Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

Chocolate Orange Scones

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

I had a dream about chocolate orange scones. I should be kidding. I’m not. This is how deep my problem goes. I actually dream about baked goods. What is wrong with me?

Of course, in my subconscious mind, they took a form that isn’t actually physically possible. The warm tender scones had super thin layers of chocolate running throughout. These layers of chocolate sort of resembled the lines formed in sedimentary rock and had a snap to them when you bit into the scone. As far as I can figure, there’s no such thing as a warm scone with snappy chocolate. But in my dream, they tasted so so so good.

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

In real life, these scones are full of the bright flavor of orange zest and studded with dark chocolate. They’re lovely served warm with a cup of hot tea or coffee. They certainly brightened my morning.

I also loved getting to play Jackson Pollock when I added the chocolate to the top. Just dip a fork into some melted chocolate and shake it quickly over your scones. You’ll have abstract expressionist scones in no time. 

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

I am not an expert scone maker. I can never seem to get them to come out pretty, but they usually come out tasting pretty awesome. I love having an excuse to practice, though. Let’s eat all the scones!

Chocolate Orange Scones
Yields 8
Lovely big scones overflowing with chocolate and orange zest
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits
  6. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  7. zest of 2 oranges
  8. 3 to 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped thin
  9. A few chocolate chips for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or smear with butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Add cold butter and work it into the flour with your clean hands using a pinching motion until you work out all the big chunks. Park your butter and flour mixture in the freezer while you get on with your work.
  4. Measure out the cream and then zest the oranges over the measuring cup. You don't want to lose those good oils. Chop your chocolate.
  5. Remove your bowl from the freezer and add the cream and orange zest. Gently stir that in. I found at this point that my dough was still quite wet, so I added another half cup of flour. You want it to just hold together. Fold in the chocolate.
  6. Turn your dough out onto a well-floured cutting board. Sprinkle plenty of flour over the top and on your hands, then form it into a one inch thick rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut your dough into four squares, then cut the squares into triangles.
  7. If you're more skilled than me, you'll be able to transfer individual scones to your baking sheet, but this quite frequently ends in disaster for me, so I just gently lay the baking sheet on top of the dough, and invert it. You just have to cut them again right after you take them out of the oven. Baking time may be a bit longer.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they just barely start to brown.
  9. Let the scones cool for about ten minutes, then melt your handful of chocolate chips and get crazy with your fork. Or you could be nice and neat and pipe on pretty lines of chocolate. Whatever floats your artistic boat.
  10. Best served warm.
Adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
http://awesomeon20.com/
Soul de Cuba for happy hour

Happy Hour: Soul de Cuba

Soul de Cuba for happy hour

We’re so excited to kick off an awesome new monthly feature! It’s happy hour, baby!!! Every month, we’ll be featuring a new happy hour spot. It’s the perfect way to try new restaurants without spending tons of money. And a great excuse to have a drink after work. Obvs!

Our first pau hana (the Hawaiian version of happy hour) was to Soul de Cuba in downtown Honolulu. I loved this tiny little spot. It was right around the corner from the office building I’m currently working in, so we arrived just after 5:00, and the place was nearly empty. I wasn’t nervous because it had gotten good recommendations from several people. Honestly, I was just happy that it was so easy to get a table. It was much more full when we left, and there was a band setting up in the next room, so it probably gets pretty lively in the evenings.

Soul de Cuba cocktails

Soul de Cuba features some fancy rums. I’m not an expert in rum, but I do love to drink it. I had an El Presidente, which was rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It was sweet but potent, just the way I like it. Geoff had the capirinha, which featured muddled limes. He had three. I guess he liked them. The cocktails were made with high quality, fresh ingredients. They don’t fool around. And the happy hour menu gives you plenty of choices. Our other friends sampled the Cuba Libre and the mojito. They were all great, and only $5 or $6.

They also had a small selection of pupus (appetizers) on their happy hour menu. It’s not a lot, but what we tried tasted amazing, and I peeked at the regular menu, and you’re getting a noticeable discount by ordering during happy hour. Take the opportunity to try foods you might not normally be able to afford.

