Travel

New Orleans

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

We’re five years along on this website, and I still have yet to post a single Mardi Gras recipe- NOT EVEN ONE. Well, it’s taken forever, but I’m finally in the mood for a Mardi party, so today, we’re getting all kinds of festive with these king cake cinnamon rolls. While we’re at it, I’m going to share all my favorite spots to eat in New Orleans to get you guys dreaming about some post-COVID traveling. Better days are up ahead, and now’s as good of time as any to start dreaming about them.

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

We’ve been traveling to New Orleans for a few years now, and it’s become one of our favorite spots for delicious Southern food. The city is brimming with incredible restaurants, many of which nod to the creole traditions that are so rich in the area. Although restaurant turnover is a real thing, many of the places I’ve enjoyed over the years are still bustling and serving thoughtful and sumptuous dishes.

On top of that, the city has incredible shopping. Sure, there’s the chain retailers and department stores that most big cities have, but New Orleans also offers a ton of boutique shopping, antique stores, and art galleries for people who want a more curated experience. With great food, good shopping, and tons of music, art, and nightlife to speak of, New Orleans is definitely one of my favorite can’t-miss southern spots. So let’s get down to it: What To Do In New Orleans!

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

Where to Eat in New Orleans

August

One of my favorite spots in New Orleans, Restaurant August is a new American restaurant with Southern influence and art-like dishes!

Coquette

This restaurant feels like a hidden neighborhood gem with it’s intimate dining space and comforting yet beautiful meals.


Cochon Bucher

By far our favorite lunch in New Orleans, Cochon Butcher is the perfect spot for meat lovers with their house-made meats, breads, and relishes. Grab a sandwich here along with some artisanal ingredients to take back home with you!


Herbsaint

This upscale New Orleans staple is a Donald Link restaurant with multiple accolades and awards under it’s belt. Stop here for a showstopping dining experience.


Saba

This Alon Shaya restaurant pays homage to Israeli cuisine. We enjoyed sharing small plates of hummus, fresh pita, and salads for lunch in this bright and beautiful restaurant.


Compere Lapin

This restaurant by Top Chef and James Beard Award winner Nina Compton serve Caribbean-meets-creole food (and incredible cocktails!) in a cool, vibey atmosphere.


Arnaud’s French 75 Bar

Arnaud’s is a classic NOLA restaurant, but their little French 75 bar is loads of fun too. Try their classic cocktail and enjoy some jazz music here before supper one evening!


Willa Jean

This bakery is by far my favorite breakfast in New Orleans. Fresh-baked breads, muffins, scones, cookies, and loads of savory options fill their yummy menu.


La Petite Grocery

This unassuming French bistro-style restaurant is consistently delicious and offers a romantic, charming dining experience that is perfect for a date night or girl’s night out.


Acme Oyster House

I had to put this one on the list for my husband. If you’re the type that wants an all-you-can-eat parade of fried seafood, beer, and tartar sauce, one of Acme’s multiple locations may be right for you.

Maypop

Don’t miss the dim sum brunch available here on the weekends!


District Donuts Sliders Brew

This casual burger and beer spot on Magazine Street is a fun and easy lunch option for those afternoon shopping trips. Don’t skip the donut dessert!


Commander’s Palace

No other restaurant is more quintessentially New Orleans with its white tablecloths and tuxedo-donning waitstaff. Get a real taste of traditional NOLA here.


Cafe Du Monde

A bit of a tourist trap, but it’s earned it’s place on all those must-see lists. Stop here for classic New Orleans-style beignets. They are truly incredible.

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com
King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com
King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

What to Do in New Orleans (Besides Eating, of Course)

National WWII Museum– Congress designated this museum as the official WWII museum. Explore the multiple exhibits and interactive displays for an impactful peek into the events that shaped American and world history.
Sazerac House– The Sazerac cocktail was birthed in New Orleans, and now, visitors can taste and learn more about the spirit that shaped Southern beverages in this museum-style beverage experience.
Bourbon Street– Although Bourbon Street is not my favorite place to visit in New Orleans, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it on this list. The nightlife on Bourbon St. has earned a name for itself, and if you know, you know.
Visit a Jazz Club– Jazz music came to fame in NOLA, and it’s still very much alive there today. Check out the link for a list of popular jazz clubs or just stumble upon your own- they’re everywhere!
Antique Shopping in the French Quarter– French antiques abound in the French Quarter. If you’re in the market for an old clock, a copper lantern, or a Napoleon-Era chair, you’ll find all that and then some in NOLA. It’s definitely worth the afternoon stroll.
Boutique Shopping on Magazine Street– I’ve spent many a pretty penny on magazine street, but you wouldn’t blame me- the home, clothing, and gift shopping here is well-curated and very walkable. Check the link for a list of shops!

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

I could say a lot more on New Orleans, but instead, I’ll leave you with these king cake cinnamon rolls. King cake is a staple this time of year when the Mardi Gras festivities crank up. I was surprised to learn that king cakes come in all sorts of flavors, and have enjoyed trying different varieties over the years. Today’s recipe features a king cake-style dough all twisted and filled like a cinnamon roll and then baked in a jumbo, overflowing spiral. They’re extravagant and delicious- a fitting tribute for this New Orleans post, if I do say so myself.

