As Snowzilla cleanup continues, I have been getting my baking on in a serious way. The only question is, who will receive all the fruits of my baking labor?
Nothing sparks my carb cravings like being snowbound, so being trapped in the house means I had to make scones. And not just any scones, either. This recipe is a version of the great Dorie Greenspan’s cream scones, which come together quickly, easily, and perfectly.
I only made one change: I added mini chocolate chips and drizzled chocolate on top. I mean, how could I not? But if you’re a purist, by all means leave them out.
People all over America (especially those who live in Boston or Buffalo) have been mocking D.C. for our wimpy reaction to snow and our subsequently slow cleanup. And believe me, as a Midwestern import to these here parts, I totally get it. We look really lame to anyone who is accustomed to a two-foot dumping of snow.
Back in Indiana where I grew up, snow days were rare. I have very clear memories of struggling to get to my high school and walking in several hours late to French class after a dicey, two-hour drive on the road that involved being towed by someone who had chains. That’s just how we did it. The expectation was that sooner or later, everyone would show up to work.
But see, I kind of like the wimpy ways of the D.C. area better. It’s so much nicer to be home with hot chocolate and scones than to be struggling out there in crappy weather hoping that nobody rear ends you. Why do we have to be at the rat race all the time? My students will be fine. I’ll just cut out a book or something that we were supposed to read. I kid, I kid.
Thanks to our Puritan roots, Americans are pretty obsessed with working. We equate hard work and productivity with virtue, and I’m sorry, but no. There’s also something to be said for knowing when to kick back and just chill out. I realize that our economy might tank if we all did the whole midday siesta thing, but I love the fact that certain countries take a midday break to go home for lunch and a nap. We might be poorer if we did that , but we’d be a lot happier.
Plus, if we had siesta every day, snow days wouldn’t feel like such a break from the norm. We’d be far more used to chilling with our families in the middle of the day. Anyone up for creating a movement with me?
While you ponder that, have a scone. Or three. These are the best scones ever, and I don’t care about modesty because I didn’t invent this recipe. So there. It’s so easy, too!
A lot of scone makers will hold that to get the best scone, you need to work with frozen butter. Honestly, that’s an extra step I don’t have time to make, and I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I’ve tried it both ways. All you need is cold butter and your fingers (pastry blender not needed) and you’ve got a scone dough that comes together in five minutes and produces the flakiest scones. And they’re not dry at all. Nope. They’re really the epitome of what a scone should be.
While you’re busy running around every day, remember being trapped in the snow, or that time you got a really great midday nap. It might make you wish a blizzard would come and give you an excuse to have more scones for breakfast!
5 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (with an additional 1/4 cup for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter and using the tips of your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry mixture until crumbs of varying sizes form.
Add the egg and cream, using a fork to stir them in until a dough forms. You can use your hands or the fork to knead lightly until the dough is fully formed.
Gently mix in the mini chocolate chips with your hands.
Turn the dough out onto your prepared cookie sheet, pressing it into a circle that is about six inches in diameter.
Cut the dough into six wedges (as shown in video). Bake for around 20 minutes until the scones are golden.
Melt the 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips carefully in the microwave, being careful not to overheat them. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the scones.
Cool the scones until the chocolate hardens. Serve or store in an airtight container.
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
You may have noticed (or not, it’s cool) that I haven’t posted that many banana bread recipes on this site. Ready for my shameful secret? Please don’t hate me.
Cue stage whisper: I’m not that into banana.
Don’t go screaming now. I can’t handle that. It’s not that I hate it or anything, but in the world of baked goods, anything with banana ranks low. So take it as a sign of how much I love you all that from time to time, I produce a banana-based dessert. That is some selflessness. Of course, I did add a wee bit of peanut butter (and peanut butter chips, too) to make this more of a Mir-style dessert. And there’s strawberry jelly in there. You know, because this is totally healthy. Uh huh.
I’ve heard that climbing Mount Everest is pretty hard. For most people, anyway.
We all have our version of that, the near-impossible summit that we can’t reach, no matter how hard we try. For years, that was my grandmother’s mocha bread.
When I was little, I didn’t like apple pie. Chalk it up to youthful foolishness. So when my grandmother made the pie, she’d also make this bread. And I loved it. It was so special that I’d eat it slowly, sliver by sliver, to make it last. Usually, I gobble up my dessert. But this was too special
And when I grew up, I tried to make it. Over and over again I followed the recipe, calling my grandmother each time I failed. It was too light in color, or too heavy in weight. What was I doing wrong? It got to the point where I suspected her of recipe sabotage.
Finally, about a year ago, and shortly after my grandmother’s death, I got the mocha bread right. I’m still not sure exactly what I did to make it correctly other than acquire more knowledge and skill, but I feel like the torch has been passed. She was a phenomenal baker who used scant resources in harder times to make amazing food. Later in life, she still had the knack for producing recipes that nobody else seemed to have.