Moist and delicious Carrot Cake Scones topped with a sinful coconut cream cheese frosting are a perfect weekend breakfast!
I spent a long weekend in Chicago visiting Monique of Ambitious Kitchen. We talked shop, baked, did yoga, and had some delicious meals. We had an absolute blast, and I don’t even know where to begin!
So I got in late on Thursday afternoon. Monique (aka AK) lives in an adorable apartment with her even more adorable kitten, Millie. Now, Alex and I have two cats who are currently living with his parents due to our apartment’s no pet policy, so I was more than happy to cuddle with little Millie all weekend.
We chatted for a few hours and decided to go downtown to one of my favorite spots in the loop- Siena Tavern. The place was packed, so we opted for seats at the bar.
We got delicious cocktails and (for the second time in my life) ate the best brussels sprout salad I’ve ever had. Also on our menu was coccoli, these big balls of fried dough, served with stracchino cheese over a board of prosciutto de parma and truffle honey. Uh, yeah. That happened.
The next morning we headed to the grocery store for some much needed baking supplies. We went back to the house and baked some amazing flourless cookies for AK, which are coming to her blog in the near future :).
After that, we headed to yoga. It was a really beautiful studio and I was happy to get a workout in. I find that often on vacation there’s an almost total body feeling of heaviness. Maybe it’s from traveling and being tired, or maybe it’s from eating out for multiple meals each day… regardless, there is definitely a weighted down feeling. So working out felt stimulating and routine. It was much needed for my mind and body.
That night we took to Crosby’s Kitchen, a laid back restaurant on the west side of Lakeview. The food was unpretentious and absolutely delicious. We got cornbread as our appetizer and nearly stuffed ourselves with it! Thank goodness we took some home with us for snackies the next day.
At dinner I mentioned the new HBO special “The Jinx,” a documentary about Robert Durst, the son of a New York real estate mogul and a three time charged-but-not-convicted serial killer. I had already watched the whole series, but was still fascinated by it. Monique was totally into it, so we decided to head home to cuddle with Millie and watch the special.
The next morning we headed downtown to The Donut Vault, the tinest Donut shop I think to ever exist. It was so. small. We waited in line in Chicago spring weather (read: 20°F) for about 45 minutes before squeezing inside to the shop. It’s silly to even call it a shop- it was a 4 foot by 15 foot hallway with a cash register and donut rack at the end. A total hoot.
We finally got our donuts and decided to eat them in the car because we were so cold. It was a fabulous decision.
Afterwards, we did some shopping and explored the downtown area. Poor Monique had her suitcase lost by Southwest the week prior, and finally got a call from Southwest saying they found her bag. We headed to the airport, retrieved the bag, and made it home in time for another few episodes of The Jinx.
That night we made our way to a fantastic sushi restaurant, Rollapalooza. It was BYOB so we stopped into a charming wine shop and grabbed some Pinot Grigio, then drank it with spicy tuna and salmon avocado sushi.
Feeling hungry after a light meal, we then went to a froyo shop for dessert. And then, of course, we took our froyo home to eat it in front of more of The Jinx, which we began to simply call “Robert Durst.”
We woke up early on Sunday to get to a 75 minute morning yoga session. It was once again so appreciated by my body, and got me hungry for Sunday brunch. After showering at Monique’s place, we headed to Wildberry Pancakes.
We waited for almost an hour and a half to get seated, and it was totally worth it. The pancakes were soft and fluffy, and we were so hungry that we ate everything in a matter of minutes. I can’t turn down a blueberry pancake, so I got a stack, along with eggs and chicken sausage. Mmmmm!
While in line, Monique and I brainstormed new recipes for Broma. Among 15 or so recipes, we came up with carrot cake scones. In the next hours, I kept coming back to these scones, thinking how perfect they would be for Easter and that I just had to make them! So I made a mental note and lo and behold, here they are! But more on that in a minute…
After brunch we walked down Michigan Avenue, then made our way back to Monique’s. We were able to sneak in the last two episodes of Robert Durst before I said my goodbyes and headed to the train station. Of course more cuddling with Millie was involved.
As I boarded the train, I felt a sense of satisfaction. I had come to Chicago just a few days earlier with the notion that I would stay with a fellow blogger. We would learn from each other and have a fun little weekend together.
But what I found was that I had made a great friend. Hanging out with AK felt natural. We were able to veg out, work out, go out, and eat to our hearts’ content. We shared a love of food and recipes that felt comforting and stimulating. And we were able to talk in a way that was truthful and unabashed.
Monique is absolutely incredible. She’s young and talented, and so gifted at what she does. Her blog is one I’ve followed for years, and I’ve always loved it. It’s delicious, healthy, and inspired cooking. And baking. And everything in between. For those of you that don’t follow Ambitious Kitchen already, I highly recommend it.
So in honor of my weekend, here are Carrot Cake Scones. I have already had two today and am planning on one for breakfast tomorrow.
They are soft and fluffy, moist and flavorful. The cream cheese frosting is a welcomed sweetness, and the coconut flakes bring a fantastic umami to the whole thing.
Plus, Easter is coming up, and if you’re like me, it’s time to start last-minute planning what I’m going to bake!
- 1 cup white whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup grated carrot
- ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, for brushing
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup toasted shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder & soda, salt, and spices. Add in the cold butter and mix on medium speed until only small crumbs remain, about 1 minute.
- Toss in the grated carrot, coconut, walnuts/pecans, and raisins and mix until combined. Slowly add in the buttermilk and mix until the dough begins to come together. Remove bowl from mixer and, using your hand, roll the dough against the side of the bowl until it forms an even ball of dough.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8 inch circle (about ¾ inch thick). Brush the dough with whole milk, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut into 8 equal wedges.
- Place dough onto parchment paper, keeping about 1 inch between each scone. Cook for 18 minutes, then allow to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.
- While your scones are cooling, make the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer and beat on high speed for about 90 seconds. Frost scones with 1-2 tablespoons of frosting (you will have some left over) and top with shredded coconut!