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.
For weeks, I test out pie recipe after pie recipe, putting my very favorites right here on JAB for all to enjoy. But when the big day comes, I have to decide which pies to put on the table. So far, I’m committed to a Dutch apple pie with oat crust and some kind of cookie pie, as well as my pumpkin ganache pie. But that leaves two pies up in the air, plus a non-pie dessert. I’m thinking Kahlua cake.
These little guys are certainly a serious contender. They’re small enough to be portion-controlled (though who wants that on Thanksgiving?), and they have just the right amount of both chocolate and pumpkin. Plus, they’re elegant. I’m quite a fan.
Well, the week marches on. Today was Primary Election day in my state, and I watched a lot of people agonize over which terrible candidate to vote for. Yay for democracy!
Ideally, the voting process should be nothing but exciting, but it’s harder this year than usual. Looking toward November is a worrisome occupation, at least for me. I want to believe that everything will turn out okay, but I’m in a negative frame of mind these days.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I bake. There’s a mindful mindlessness about baking that lets my brain fall away a bit as I make ganache or press tart dough into a pan. The motions are repetitive, soothing, and exactly what I need sometimes. When the result is this mind-blowing linzer tart smothered in ganache and almonds, I can banish all the negativity and just think about the rich flavors exploding in my mouth.
The other day, I posted an easy Mother’s Day recipe. This one is not quite that easy, but it’s still pretty doable. So if you know what a spatula is, dig in!
For some reason, people associate Mother’s Day with brunch. Okay, I know that it’s traditional to take mothers out for brunch on the big day, but why? Don’t we rate a fancy dinner?
Listen, I’m not trying to knock brunch. The food is delicious and decadent, and it’s totally fine to feature chocolate in your pancakes, or waffles, or French toast. How could I possibly object to that? But I really, really love going out for dinner. Dinner out means one night of not having to cook for greedy little mouths.