Category Archives: Shop

Pumpkin Chai Scones

This morning I was on the set of the new lifestyle program, Living Dayton on WDTN. I developed this recipe as a parsed down version of the scones I sell at the 2ndStreet Market. Enjoy!

Hilary on Living Dayton, August 27 2012

Pumpkin Chai Scones

© Hilary Browning 2012

For the Pumpkin Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour (I recommend King Arthur Flour brand)

¼ c granulated sugar

1 tablespoon Aluminum Free Baking Powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

6 tablespoons butter, cubed

½ cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup half and half (whole milk will work, half and half is better)

1 large egg

For the Chai Drizzle:

4 tablespoons whole milk

1 bag of chai tea

1 cup powdered sugar


(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, sea salt and spices in the bowl of an electric mixer.

(2) While the mixer is off, add the cubed butter. Cover the mixer with a tea towel, and pulse on medium speed, 3 or 4 times, for 30 seconds each time. The mixture should have the texture of gravel or very small peas.

(3) In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, half and half and egg. Whisk together. Add half of the wet mixture to the dry. Turn the mixer on and mix until larger clumps form. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. The dough will make one large clump.

(4) Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a circle, about 6” in diameter. Using a knife or a pie cutter, divide the dough into 8 triangles.

(5) Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Line the scones onto the parchment, and place the scone dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to two months!

(6) When you are ready to bake, bake the frozen dough for 15 minutes in a 425 oven. Do not defrost- just pop them straight from the freezer to the oven.

(7) To make the drizzle: Heat the milk with the chai tea bag in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Alternately, you can heat the milk in a saucepan. Watch it carefully- it can bubble up. Allow it to steep for five minutes. Squeeze out the tea bag; you should be left with about 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the milk into the powdered sugar; drizzle over scones.



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We’ve had a great week here at Thistle. Yesterday, we reached 500 fans on Facebook! woohoo! Last week, we did the best we’ve ever done at our Saturday 2nd Street market booth.


This month, we are also participating in The Vegan Challenge Dayton.  So we’ve got a little promo for them, Buy One Get One of our Oatmeal Cream Pies or a Dozen Mexican Hot Chocolate Drops for $8.

We’ve supported 9 charities in the last three months, giving out our baking to these amazing projects:  The Fifth Street Brew Pub Coop, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and The Celtic Academy of Dayton.
But most of all we’ve learned that Daytonians really love whoopie pies!

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August 7, 2012 · 9:08 am

Key Lime & Kumquat Curd

Look at that! We’re all shiny–hot pink and green! Huzzah. How about an awesome new recipe to celebrate. Yes?

You see that cake back there, with the Kumquats? It’s hiding behind the Prickly Pear Margarita cupcakes. Cupcakes are cool, but that cake was special.  A Mango cake with Key Lime/Kumquat Curd and Key Lime Swiss Meringue buttercream. It was epic. And because I love you, I’m sharing the curd recipe. If you don’t have Kumquats or Key Limes, substitute your favorite citrus fruit. I think what makes this recipe special is the pureed rind. It really adds essence to the recipe. A more bitter citrus- like a grapefruit probably wouldn’t work here. But kumquats, which can be eaten whole are perfect.

Kumquat & Key Lime Curd

Copyright Hilary Browning

6 Large Eggs, (organic preferred)

6 Large Egg Yolks (organic preferred)

1 1/2 cups Granulated Cane Sugar (or Fine grain evaporated cane juice)

1/2 cup Kumquat Juice (1 Pint of Kumquats)

1/2 cup  fresh Key Lime Juice (About 9-12 Key Limes)

1/4 cup pureed Kumquat rinds

1 cup butter, cubed

(1) Combine the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large, heat proof bowl. Set aside.

(2) Decapitate the kumquats, and squeeze out the juice. Don’t try to cut the kumquats in half- instead, cut off a piece at the tip. You’ll have an easier time getting the juice out. Reserve the rinds of the kumquats. Squeeze out the juice from the key limes and combine it with the kumquat juice so that you have 1 cup of juice total.