Soul de Cuba pork sliders

We ordered the lechon (pork) sliders, and they were tasty. Everything there had a lovely hint of spice, and the sauce that came on the pork was no exception. My husband took his to the next level by adding some of the lemon habanero sauce they brought out with our sliders. We loved them. And they were only $4. We also wanted to try the mango and habanero salsa, but they were sold out. 

Soul de Cuba calamare

My friend ordered the calamares fritos. I don’t care for seafood, so I didn’t try them. She loved them, though, and quickly made the entire basket disappear. It comes with two dipping sauces, so you can easily share and keep things interesting.

Soul de Cuba tapa sampler

Another friend also ordered the tapa sampler which isn’t on the happy hour menu. It had tons of food, though, and could easily have been a slow dinner over cocktails for two people. There were some great spicy roasted chickpeas, salami, chorizo, serrano ham, manchego cheese, and roasted red peppers. There was also a fiery roasted red pepper hummus, along with several pieces of toasted bread. It was a feast unto itself.

I would definitely recommend the happy hour at Soul de Cuba. I’m not sure we would have ever gone in there if we had to pay full price, but their happy hour specials gave us the opportunity to try some new foods, and some excellent drinks in a relaxed and colorful atmosphere. Happy hour is from Monday through Thursday from 4-6, so stop in after work one weekday and treat yourself to a little imaginary Cuban vacation in the middle of the week. It will be awesome!

*Top photo by Lindsey Vandolah

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies from Awesome on 20

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies from Awesome on 20

I started a new temp job last week, and for once I’m working normal hours like a business lady in a fancy downtown building. It sucks. 8 to 5? Really? How do people do this every day of their lives? Maybe if it was important and/or interesting work it wouldn’t be so bad, but when I get home from my mind-numbing day of generally unproductive boredom, my neck is killing me, and I’m wiped out.

There’s really only one thing that makes me feel better at the end of the day, and that’s chocolate. I’ll take it any way I can get it, and sometimes I don’t make it past 3:00 pm before I need a chocolate break. Usually it’s a candy bar from the shop downstairs, but if I had a choice, a fresh baked brownie would be a super awesome way to get my chocolate fix.

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies from Awesome on 20

This brownie! Kids, this brownie is amazing! Not only is it super rich and fudgy, but it also has an orange-infused cream cheese swirls that takes it through the roof. There also might be a little bit of booze in there. How can that be a bad thing?

It’s sort of the best brownie I’ve ever had. Every time I make these, people can’t stop eating them. They’re sort of like medicine for the soul. They just make everybody happy.

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies from Awesome on 20

The corporate world is not my gig. I’m glad I don’t have to do it for very much longer. Brownies are where it’s at. You need this dose of happiness in your week. I should know.

Orange Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
Yields 16
Rich, fudgy brownies with an orange-infused cream cheese swirl. Medicine for bad days.
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
For the brownies
  1. 120 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 250 grams (1 cup) sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. 210 grams (7.4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  6. 5 tablespoons of any combination of coffee, orange, or chocolate flavored liqueur or rum,whatever you have on hand, or coffee or espresso
  7. 165 grams (1-3/8 cup) all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the swirl
  1. 340 grams (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  2. 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. 30 grams (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  5. zest of one orange
  6. 1 tablespoon orange juice
For the brownies
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a 9x9 inch baking pan with foil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high for about three minutes or until the mixture turns pale.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the egg yolk, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate and the booze or coffee.
  5. Ditch your mixer and sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over your batter. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour your batter into your baking pan, then get a clean bowl (or wash your only stand mixer bowl 'cause you're not Ina Garten)
For the swirl
  1. In your mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together, then add the egg yolk and flour.
  2. Finally, mix in the orange zest and juice until well combined.
  3. Scoop out dollops of cream cheese throughout your brownie mixture. There will be lots of cream cheese.
  4. Swirl the cream cheese mixture lightly with a butter knife.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I find it takes a bit longer with the cream cheese swirl. A tester will have some crumbs sticking to it. I like my brownies underdone and gooey.
  6. Now for the hardest part. Let your brownies cool completely before cutting them. It's even better if you can let them hang out in the fridge for a while. They'll cut much better that way. You can do it!
Notes
  1. Use the best chocolate you can get your hands on, but even if it's store-brand chocolate chips, these will still be great!
Adapted from Olive Magazine
Adapted from Olive Magazine
http://awesomeon20.com/
Photos by Monica Szczupider

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