Tuesday, December 8, 2009

no snow scones

I wanted to write a poem for you yesterday entitled "A Snow Dream Deferred", but Mr. Hughes did it better anyway. (Hey, that rhymes...right? Poem quota for blog: check.)

This part of the world never gets snow. Ever. So Sunday night when the weather man started talking crazy and mentioning snow...I got excited, naturally. But when the promised "snow" amounted to only a mere ground dusting that melted by the time I woke up...what's THAT all about?! (In case you were wondering, plenty of people around here woke up crazy early to catch a glimpse of snow, which tells you that this promised snow was a Really Big Deal. Oh California.)

So I thought I'd show you a quick way to be happy again. For me, there is baking, and then there's baking for others, and I've slowly learned over the years that making someone else happy is almost guaranteed to make me happy. (Unless we're playing a game, and then I'll make you work for your own happiness...) So I pulled out an old favorite.

Behold...the apricot scone. This is my take on Cheeseboard's take on that perennial morning pastry glory. But no triangles here! The Cheeseboard book compares this to a "rich, buttermilk biscuit", and I wouldn't dare to disagree. The top is crispy crunchy and the inside soft, with a cakelike crumb. If it's even possible, I would like to dare to say that the addition of following took this unusual scone to Mt. Everest heights:

White Lily (cue heavenly music). Many southern devotees are anxious that a recent relocation of the White Lily flour mill to the Midwest (oh, horror!) has wrecked the flour for good, but this Yankee wouldn't know the difference, given that this was my first experience with it. (Thanks to JH for gifting me with 2 bags after Thanksgiving dinner...you'd better believe I held them to me tightly all the way home as visions of biscuits and cakes danced in my head.)

Of course, no scone would be complete without its fruity mix-in; Mom's favorite is apricot. (Notice how all the pieces are pretty irregularly-sized, meaning that my knife skills won't be winning awards anytime soon.)

Snow comes and snow goes, but a good scone is a portable piece of buttery joy. Spread the love!

Apricot Scones

3 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 c (2 sticks) butter, cut into little cubes and then stuck in the freezer for maximum coldness
1 c dried apricots, fairly finely chopped (alternately, use anything else you love)
3/4 c buttermilk
3/4 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, briefly stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar to combine. Drop in the cubed butter and stir on low for about 4 minutes until the butter is the size of little peas. Add in the apricot, and then stir in the buttermilk/cream with just a few rotations of the paddle (it's good if there's still flour at the bottom of the bowl).

Shape dough into 2 inch or smaller balls (warning: super sticky) and place on baking sheets. Bake 18ish minutes or until golden brown/you feel that you just can't wait any longer before actually sticking your hand into the oven to retrieve your afternoon snack.

Makes just shy of 2 dozen scones.

1 comment:

  1. ooohh i wants!!! i love how you write about food!


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