Chocolate Chip Scones and a Giveaway !

It is giveaway time again! Right on target for the holiday season. I love giveaways. It really lights up my day when I can send off a sweet treat to one of my beloved followers. Without you all, Lemon Drop wouldn't exist. You are the bread to my butter.

So once again we gather for another fun giveaway that focuses on - you guessed it - my love of CUPCAKES! They are my all time favorite treat. Gluten-free, flour based, topped with ganache or buttercream. You name it, I love it. So what better way to kick off the festive season than with a Christmas cupcake themed giveaway?!

For those who follow Lemon Drop, my giveaways alway consist of some type of baking gadget or presentation kit. To me these are simply the tools which let your imagination soar. How you go about using the prize is always totally up to you. For me, I simply want to help you expand your creative baking ideas ! I saw this cupcake kit while out hunting for my next prize to offer you all and knew this was the one.

The prize is a fantastic Meri Meri Happy Holidays Cupcake Kit. It contains 24 baking cups, 12 cupcake gingerbread cupcake wrappers and a variety of 12 toppers. How cute is that ?

The contest rules are the same as all my last giveaways. To recap:


This giveaway will not be open that long for submissions to ensure the winner receives the goodies in time for Christmas. So act fast and don't miss out on your chance to win !

Minimum requirements (1 chance to win):

  • Be a follower of this blog and add a comment to this post stating you are a follower. To follow, simply scroll down on the right until you see the Follow button in the sidebar. Then join up!
Please do ensure that you meet the minimum requirement or I regret to say that your entry won't be counted.

Additional chances to win:

  • Minimum requirements must still be met
  • Publish a post on this giveaway in your own blog and link it back to this post (+2 more chances to win)
  • Add a link at the side of your blog (sidebar) to my blog. Feel free to use any image from this post if you want to (+ 1 more chance to win)
  • Provide a link to your blog in your comment and leave the post/link on your blog for 1 more week after the giveaway has closed for compilation purposes.


Contest closes 11 PM EST, Wednesday, December 7th, 2011. An online random selection tool (@ will be used to select the winner. Name of winner will be announced on Lemon Drop the following day and a request will be issued to the winner to contact me privately. The winner has 24 hours after winner announcement to contact me and claim their prize.


Now onto the recipe

Usually I like to take the time to make super flaky scones that have endless buttery layers. This involves grating frozen butter plus some kneading and folding of the dough several times envelope style. Though I usually make this type of scone 99% of the time (the taste really cannot be beat) there are simply days where easy reigns supreme! On those days drop scones quickly become my best friend. They will become yours too.

This gorgeous little fellas require minimal prep time and bake up like fluffy cakes studded with sweet chocolate chips. A sprinkling of turbinado sugar pre-bake takes them up to an even higher level of YUM!

I whipped these up in under 10 minutes and then baked them for 15. So yes, within 1/2 hr you can have a scone ready and waiting for you. I love these for the simplicity, the taste, the versatility. Don't like chocolate? Then why not add dried cranberries and orange zest, or try butterscotch or peanut butter chips? So many choices.

I won't bother re-posting the recipe here as I stuck to the one featured at Annie's Eats. It is a great recipe and one I will definitely reuse in the future. So if you are drooling over these then head over to Annie's Eats and make up a batch of your own. You will be happy you did!

RECIPE: Chocolate Chip Scones, Annie's Eats

Also linked here:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage



Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Mugs

Looking for a quick and easy festive food craft that the kids can tackle mostly on their own? Then these are it !

So simple yet so incredibly cute. A perfect bake-free treat that your children will absolutely love to make.

All you need are a few key ingredients and you are ready to go. My daughter made these all on her own and she is only 9. Her creations were gorgeous.

Ready? Let's get crackin'

*adapted source recipe Marshmallow Mug, American Girl Magazine


Small clean paint brush

Large marshmallows
Chocolate sprinkles and Christmas themed sprinkles
Mini candy canes
Digestive Cookies (buy the ones where one are be coated in chocolate)
Light Corn Syrup
Chocolate Frosting (store bought is fine)


On the chocolate side of a cookie, add a dollop of frosting
Place marshmallow on frosting
Cut candy canes so you have a small handle
Push ends of candy cane handle into marshmallow
Brush a circle of corn syrup on the top of the marshmallow - a little goes a long way
Sprinkle with chocolate jimmies

For S'Mores, simple coat the plain side of 2 cookies with frosting
Cut marshmallows in half and place on frosting of one cookie
Sandwich together with top cookie
Cover top of cookie with a thin coating of corn syrup
Add sprinkles


Also linked here:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


One Artsy Mama


5-Grain Cookies

Make a batch of these little gems Sunday night and you have healthy cookies all week long. Your kids will love you for it (and may even clean their rooms without needing to be asked!)

