Friday, August 29, 2008

A Cure: Scones

Usually when I am bored and it's dreary out, I get the overwhelming urge to bake something sweet. Something warm and yummy always does the trick. So, yesterday afternoon, I called and invited a friend and her children to come over this morning for their good company and to ensure I would not eat all the scones myself.

It worked. After they left, my spirits were lifted and I had a smile on my face. The sun was even shining and I was officially out of my transition funk. The good company was much more effective than the baked good, although they were pretty tasty....

There are lots of good scone recipes out there, but these are my two favorites, Gingerbread and Chocolate. I usually don't post recipes here, but decided that these are worth it.

(Side note: If you would like a recipe for something I've posted about, I am more than happy to share. Just post your request in a comment or call me.)

Gingerbread Scones
(adapted from a recipe by Stephanie Jaworski at

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries (I used our dried sour cherries)
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. unsulphured molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1 tbsp. milk

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients well. Add butter pieces and blend with a pastry blender or fork. Stir in dried cranberries or cherries. In a separate small bowl, combine buttermilk, molasses and vanilla. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until just blended.

You want the dough to be a tad sticky, but not so sticky you can't handle it. (If it's so sticky you lose your fingers in it, add more flour until it's easier to handle.) Flour your counter top and kneed the dough very gently, forming it into a large ball. Press it out with your hands, forming a big circle, about 3/4 of an inch thick.

Flour your knife before each cut. Cut into your circle as if it were a pie, making slices as small or large as you like. You should end up with at least 8 scones.

Transfer each slice on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and tbsp. of milk together and brush the egg wash on top of each scone. The secret here is not to over bake these. Set your timer for 10 minutes (and oven at 400 degrees) and check them often. Keep checking until your knife comes out clean. Eat them as soon as they are cool enough that they won't burn your mouth.

Chocolate Scones(I don't remember where I found this recipe, but I have changed it enough that I think I can call it my own.)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup white or milk chocolate pieces/chips
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Blend the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter pieces with a pastry blender or a fork. Stir in chocolate. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Turn out onto floured counter. Kneed gently and form into a ball. Flatten, forming a circle about 3/4 of an inch think. Using a floured knife, slice into at least 8 slices (like a pie) and transfer to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake. Eat warm with milk:-).
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