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Rolls

To make these king cake cinnamon rolls, we start with the dough. Eggs, sugar, flour, yeast, and loads of butter comes together into a soft and tacky dough. Once risen and doubled in size, the dough is rolled out and filled with a buttery, cinnamon-sugary filling. After being rolled and cut into thick rounds, the dough is baked in a muffin tin until puffed and baked through. Allow to cool completely before topping with the simple glaze and loads of purple, gold, and green sprinkles- the Mardi Gras way!

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a recipe for brioche style cinnamon rolls filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a thick or thin powdered sugar icing glaze. Each roll is topped with festive Mardi Gras sprinkles as homage to the original king cakes! Celebrate the mardi gras season with these yummy breakfast or dessert rolls on thewoodandspoon.com

Whether you enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities or not, these king cake cinnamon rolls and yummy and fun to make. I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think! Happy Baking, ya’ll!

If you like these king cake cinnamon rolls you should try:

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls
Orange Swirl Bread
Funfetti Rolls
Mini Cinnamon Rolls

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King Cake Cinnamon Rolls (and my favorite spots in New Orleans!)

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These kind cake cinnamon rolls feature a brioche style dough, a brown sugar and cinnamon filling, and are topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 120
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Bread

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, with more for flouring surfaces
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling:

  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk, plus more as needed.

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir to combine the milk, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Add the sugar, yeast, and salt, and stir to combine. On low speed with the paddle attachment, add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase to medium speed (I use speed number 4 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and begin adding the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for an additional 4 minutes. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm spot of your kitchen until it has approximately doubled in size, about 1-1/2-2 hours. Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, prepare the filling
  2. To prepare the filling, stir to combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. 

To prepare the rolls:

  1. After the first rise, roll the dough out into a 11”x21” rectangle. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling onto the rectangle. Starting with one of the long ends, roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the edges together to seal them shut. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut 2” pieces out of the log. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place a roll, face-up, into each compartment of the muffin tin. You will end up with about 12 rolls. Lightly over the tops of the dishes with plastic wrap for about a half hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the rolls have risen, remove the plastic and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before stirring together the icing ingredients and drizzling over top. For thinner icing glaze, add an additional tablespoon of milk until desired consistency is reached. Rewarm and enjoy. 

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Chicago

A few weeks ago, Brett and I traveled to Chicago to celebrate my 29-ish (ok, 30th) birthday. The weekend was packed with SO MUCH FUN AND DELICIOUSNESS that I knew I just had to tell you guys all about it. Oh, and we’re going to talk about chocolate budino too, so happy birthday to everyone apparently.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Have you been to Chicago? It’s literally the best. The town is clean and beautiful with amazing restaurants, architecture, and shopping to boot. If cool food, professional sports, and really nice locals are your thing, Chicago is where it’s at.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Where We Stayed

We stayed downtown at the Loews Hotel and spent pretty much every waking moment eating and navigating the city. Although the shopping and tourist attractions were all pretty stellar, the hands-down highlight was the architecture tour along the river. Taking in the city from a boat on a sunny day was a treat I won’t soon forget.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

And Friends Came, Too!

Another day was spent with my dearest friend, Trisha, and her husband who drove from Indianapolis to surprise me for my b-day! This girl has a brand new baby boy at home and still made the trek to hug my neck and celebrate- isn’t that golden? We had a few meals, shopped, and experienced the view from the 96th floor of the John Hancock building during our time together. Let’s raise a glass to the besties that love us well.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

In the evenings, we hung out with my brother, Blake, who lives in downtown Chicago. While together, we visited some of my very favorite restaurants in the city and spared no calorie to make sure that we enjoyed the full culinary experience. My brother is a super adventurous eater and really appreciates good food, so it was next-level amazing to have him join our dining squad.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

On our last day in Chicago, we had brunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Little Goat Diner, and went to see the Broadway musical Hamilton. If theatre or American history or hip-hop or ridiculous musical talent is your thing, THIS SHOW IS FOR YOU. I laughed, I cried, I danced in my seat- this show literally blew my mind and I’m dying to go again. If you have the opportunity to see this show, DOOOO IT.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Be sure to check out my list of Chicago faves below. In a city with a thousand wonderful things to do, I hope you’ll make time for at least one or two of these on your next trip.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Budino

While in Chicago, we ate dinner at Monteverde, a 2017 James Beard Award winning chef’s restaurant. We ordered things like pesto gnocchi and pumpkin ravioli, but the winner for me was the butterscotch budino. If you’re not familiar, budino is basically a rich Italian take on pudding, sometimes smooth and creamy like a custard, other times light and eggy like a souffle. Always wanting to appease my pudding-loving husband, I started tinkering with a chocolate budino recipe a few months ago, and I am thrilled to share the outcome with you today.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