(3) Place the kumquat rinds in a food processor. Puree the rinds to make a thick pulp. Pick out any seeds.

(4) Add the pulp and juice to the heatproof bowl with the eggs and sugar. Whisk to combine. Bring a saucepan with three inches of water to simmer.  Place the heatproof bowl over the water and cook the mixture for twenty minutes total, or until thickened. I like to whisk vigorously every four or five minutes to prevent the eggs from clumping. Whisking too often will prevent the mixture from thickening properly; whisking too little will give you scrambled eggs. It’s a delicate balance, but I have every confidence that you can do it!

(5) When the mixture is thickened, use a large metal sieve to strain out the kumquat pulp.

(6) Start adding the butter to the strained mixture, a little bit at a time, while whisking vigorously. When all the butter is combined, whisk for one minute more. Pour the prepared curd into jars with seals if you are not going to use it within a day or two. Store in the fridge for up to a week. If you plan on using it within 48 hours,  place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd and place the whole bowl in the fridge. It needs at least 8 hours to chill and firm up before it is ready for use.

**Use the curd to make a killer Kumquat & Key Lime Pie. Or just eat as pudding (which is what I do–I’m naughty, I admit it!). Use it as cake filling, or as a spread for muffins or scones.

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Looks Like We’ve Made It

A very brief post about Thistle’s opening at the PNC Second Street Market last Saturday . Our opening went very well, many thanks to those who stopped in to see us.

Our jazzy new logo & sign at the 2nd Street Market


Our side display at the 2nd Street Market

Our booth


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How Small Business Ownership Ate My Life and Other Musings

Hi there. It’s been a while and I’ve really missed you. Starting up my bakeshop turned out to be exponentially more difficult than I imagined, involving very little sleep, lots of scrubbing, painting, moving and much more. I’d say I wasn’t prepared, but I was. It was time to move Thistle to the next level. I want to be successful. But until you do it, you cannot know what to expect. And I underestimated the time, money and labor that would be necessary. But I think a lot of businesses do. You just have to power through. So that’s what I’m doing. It helps to be surrounded by tons of sugar and caffeine. It also helps to be in with the pizza guy and drink lots of beer.

One of Mr. Radar's first homebrews, Chestnut Ale (with real chestnuts, of course)

Recently, several Dayton media outlets have had some nice things to say about me. So I thought I’d share:

Over at the Dayton Daily: “Dayton Baker Scores National Recognition
And the Dayton Online Magazine, Cook’s Spotlight:

I’ve also made a number of cakes, and I can only post a few, so here are some highlights.

Vegan Strawberries and Cream cake

Puppy & hearts cake

sparkly rainbow unicorn cake with rainbow swirl vanilla cake (and lots of sprinkles per client request)

I’ll be back on Thursday to share with you our opening day menu. Opening day is Saturday, February 11. And we’ll be coming in with a bang- with enough red, pink and hearts to make Valentine’s Day extra special.


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A Thistle Confections Christmas

Looking for a last minute gift? We’ve got just the thing. Like last Christmas, Thistle Confections is offering a limited Christmas Catalog of baked goods and delightful gifts. Some of these items will be available for purchase  at Ghostlight Coffee– but if you’d like a few more options, special delivery or custom wrapping- we’ve got it here for you!

Here’s what we’re offering. Everything is limited availability! When we’re out, we’re really out! My sincerest apologies to national (and international!) readers, but these gifts are only available to Dayton-area customers. Our Etsy shop has closed for the season, and the last of our Christmas orders will be shipped on Tuesday, December 13.

Special Gifts

1 Quart of Shortbread Snowflakes                                                   $10

Assorted Flavors: Orange Cardamom, Cocoa &Sea Salt and Toffee Crunch


Jam Trio                                                                                      $15

Three Housemade Jams: Mango Butter, Hot Pepper Jelly, Crabapple & Damson

Limited Edition Preserve: Bourbon Peach                                        $9

1 pint of peaches from Downing Fruit Farm paired with Woodford Reserve. Limited Availability.

