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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

...While visions of sugar cookies danced in their heads.

Sugar rules the universe this time of year, the only time I will consume as many sweets as I want without abandon.  Isn't that the reason we have New Years resolutions?  The holidays are also an excuse to bust out my most decadent confections to share with friends and family.

These sweet, spicy and slightly salty scones (thanks to my vanilla salt) are perfect for my family's breakfast brunch.  This is also a great way to use up your leftover eggnog.   I have fond memories of my mom baking scones on the weekends and serving them with honey butter.  I'm going to make a spiced butter to slather all over my holiday scones instead.

If you're a huge fan of salty-sweet things like me, you need to make your own vanilla salt.  Split a couple of vanilla beans, stick them in a container of kosher or sea salt.  Let it do it's thing, and you have something so magical and so delightful it will take all your holiday treats to the next level.  Try sprinkling on your next batch of chocolate chip cookies, or even dress-up those brownies from the box.

Christmas Brunch Eggnog Scones
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 TSP salt
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 TSP nutmeg
1/2 TSP cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1 TSP vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold eggnog
1 TBS eggnog
1/2 TSP vanilla salt
2 TBS sugar

Spiced Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP nutmeg
Pinch of vanilla salt

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla and eggnog.  Add liquid ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until the dough begins to hold together.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.  Divide into two parts and roll to 3/4" thickness.  Cut into wedges or rounds.  Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 1/2" space between each.  Brush each scone with eggnog and sprinkle with sugar mixture.  For best results, place in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Combine butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Place in a ramekin to mold.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.