These gorgeous cookies are made with Bob Red Mill's 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal as their key component then loaded up with shaved coconut, slivered almonds and dark chocolate chips. If that isn't your preferred flavor combo then feel free to try out what you like: dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, raising, diced dried apricots, dates.... It's all good !

I was looking for a cookie that would be filling, somewhat healthy and also work well as a breakfast treat too. I found it with these guys. Not too sweet and filled with goodies. They checked off all the boxes!

I have been eating Bob's 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal for years now and noticed just this past weekend that there was a cookie recipe right on the back of the bag that looked appealing. After reading the ingredients list I was hooked though I did change the add-ins. I love the crunch and health benefits of almonds. My kids love chocolate. So even-steven. But I have more ideas too. The next batch will be filled with a Xmas dried fruit mix (raisins, currants, mixed peel) for a perfect festive treat.

These make lovely, fat and moist cookies that tend not to spread out too much during baking. The recipe also makes a slew of cookies. In total I had nearly 40 when finished. I am not sure if they would freeze well or not so for now they are simply resting nicely in my biscuit tin knowing they have a short life span; the pile is getting smaller and smaller each day.

*adapted source recipe: 5 Grain Cookies, packaging recipe on Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Cereal


1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Golden Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Coconut Flakes
1 1/2 cups 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal


PREHEAT oven to 375F
LINE 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper

IN MEDIUM BOWL, whisk together first 3 dry ingredients and set aside
IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on HIGH speed for 3 minutes
BLEND in water and vanilla extract
ADD in eggs, one a time, blending well after each addition
STIR in flour mixture
FOLD in remaining ingredients
DROP batter by heaping tablespoonful onto prepared pans leaving about 1 inch space between cookies
BAKE 10 minutes
LET rest on pan 5 minutes then transfer cookies to cooling rack


Also linked here:

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

As the holiday season fast approaches, what better way to get into the spirit then with a red and white cake and that to me means RED VELVET! Well if you are gluten-intolerant you too can now indulge this Christmas. This cake is gluten and egg free but best of all, tastes incredible. I frosted it with my own creation - a simple white chocolate buttercream that paired so well with this smooth, luxurious cake.

I know I have gone on and on about my love of Cybele Pascal and her amazing recipes so I won't go into it again other than to see Cybele's recipe for Red Velvet Cake ROCKS! A wonderful texture flavored with cocoa and colored with simple red food coloring. You will need to make up a batch of her gluten-free flour blend but don't be intimidated. It is easy to do and the unused portion keeps well in the refrigerator; just pour it into a ziploc bag, seal and place in the fridge. If you prefer, you can order the GF Classical Blend from Authentic Foods which saves you the mixing of 3 different flours. My order from the Gluten-Free Supermarket is current en-route to me so I went with the manual blending of the 3 flours. Easy-peasy and so worth it once you have a bite of this cake.

If you don't own this book yet then I think it should be
at the top of your Christmas list!

As always, I cannot emphasize the use of top quality products enough here. For the batter, ensure you use Authentic Foods Rice Flour because other brands simply don't cut it. For the cocoa, the richer the better. I always use Cocoa Barry Extra Brute and I highly advise you do the same. For the frosting, stick with the best white chocolate you can find. Callebaut is my personal favorite.

So let's get baking!


I will not re-post Cybele Pascal's cake recipe here as it is readily available on her site. Simply follow this link : Red Velvet Cake

Note: I did not use her recipe for frosting. My recipe is shown below.



1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
4 oz melted white chocolate (melt over double-boiler and set aside to cool)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons whipping cream


IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter for 1 minute on MED speed
SLOWLY add in powdered sugar and blend on MED speed for 2-3 minutes
ADD white chocolate, vanilla and 2 tbsps of cream.
BEAT on high speed 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
ADD extra tbsp of cream if you find your icing too stiff


Also linked here:

Banana Muffins with White Chocolate Glaze

These take a bit more time to prepare but they are worth it. Moist, flavorful and topped with an amazing white chocolate vanilla glaze. I added some snowflake sprinkles just to get in the festive mood.

These muffins have a sweet vanilla taste that pairs very well with the sweet and sticky glaze. The batter consists of your typical dry ingredients and a few eggs. But the secret to these little babies is the sweet vanilla cream mixture that is the basis for your wet ingredients. You want to infuse the cream and sugar mixture with the scrapings of one whole vanilla bean. Then you simply let it all simmer away nicely for about 5 minutes. This really brings out the vanilla flavor and turns the entire cream mixture into almost a caramel sauce. Now if you don't have vanilla beans, don't panic. Just use one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract instead and you will be fine.

I followed the recipe from a recent cookbook purchase but immediately noted something was very, very wrong. It said it would make 12 mini muffins. Huh? Waaaay too much batter for 12 mini muffins! So I divided the recipe up so I had 12 mini muffins and 10 large ones but feel free to switch it up if you want. Just remember, the large the muffin, the longer time it takes to bake.