This chocolate budino is not your average Snack Pack. There’s no artificial chocolate powder flavor here; this thing doesn’t taste like a Yoo-Hoo. This version of chocolate budino tastes like CHOCOLATE- rich and buttery with the perfect amount of sweetness, but otherwise decidedly chocolate in flavor. Making chocolate budino is quite similar to making a homemade pudding, and once you know the base recipe there are three different topping variations that you can try. Seriously, I see this coming to an intimate dinner party near you.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Budino

To make the chocolate budino, we start at the stove. Gently heat some whole milk and cream while you mix together the dry ingredients- cocoa powder, cornstarch, and sugar. A few egg yolks are whisked into the dry ingredients before the steaming dairy is added to the mix. We add the hot liquids in a slow and careful stream, whisking vigorously the whole time to ensure that we don’t scramble our egg yolks in the process. Once the milk and cream have been added, we pour the whole lot of it back into the saucepan on the stove and cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture has thickened slightly to the consistency of a thick and creamy salad dressing.

Next, we lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients of chocolate, salt, vanilla, and butter, stirring to combine. Immediately divvy the pudding into small heat-safe containers and rest a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of each one to make sure that the pudding doesn’t form a skin (yuck).

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Serving the Budino

This chocolate budino can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge just until the time of serving. I like to let mine warm up on the counter for a few minutes prior to serving so that you can realllllly taste the chocolate. While they sit out, you can begin assembling the toppings for these treats! Fresh whipped cream is a must, but from there you have some choices to make. I’ve included instructions for a berry topping, a chocolate crumble (adapted from this cake!), and hazelnut praline. All options are terrific, so pick how you want your chocolate budino and get to work! You won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Thanks for always letting me jabber on about desserts and traveling. If you have any must-see spots in Chicago, PLEASE, tell me about them! And if there’s another city you think I need to eat my way through, please inform me so that I can begin negotiations with Brett. Ha! Enjoy these chocolate budinos and cheers to you!

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Where We Ate in Chicago:

Fun/ Casual Bites:

Little Goat Diner
My favorite dish (This Little Piggy Went To China) is from here!
Girl and the Goat
Global food served in a family-style setting.
Au Cheval
The best burger and garlic fries in Chicago.
Fat Rice
A mix of Asian, African, and Indian cuisine served in the COOLEST atmosphere.
Pequod’s
Perfect Chicago deep-dish pizza. We called ahead and ordered carry-out to avoid a wait!
The Purple Pig
Highly acclaimed Chicago favorite serving New American cuisine in a shared-plate atmosphere.
Duck Duck Goat 
Stephanie Izzard’s take on Chinese food. It’s RIDICULOUS GOOD.
Rooh
A seasonal Indian menu in a chic setting.

Nicer Vibes:

Monteverde
Italian cuisine with house-made pasta and loads of global influence.
Avec
Rustic Mediterranean small plates and home of the best Chorizo-stuffed dates.
Bavette’s
A classic steakhouse with French flair.
Nico Osteria
A daily-changed menu serving housemade pasta and Italian seafood.
RL Restaurant
American food served in a unique club atmosphere.
RPM Italian
Modern Italian cuisine in a sassy atmosphere.
Gilt Bar
Contemporary American cuisine and small plates in a dark dining setting.

Dining Experiences:

Alinea
Consistently ranked among the best restaurants in the WORLD, Alinea is a fine dining experience that is equally parts meal and show. Expect modern American cuisine, impeccable service, and a bunch of surprises throughout the evening.

Sweet Bites:

Sweet Mandy B’s
Buy as many cookies as you can fit in your carry-on.
Floriole
A fantastic bakery with some of the flakiest, most buttery pasties I’ve ever had.

Where We Drank in Chicago:

Three Dots and A Dash
The coolest tiki lounge in The Loop!
The Signature Lounge
Cocktails from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building!
Velvet Hour
A moody bar with a speak-easy vibe.
Cindy’s Rooftop
My favorite spot for day drinking in Chicago.
Intelligentsia Coffee
A Chicago-born coffee company with a terrific brew.
Lost Lake
A tiki bar with and island aesthetic.
The Fox Bar at Soho House
A cheeky late-night spot to grab a drink.

Things We Did in Chicago:

Millenium Park to check out The Bean!
Shopping on Michigan Ave.
River architecture tour
Hamilton– the best broadway show I’ve ever seen.
Shopping on Armitage
Took in the view from the top of the John Hancock Building

Places I’m Dying to Try Next Time in Chicago:

Three Arts Club Cafe
Bohemian House
Velvet Taco
Big Star Tacos
Publican Quality Meats
Milk Room

For more posts like this, check out:

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse
Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie
Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones and Our Time in Portland
BBC Popsicles and Our Time in St. Barth’s

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Chocolate Budino: Three Ways

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Chocolate budino, a rich pudding-like dessert, can be prepared in three ways- with a chocolate crumble, with a berry topping, or with a hazelnut praline!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

For the budino:

  • 11/4 cup (300 mL) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup (30 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (50 gm) sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the chocolate crumble topping:

  • ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 21/2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (60 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon water

For the berry topping:

  • 1 cup mixed berries (I prefer blackberries and raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the hazelnut praline:

  • ¼ cup (40 gm) chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

Instructions

To prepare the budino:

  1. Combine one cup of the whole milk and the heavy cream in a 6-quart saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder and sugar. Add the egg yolks and the remaining milk, whisking to combine.
  3. Once the milk and cream on the stovetop are warmed and barely steaming, carefully remove one cup of the mixture and add it to the cornstarch mixture, whisking quickly all the while. Once combined, add the cornstarch and milk mixture back to the saucepan on the stove, whisking together constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. You’ll want the mixture to become a viscous consistency, similar to the texture of a creamy salad dressing. 
  4. Turn the heat to low and add in the salt, chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Whisk quickly to combine and melt the chocolate and then remove from the heat immediately. Pour into four heat-safe containers and place a small sheet of plastic wrap on top so that a skin does not form on the top of the pudding.

To prepare the whipped cream:

  1. Place the cold cream in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until slightly thickened and frothy, then add the sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat just until medium stiff peaks form. Keep in the fridge until you plan to serve the budino.

To prepare the chocolate crumble topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
  3. Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set. All to cool completely.

To prepare the berry topping:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Mash larger berries to release juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from heat and cool completely.

To prepare the hazelnut praline:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all three ingredients and spread out on a small sheet pan.
  3. Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes. The nuts should be fragrant and crunchy with melted sugar. Allow to cool completely.

Notes

  • If desired, add 1/4 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) to the pudding.
  • As an alternative to the hazelnut praline, consider making cookies to top the pudding! Check out my recipe for butter pecan cookies. Substitute hazelnuts for pecans and crumble baked and cooled cookies over top of the pudding.
  • Switch out these toppings for some of your favorites. Salted caramel, pretzels, shortbread cookies, toffee sauce and bananas, and any other number of items would taste delicious here! Change according to your preferences.

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Recipe for the budino adapted from Nigella Lawson

Charleston

Wood and Spoon Charleston the ins and outs of what to see and do while visiting Charleston South Carolina. This is a foodie guide to a great Southern seaside east coast destination. Great for traveling with family sight seeing and loads to do.

Break out your popcorn, because it’s time for show and tell! Today I’m spilling the details of my recent trip to Charleston, SC for the Saveur Blog Awards! If you’re curious and dying to know more about one of my favorite Southern cities, you most definitely came to the right place!
Wood and Spoon Charleston the ins and outs of what to see and do while visiting Charleston South Carolina. This is a foodie guide to a great Southern seaside east coast destination. Great for traveling with family sight seeing and loads to do.

Wood and Spoon Charleston the ins and outs of what to see and do while visiting Charleston South Carolina. This is a foodie guide to a great Southern seaside east coast destination. Great for traveling with family sight seeing and loads to do.

Charleston!

Two weeks ago, we traveled to Charleston as a family, Brett and I the captain and co-pilot to a crew of squirmy Cheerio-throwers in the backseat of our packed-to-the-brim SUV. We’ve been to the sweet Southern city of Charleston a number of times, but this was our first time traveling with tiny humans. The kids did terrific on the ride there, in large part due to Mickey Mouse, Cheez-Its, and sugar-coated cereal that I shoved in their mouth any time they opened it to cry. #survival

Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com

Where We Stayed

In place of the luxury accommodations we usually opt for, we selected an Airbnb on King Street that boasted quick access to restaurants, coffee shops, and (let’s be honest) Jeni’s Ice Cream. The Saveur events didn’t start until Sunday, so we spent just over 24 hours in the city as a family. It’s fun to watch your kids explore new places, and at 3 and 1, Aimee and George found a bit of adventure everywhere we went. Living room chairs and tables were new jungle gyms. Sidewalks were their ultimate playground for jumping, dancing, and crawling. Friends, I learned last weekend that my kids, given enough patience and nap time and ice cream, are willing and able to travel. While the trip was not without a few hiccups or emergency diaper changes, I think we really have a shot at a future of family traveling. TBD.Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com

Saveur Blog Awards

Once the blog awards crew arrived, the weekend really amped up. I was thrilled to see my dear friend Erin for a second time, and I even got to meet my long-time interwebs lady friend, Rebecca. These two, along with the multitude of other beautiful faces I met throughout the weekend, filled the days with laughter and served as excellent sources of encouragement and relation. Sometimes, as a blogger, you start to feel a little like an island, and it was so reassuring to hear from friends who are in the thick too.Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com

Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com
Photos courtesy of Saveur

Making New Friends

The kind folks at Saveur set up a fabulous weekend of events for the finalists, including tours of Charleston, cocktail parties, pub crawls, and even panel discussions where we got to hear from industry experts about the ins and out of marketing, brand management, publishing, and social issues within the food industry. Yes, I met Deb, the fairy Godmother of blogging, and yes, she is as delightful and charming and sincere as you might have gathered from her writing. We heard from a number of other authors and even a few Southern entrepreneurs like Carrie Morey and Brooks Reitz.

Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com
Photos courtesy of Saveur

A Win for Wood and Spoon

My biggest surprise of the weekend was how kind everyone was! Sure, we were all on our best behavior for the weekend, but I was still shocked at how quickly I grew to like so many of the other bloggers and Saveur staff members. It kinda felt like a weekend of summer camp, except there was a ton of booze, the food was great, and no one woke up covered in shaving cream or sunblock. Basically, it was just really rewarding to share in the excitement with a lot of like-minded people, and that was probably the best part of the whole trip.

Pinot Ritas and the Saveur Blog Awards Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These margaritas are the classic tequila on the rock cocktail sweetened with a pinot noir rice reduction. The simple syrup sweetens the boozy drink and adds some wine notes to it. This beverage is perfect for parties, Mexican dinner nights, or just for one and is served with a salted glass rim and a lime wedge. Find the recipe and read about the Saveur Blog awards in Charleston, South Carolina, on thewoodandspoon.com
Just a lobby selfie of Brett and I after the awards. Very age appropriate, right?

I was honored to bring home the Reader’s Choice Award in the Best Baking and Sweets category. Although I attribute the win, in large, to the votes of my husband and my crazy-dedicated Selma friends, I am also aware that much of the success of this baby blog has been due to the help, encouragement, and inspiration that I’ve received from other blogger friends like Erin and Rebecca. It’s kinda like that scene from “Mean Girls” where Katy Herron breaks her homecoming crown into pieces and throws bits of it to other girls in the crowd; any win I experience in this new “career” is shared with the beautiful friends who have sewn into this site.  So thanks. Y’all are the best.
Wood and Spoon Charleston the ins and outs of what to see and do while visiting Charleston South Carolina. This is a foodie guide to a great Southern seaside east coast destination. Great for traveling with family sight seeing and loads to do.
Wood and Spoon Charleston the ins and outs of what to see and do while visiting Charleston South Carolina. This is a foodie guide to a great Southern seaside east coast destination. Great for traveling with family sight seeing and loads to do.

So here it is: the ins and outs of what we’ve done in Charleston. If you’re a history buff, love the South, or are just really into food, there’s something for everyone there. This is what we’ve done:

Where We Like to Eat in Charleston:

FIG

Approachable, farm-to-table seasonal cuisine.

167 Raw

Cozy, contemporary seafood eatery with a patio, serving oysters, lobster rolls, fish tacos & more.

Jeni’s Ice Cream

No doubt, my favorite ice cream of all time. OF ALL TIME, PEOPLE.

Husk

Delicious, elevated Southern food from chef Sean Brock

Rodney Scott BBQ

In a town with loads of BBQ options, this is the one to try.

The Ordinary

Oysters and seafood in a hip setting.

Xiao Bao Biscuit

Seriously delicious Asian food with influences from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Award-winning Southern style biscuits with all the fixings. This is a must-see spot in Charleston!

Chez Nous

French food in the coziest little nook of a restaurant. Romantic and provincial.

Darling Oyster Bar

Terrific cocktails and raw bar in a fun, chic location.

Cru Cafe

My favorite lunch in Charleston, located in the historic district.

What We Like to Do in Charleston:

Downtown Saturday Market
Shopping on King Street
Historical Walking Tours
Horse and Carriage Ride

Portland

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope that your week has been full of joy and that you’ve got a killer lineup for the weekend. Today I’m sharing some nutty, buttery, caffiene-enhanced treats to jolt your weekends to life- chocolate coffee almond scones. These treats were inspired by a recent jaunt to Oregon that I’m going to splurge about this morning, so bear with me as I take a salivating walk down memory lane.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com
Views from The Allison Inn & Spa

Portland, Oregon

A few weekends ago, Brett and I continued our whirlwind travel saga by flying with friends to Portland, Oregon. The trip had no distinct purpose, other than to soak our gullets with pinot noir and outrageously delicious food, and we were thrilled at the opportunity to relax in a new corner of the country. Our time was divided in two with the first half spent touring Newberg’s wine country and the second spent in downtown Portland. This split ended up being the perfect balance of relaxation and sight-seeing, both locations brimming with fun (and plenty of wine.)

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com
Friends sipping wines at Bergstrom; views from Soter Vineyards

First: Newberg

We began our trip in Newberg, the comfy cozy, deliciously boozy town just outside of Portland. With a lineup of wineries to visit, we opted for a hotel that would offer premium relaxation and rooms suitable for nursing any morning hangovers. The Allison Inn & Spa was the obvious choice given its proximity to vineyards and the luxurious offerings throughout the hotel.

