Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Butter, the Wranglers, the Ranch. . . oh my!

 {from top: Flavia, me (hi!), Nina, Amanda, Karen, Sandi, Kristen}
We had a little Pioneer Woman watch party at the Bake at 350 house on Saturday.  You DO know about Ree's new show on Food Network, right?  Right?

What can I say about Ree?  I've been smitten with her blog since the first day I discovered it.  A friend sent me a link, and I started reading, and reading and reading.  Four hours later, I was packing up Mr. E and the kiddo and heading to Oklahoma.  {As Mr. E's job is here in Texas, we decided to stay put.}

So, Ree's show debuted on Saturday and I invited a few friends (and fellow PW fans) over to watch, eat, and cheer Ree on!

It started with it always does around here.

Yes, I got a picture of the menu and not the food.  (psst...those "diet killers" are here.) 
Except for the Nutella Scones...

{More on these later.}

...and a bowl of, how exciting!

What I loved about the Pioneer Woman show was not only the food...chicken fried steak, decadent mashed potatoes...but the glimpse into ranch life. It looks like a lot of work, but also, a lot of fun....especially if Ree is doing the cooking!

We watched...

And dreamed...

And ate... (did I mention the Nutella?)

Nutella Scones
{slightly modified from the magnificent Baked Explorations}

about 1 cup hazelnuts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder (such as Hershey's Special Dark)
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella, divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the papery skins begin to crack and loosen. Rub the hazelnuts with a dish towel to remove most of the skin.  Let cool.  Coarsely chop and set aside.

Increase the oven temp. to 375 and place the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the butter. Use a pastry cutter (or your fingers) to cut the butter into the mixture until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. Add the 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12" (it does not need to be precise) and spread 1/4 cup of the Nutella on top. Roll the dough up and make a cylinder about 6 inches long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 and 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.

Use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 8 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake the scones for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the baking sheet with the parchment still underneath the rack.

For the topping:
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella (or add a little more) in a microwave until pourable, about 10-20 seconds on high. Transfer the Nutella to a pastry bag, cut off the tip and drip the warm Nutella in a zigzag pattern over the tops of the scones. The scones are best eaten the day they are made.

 {from top: Flavia, me, Molly (my sister), Nina, Amanda, Sandi, Kristen}

Watch parties with friends?  Highly recommended!
Pioneer Woman's new Food Network show?  My new favorite! I'll be tuning in EVERY week! 

{And I'm pretty sure Mr. E is getting a pair of Wranglers for Christmas.}

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