Speaking of baking time, the recipe said to bake for 1/2 hr. Again, huh? They would have been burnt to a crisp. I definitely reduced the recommended baking time. Once golden they were pretty much done and honestly, the entire kitchen smelled like candy. Heaven.

So let's get baking, shall we?

*adapted (and corrected!) source recipe for White Chocolate Muffins, Something Sweet


1 large muffin pan lined with 10 paper liners
1 small 12 cup mini-muffin pan lined with paper liners

1 cup granulated sugar
100 ml whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Scraping from 1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups cake and pastry flour - self rising variety
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 small ripe banana
pinch of salt
3 eggs


PREHEAT oven to 350F

IN DOUBLE BOILER, simmer 3/4 cup of the sugar, whipping cream, butter and vanilla bean scrapings over med/low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly
MASH banana to a smooth paste
IN SMALL BOWL, whisk together 3 eggs and add mashed banana
IN LARGE BOWL, whisk together flour, baking powder, cornstarch
ADD eggs and banana mixture to warm cream mixture whisking thoroughly
POUR wet ingredients into dry ingredients folding until just combined
FILL muffin cups 3/4 full with batter

BAKE MINI MUFFINS for 12-14 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
BAKE REGULAR MUFFINS for 17-20 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
REMOVE muffins from pans and let cool completely on racks

IN DOUBLE BOILER, melt chocolate, cream and vanilla together until smooth
SET ASIDE to cool for 20 minutes
WHISK slightly and then spoon glaze over cooled muffins


Sticky Cinnamon Bun Muffins

Sometimes making cinnamon buns can be quite the chore. Sure the pay off is worth it but some days you want the bun, not the work that goes with. I get it, trust me, I do. Which brings me to today's recipe. Yesterday I was reading the food section in our local newspaper and a recipe jumped out at me. I read through the ingredients and instructions and thought, yup, this is a keeper. I had intended to wait a few days to make these muffins but couldn't resist testing out the recipe as soon as possible. I am very happy I did.

These cinnamon buns have all the incredible flavor of the traditional favorite but with 99% less labor ! Yes, there is yeast in there but it is quick-rising and no kneading required - let alone rolling into a spiral log, etc. Of course, there is cinnamon, sugar and a sweet icing. What more could you ask for?

The only 2 ingredients I adjusted from the original recipe is the amount of cinnamon used and the type of oil. I thought 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon was on the cheap side so I cranked it up to a heaping teaspoon instead. I also used grapeseed oil. The recipe also recommended you wait til the muffins are completely cool before adding the icing drizzle. I think it takes more authentic when the icing gets a chance to melt in and spread out a bit on still warm muffins so that is what I did. Once the muffins cooled they had an incredible sticky glaze on top that the kids (and the adults!) really enjoyed.

Try making a batch of these on the weekend. Your kids will be overjoyed and you will love the fact that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a warm, fresh out- of- the -oven cinnamon bun without all the time it usually takes to makes these yummy baked treats.

Ready? Me too!

*adapted source recipe - Cinnamon Bun Muffins, The Ottawa Citizen, November 10, 2011 Edition


12 cup muffin tin lined with parchment paper liners and sprayed with cooking spray OR generously butter muffin tin and omit liners


3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 1/3 cups milk (2% is fine), at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten


2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt


1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons milk


IN BOWL OF STAND MIXER, fitted with paddle attachment, gently stir together flour, sugar, salt and yeast
ADD IN remaining muffin ingredients and beat on MED speed for about 1 minute
FILL muffin tins with batter. I used my ice cream scoop and filled each scoop about 3/4 full with batter
LET REST, uncovered, for 15 minutes

IN MEDIUM BOWL, with your fingers mix together all topping ingredients until combined and somewhat crumbly
DIVIDE topping evenly over tops of muffins
WITH a knife, gently press some of the topping down into the muffins and swirl slightly. This is trick as the batter is thick and sticky but the goal here is to to not have all the topping sitting on top once baked but inside the muffin a bit as well

PLACE MUFFINS in a cold oven and then set temperature to 375F
BAKE 20 minutes until slightly golden and tops spring back when lightly pressed
LET REST in pan 5 minutes them remove muffins to cooling rack. Allow to cool to a stage where they are still slightly warm

IN SMALL BOWL, whisk together icing ingredients and drizzle over muffins


Also linked here:


Ladybird Ln

Tidy Mom

A Baker's Journey on Low Carb

Hi All. I wanted to share a little secret with you. I am a double blogger. Yes, I run 2 blogs - both food related but very different in nature.

The reason I am posting today is to let all my lovely Lemon Drop followers know that my "sister" site, A Baker's Journey on Low Carb, is hosting a giveaway. If you are in the mood for the chance to win an uplifting prize (the image in this post pretty much says it all) and want to participate, then please head over to my blog post, follow via Google Friend Connect, and leave a comment.

I would love to see you all there and fyi, it is open to followers worldwide !

All my baking love,