By day, we snacked on charcuterie and flights of wine, taking in the rolling landscape views offered from the wineries we toured, and by night, we dined at nearby restaurants, rehashing the day’s sites and excitement. On our final day before leaving for Portland, the girls visited the spa, and I’ll just say that it was more than acceptable. My body still feels good from those 90 minutes.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com
Vineyard views

Next: Portland

Portland was a drastic change of scenery from the rural setting we were transitioning from. The city had a little big town feel as its expansive footprint was seemingly void of any giant skyscrapers, however there was no shortage of things to see, eat, and do. In planning for this portion of the trip, we were overwhelmed by the number of restaurant options that existed. HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE JUST ONE RESTAURANT PER MEAL? In the end, I was more than thrilled with the choices we made, and the food we enjoyed in Portland was some of the best I’ve ever had. (This is not an exaggeration. It was next level delish.)

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com
Photos of our crew at the Whiskey Library, and that ethereal moment where my lips touched Pok Pok chicken wings

Where We Stayed

The Nines Hotel hosted us for the second portion of the trip. The hotel was within walking distance of a number of places we wanted to shop, eat, and explore, and it also boasted a lobby fitted with a terrific restaurant and ample group hangout space- perfect for our crew of 8. The girls picked through the shopping scene while the men let out their inner boy at a nearby bar/arcade.

Because we were there on a Saturday, we were able to snoop through the Portland Saturday Market, where we purchased scads of very necessary items that our husbands were more than happy to pack in their luggage (kidding). Our friends spent even more time eating at Bon Appetit’s “Feast Portland” event that was being held that weekend, but I opted to head to Powell’s Books where Joy Wilson (yes, the baker) was signing copies of her newest book (insert the squeals of this fangirl!!!)

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe and what to do while visiting wine country in Portland, Oregon by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com
Sunset at the rooftop bar of The Nines Hotel

Highlights

It’s hard to pinpoint one specific highlight of the trip. Certainly the views in Newberg were stunning, and there’s no doubt that the wine was first class. I’m still having dreams about the chicken wings at Pok Pok, and I’d fly back in a heartbeat for the kouign amann at St. Honore Boulangerie. Still, the trips we take with friends are cool just for the sake of spending time with that family in a new setting. You get to know people in a real away when stripped of the familiarity of home, and I’m really grateful for the chance to do that so often.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones

So now, let’s talk about these chocolate coffee almond scones. While dining at Jory for breakfast one morning, we enjoyed a coffee almond scone that was a delicious accompaniment to our morning brew and eggs. When I got home from Portland, I decided to recreate that treat so that those hours in the Pacific Northwest could live on in my Selma, Alabama kitchen. The end product that I came up with is nothing short of fab.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Scones

To make these chocolate coffee almond scones, we start by mixing a few dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Next comes the ice-cold butter which gets cut in quickly and carefully until large pea-sized clumps exist throughout the mixture. The chocolate chips and chopped almonds are added next, although you could certainly opt for walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts if you prefer. Finally, we douse the whole thing in an espresso cream, prepared by dissolving espresso powder or instant coffee into a smidge of dairy. Stir all of the batter just until combined and then cut out tiny rounds of dough.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

For this recipe, we chill the dough briefly before baking which will help all of our little treats to rise well. Fresh from the oven, these chocolate coffee almond scones are bronzed, with a crisp, buttery, golden exterior covering the soft and almost cake-like interior. The coffee flavor here is subtle, giving way to melty chocolate morsels and nuggets of crunchy almonds that flavor each pastry throughout. I love the simplicity of these treats, how a one-bowl recipe can yield such rich flavors and textures. These are the perfect addition to your weekend breakfast and brunch plans, although I’ve enjoyed them as an after-dinner treat as well. With so many ways to share these chocolate coffee almond scones with the people you love, I daresay these are a must.

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.comSee below for the lowdown on where we stayed, ate, and played in Portland. If you’re planning a trip to those parts anytime soon, please add these to your list. Happy baking and have a great weekend!

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are crisp and fluffy scones made with real butter and filled with espresso power, mini chocolate chips, and chopped almonds. These scones are made by cutting butter into the dry ingredients and are flavored with mocha and fresh nuts. Find the recipe and how to on www.thewoodandspoon.com

Where We Stayed In Oregon:

The Allison Inn & Spa
Luxurious accommodations in a country setting.
The Nines Hotel
Fun, spunky hotel in the heart of downtown Portland.

Where We Ate In Newberg:

Jory
Hotel dining unlike any I’ve ever experienced.
Thistle
A head to tail dining experience.
Red Hills Market
The perfect place to grab grub in between vineyard visits.

Where We Ate In Portland:

Coquine
James Beard Award winning spot with casual, fun fare.
Pok Pok
Southeast Asian food in a casual setting. Probably the best meal of our trip.
Maurice
Try this French bistro for their quaint lunches and yummy pastries.
Multnomah Whiskey Library
A mammoth collection of whiskeys in a library-esque setting.
Le Pigeon
French-inspired fare in a cozy atmosphere.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
The flagship location for this national brand is in Portland!
Urban Farmer
Hotel dining at The Nines Hotel- a farm to table experience.
St. Honore Boulangerie
Delicate French pastries and coffee to-go.