1 Quart of Mini Biscotti                                                                 $10

Our classic Biscotti, miniaturized and packaged in a wide-mouth Mason Jar.

Mini Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake                                              2 for $8

Personal loaf of lemony goodness in a giftable earthenware dish.  Great with Greek yogurt and fresh berries!

There’s Always Room for Pie!

Classic Double Crust Pie                                                              $16

Cherry Cranberry: Tart Cherries and Cranberries with crystallized ginger and orange zest

Winter Fruit: Local Apples, Pears and Cranberries with cinnamon and cardamom

We will stop taking orders on Friday, December 16, so get your order in as soon as possible. We’ve got a great little form for you to fill out here on our website or come talk to us at Ghostlight Coffee!

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Snapshots and Applesauce

It’s the holiday season…and..I’m really busy. Lots of great things are swirling around me and I couldn’t feel more grateful. I’m super excited that Ghostlight Coffee is doing excellently. Thistle stocks freshly baked goods every day.  We try to bring at least one new product in along with the old favorites. I couldn’t be happier about the selection of baked goods or the reception. If you follow our Facebook page, you’ll know that we will be opening a retail shop at the PNC Second Street Market in late January 2012, in time for Valentine’s Day. I am BEYOND excited about this. Living the dream and it is absolutely incredible. I couldn’t be more happy or grateful.

Did I mention the delicious drinks at Ghostlight Coffee? No? Oh here you go. S’Mores Mocha. And sock monkeys. It pretty much doesn’t get much better.

I’ve also been working hard on custom orders and a few events, like this one:

And this one:

Last weekend, Mr. Radar and I were determined to spend the whole weekend together. He helped me package and clean when I had to bake, and in our moments off we had a lot of fun! We (okay, Mr. Radar did all the hard work) cut down a Christmas Tree at Country Pines farm in New Lebanon, Ohio. While we were in the neighborhood, we stopped by Mile Creek Farm for some eggs, vegetables and a good chat with our friend Emily. We traipsed along the farm in her wake. She weaved in between all the fields, despite the fact that she is in her last month of pregnancy. She wouldn’t let us harvest the vegetables.  But we had a great time and we couldn’t be happier for Ben & Emily, their son Evan and their newest addition! We can’t wait to meet her.

We bought bubble lights for our tree and made homemade salt dough ornaments. That exploded because we accidentally used self-rising flour. (Oops!!) We also made a huge pot of applesauce with the help of Steve the Weather Watcher.

It’s not as Charlie Brown as it looks, I swear!

Vanilla Bean Applesauce

3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 to 1 1/2 cups Apple Cider

1/4 cup Bottled Lemon Juice*

1 Vanilla Bean, split and seeds removed

(1) If you are planning to can the applesauce, fill your water bath canner, set out your jars, rings and lids; sanitize everything.

(2) Combine all ingredients in a big stock pot or jam pan. Set oven to medium heat, and stir occasionally. Cook for twenty minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high and cook for another ten minutes. The mixture will start to boil and the apples will break apart. You can continue to cook the mixture until the apples break down, or you can use a stick blender to blend everything together. Make sure to remove the vanilla beans before blending. You want to save the pieces to put in the jars!

(3) When the applesauce has obtained a thick consistency and starts to bubble in a lugubrious fashion, it is ready. Ladle into sterilized jars** and process for ten minutes. Turn off the boil and let sit in the water for another five. Check seals in the morning to ensure that the seal is safe.

*I used bottled lemon juice for safety in this recipe. The acid is necessary to get rid of any germs, so please don’t use fresh this time! There is no added sugar here, so there is no room to play around with acid.

**I like to use bigger quart jars with a wide rim because I think it is easier to get the applesauce out. For gifts, make pints or half pints.

PS: If you live in Ohio, pick up a copy of today’s (Thursday, December 1) Columbus Dispatch. My Meyer Lemon Pizzelle recipe is featured!


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