeze the cookies and then package them in freezer bags or bins to bake at a later time.
Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
NOTE: We make a Gluten Free Flour blend using 15% Rice Flour, 15% Potato Starch, 35% Coconut Flour & 25% Oat Flour