Wineries We Visited in Newberg:

Hazelfern
Bergstrom
Soter
Scott Paul

Print

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

Buttery with crisp edges and fluffy interior, these chocolate coffee almond scones are a simple, one-bowl treat that is bound to please!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (180 mL) whipping cream, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 2 cups (260 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and chopped
  • 1 cup (110 gm) chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup (225 gm) mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a small container, stir the whipping cream and the espresso powder to combine and set aside in the fridge to keep cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes a coarse meal consistency with pea-sized clumps throughout. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. Add the espresso and cream mixture and stir into the dry ingredients, just until evenly incorporated. If a lot of dry ingredients remain in the bottom of the bowl you can add an additional tablespoon or two of cream, just barely enough to make it all come together into a dough.
  3. Pat the dough to ¾” thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut 2” round circles of dough for each scone. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the pan in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Once the dough is chilled, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of whipping cream over the top of the scones. Bake in the oven until golden brown around the edges of each scone, about 25 minutes.

Notes

  • Chilling the dough ensures the scones will rise well. You can skip this step but it isn’t recommended for best outcomes.

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Recipe barely adapted from King Arthur Flour

St. Barth’s

Bonjour, y’all! Is it cool if we get boozy on a Tuesday? Can we agree to put out some beach vibes even if it’s from the desk of our chair at work? Today I’m sharing these BBC popsicles with you (that’s Bailey’s, banana, and coconut!), and in order to do so, I’ve gotta do some backpedaling. You need hear about the vacay to St. Barth’s that inspired these bad boys. So let’s dive in!

St. Barth’s

At the end of May, Brett and I traveled with our main squeeze BFFs to St. Barth’s, the sunny overseas collectivity of France located in the West Indies. The island had long been on my bucket list and I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to go. Two flights and a dicey puddle jumper was all it took to transport us to a place that felt a world away. Within minutes of landing on the island, I could tell that we weren’t in Kansas (erm, Alabama) anymore.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

St. Barth’s is a small tropical island with stunning white sand beaches and crystal waters surrounding otherwise green and rocky terrain. While the island is very French in terms of language, culture, and cuisine, it is well-traveled by American and European tourists who are seeking out privacy, glamour, and a few glasses of bubbly from the comfort of their beach chair. It’s basically Posh Spice meets Jimmy Buffet which is somehow right up my alley.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com
The party scene at Nikki Beach is WILD. We danced on our table (don’t worry, Mom, no stripping) and drank cocktails out of copper pineapples. WUT?!

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com
Some scenes from our stay at Le Toiny.

Eden Rock

Our time was split between two resorts, Eden Rock and Le Toiny, which would provide us with two different island experiences. The first half of our trip at Eden Rock was spent downing frozen cocktails and bronzing our pasty areas, taking those lazy beach moments to do some serious people watching. While the other three read and napped in their beach chairs, I chipped away at another bucket list item of mine, practicing French from the Duolingo app on my phone. By night, we indulged in some island delicacies and absolutely killed the restaurant scene. Trust when I say there was no carb left behind.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of European-style sunbathing that we would be met with, and we found ourselves eye-to-eye with a few “pairs” on more than one occasion. While most of the gals running around topless were older women sporting  a situation that was most akin to a set of fried eggs on a stick, we did come across some girls who, I can only assume, were Armenian swimsuits models. These were women that had clearly never birthed or nursed children, and I would chalk them up under “People I Never Want to Share a Beach With Ever Again.” 

I don’t have terrible body image, but I learned on this vacation that I’m not ready for that level of distraction while on a romantic vacation with my husband. If anyone is going to be topless, it will be me (and it will be in the privacy and comfort of my own villa, please and thank you).BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com
Le Toiny was the perfect “unplug” location. Also, anywhere that will bring you French rosé in the pool is okay with me.

Le Toiny

Our second resort, Le Toiny, was a quiet retreat tucked in the green mountainside on the other end of the island. Every inch of the resort felt serene, like we had discovered a private oasis of sorts. We spent our days there sipping rosé at the pool, and relaxing in the privacy of our rooms. We trekked the hilly, goat-studded mountainside next to our hotel and visited many of the island’s beaches that each felt like private Caribbean treasures- unspoiled, raw, stunning. Brett tooled us around the island in a little blue Moke, a vehicle that drove like a go-cart and sported a testy gear shift and a tarped roof. I gained a few gray hairs skidding around the island on those four wheels, but I’ll be darned if we didn’t make some memories.BBC Popsicles Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

BBC Popsicles Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com
Eden Rock had some serious rockstar vibes. If you’re looking for cool factor, delicious breakfast, and perfect beachside cocktails, Eden Rock is the place.

