Thursday, January 19, 2006

Scone Time

"Sweet baby lemon scones"

Mon and Rocky and Ted 007
I was home in CT on a wet misty day and decided to finally attempt one of my favorite cafe snacks. Scones. It's always so hard to find a good scone in coffee shops. All too often the bakers think the bigger and more gargantuan the better. Yes, I'll admit, when I see a big scone I'm often mislead down the road of "must try me." And am usually disappointed. Scones seem to suffer identity crises too. Or rather their bakers do. Sometimes I buy scones and think had I wanted a blueberry muffin I would have purchased one.

These scones I made were awesome, right up there with Sarabeth's, Kitchenette, and Balthazar scones.

Give them a try, and you can add whatever you'd like to these to make them yours. Lemon zest, dried cherries, cranberries, or blueberries, coarsely chopped that is.



Taken from the cookbook "Sweet Gratitude: bake a thank you for the really important people in your life" by Judith Sutton.

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbl grated lemon zest, or fruit of your choice
8 tbl (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus about 1-2 tbl for brushing over scones on baking sheet (before you put in the oven).

Scones:

Put the racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. (the recipe says you need two and that this makes 26 scones. It only made about a dozen so you'll probably only need one sheet, unless you feel like doubling the ingredients).
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the lemon zest. Using a pastry blender (or forks and knives) cut in the butter until it is in pieces the size of peas. Using a fork stir in the cream just until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, just until it comes together; do not overwork.
Pat the dough into a 3/4 inch-thick disk. With a 1 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible from the dough and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Gather the leftover dough pieces and eat some, it's so good! HA!
Then use what you have left to cut out more scones.
Lightly brush the scones with cream.
Bake for 12-14 minutes. Make sure you bake the scones for half the time on the lower rack, and half the time on the upper rack.

Serve warm (my favorite) or let cool and place in an air-tight container, until your loved one gets home. I'm sittin' here waiting for Dad.