BBC

There were a lot of highlights on our trip, but one of my absolute favorite discoveries was the BBC- Bailey’s, banana, and coconut. The BBC is a blended frozen drink made with fresh banana, cream of coconut, and a touch of booze from a shot of Bailey’s. I ordered one on the first day of our trip and it was love at first taste. Creamy, tropical, and ultra-decadent, the BBC replaced every space in my heart previously occupied by pina coladas, mudslides, and the good ole’ Miami Vice. The BBC and I are new forever friends.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

Upon returning from our vacation, I began taste testing some of my own and eventually decided to up the ante be creating a BBC popsicle. I’m a firm believer that cocktails and dessert are always appropriate, so combining the two seemed like a natural fit. After a few test runs, I landed the perfect mixture of booze, fruit, and cream, and now I can relive my St. Barth’s trip (sans the boobs) with my very own BBC popsicles.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

How to Make Them

This boozy treat does not disappoint. With only three ingredients, six if you count the chocolate shell and shredded coconut, these BBC popsicles are simple to prepare, inexpensive to make, and the coolest way to bring some booze to your beach parties from here on out. To make your own BBC popsicles, simply combine 1/2 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream with 1 cup of cream of coconut and 2 large bananas in a blender. Puree until smooth and pour the mixture into a popsicle mold. I use this one at home, but you can check out my post here for some ideas on how to make popsicles if you don’t have a mold.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

The Chocolate Shell

Once the pops are frozen solid, you have the option of dipping them in chocolate. Simply melt together some bittersweet chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until glossy and smooth. Dip the unmolded BBC popsicles into the chocolate mixture and sprinkle on some toasted coconut, if you’re into that kind of thing. Allow them to firm back up in the freezer or feel free to dive right in! The chocolate shell can soften the popsicle, so just know you’re in for a mess if you opt to eat them right away.

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

The booze in these BBC popsicles is 100% necessary, but be sure to get your measurements right. Alcohol doesn’t freeze so if you add too much booze or not enough banana and coconut, you may wind up with mushy pops on your hands. The chocolate shell is completely optional, but I think it certainly makes them a little more festive.

I’m leaving you all a list with our favorite things to eat and do in St. Barth’s. If you plan to head that way any time soon, please consider these a must. If I ever make my way to St. Barth’s again, I can promise you I’ll find a BBC. In the meantime, what are your favorite beach drinks? Are there any Caribbean locations I need to add to my bucket list?

BBC Popsicle Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a boozy, creamy popsicle made from Bailey's Irish cream, bananas, and cream of coconut. This frozen dessert take on the tropical beach drink is the perfect summer poptail. Boozy desserts have never been so fun and easy to make! Dip the popsicle in a magic chocolate shell and toasted coconut for a festive pretty take on these popsicles. Find the recipe and how to make homemade popsicles on thewoodandspoon.com

Where We Stayed in St. Barth’s:

Hotel Le Toiny
Eden Rock 

Where We Ate in St. Barth’s:

Bonito
Our favorite meal in St. Barth’s. Beautiful view and terrific food in the heart of Gustavia.
Tamarin
Beautiful garden dining in this open air restaurant. Fresh seafood and terrific wines.
Orega
French-Japanese fusion at this Gustavia restaurant. Excellent sashimi and sushi rolls!
Cabane De L’Isle
Beachside dining at Cheval Blanc Resort. We had our best cocktails at this restaurant which also offered a deliciously eclectic menu.
Maya’s To Go
Perfect grab-and-go meals for beach picnics.
25 Quarter
The best bar we happened upon. The widest selection of bourbons on the island and terrific cocktails to match.
Boulangerie Choisy
Lunch, coffee, and french pastries. A must stop.
Hotel Le Toiny
We were happy to dine at our hotel for dinner one evening. Quiet, romantic, private, delicious.

What We Did in St. Barth’s

Snorkle and sunbathe at Gouverneur Beach
Hike to Columbier Beach
People watch on St. Jean Beach
Sunday Brunch Party at Nikki Beach
Shop in St. Jean
Shop in Gustavia

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BBC Popsicles

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A dessert take on the popular beach cocktail, these BBC popsicles are sweet and creamy, made from Bailey’s, banana, and coconut. The whole thing is dipped in a chocolate shell and sprinkled with toasted coconut. 

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 360
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10

Ingredients

For the popsicles:

  • 2 large bananas (about 280 gm total once peeled)
  • ½ cup (120 mL) Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor
  • 1 cup (240 mL) cream of coconut
  • ½ cup (120 mL) water

For the chocolate shell:

  • ½ cup (90 gm) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup toasted coconut, if desired

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the popsicle ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture among 10 popsicles molds (see notes), insert the popsicles sticks, and freeze until solid for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight.
  2. Once frozen solid, remove the popsicles from the molds and place on a sheet of parchment paper in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate shell.
  3. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring thoroughly after each round until smooth. Once smooth, allow to cool about 5 minutes. Then, dip each popsicle in the chocolate shell and sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Place back in the freezer to freeze solid or enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • I use a popsicle mold that makes 10-2.5 ounces popsicles. Your yield will change if you make smaller or larger popsicles. The preparation and ingredients will remain the same.
  • The alcohol in these popsicles will cause them to melt faster than some popsicles. Be sure to keep them frozen until you’re ready to enjoy them.
  • If you are unable to find large bananas, use a few smaller ones. Total weight of the edible portion should be 280 gm.
  • The chocolate shell is entirely optional. For a quick boozy treat, just skip the shell.

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