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.
Confession: when it comes to bread dough, I’m a total hack.
It has nothing to do with a fear of yeast, which has never really bothered me. It’s pretty easy to use, unless the yeast is dead. And that doesn’t happen very often. No, it’s more about the ultimate convenience and endless wonder of a bread machine. Why work on the dough myself when there’s a lovely machine sitting on my counter that can do all the heavy lifting for me?
Now, now, bread enthusiasts. Back off. I’m sure that my machine can’t do the wonderful things you can do, but it sure can make some cinnamon rolls lickety-split. I made these (and they’re dairy-free, too!) the night of our big snowstorm, and they made a perfect breakfast to wake up to.
Ahhhh…TGIF. Almost. Before I breeze through the last day of the week, it’s time to make some serious bread.
Challah, that is.
Challah is too awesome to fly so much under the radar. It’s traditionally an egg bread made with white flour and sugar, kind of like brioche. It makes amazing French toast. There are also water versions, calling for no egg, as well as challahs filled with anything from raisins to chocolate chips.
And lately, whole wheat challah has begun to pop up in bakeries with more frequency, though it’s often put down by challah traditionalists, and who can blame them? Challah is an indulgence, a bread so good that spreading butter or jam on a slice can actually take away from the yeasty, fresh-out-of-the-oven perfection of the bread itself.
I was pretty hestitant to give the whole wheat thing a try. Why fix what ain’t broke? But in a world where whole grains are healthier and white bread is just an occasional indulgence, I wanted to have my challah and eat it too.
I know you’re all getting geared up for a three-day weekend (hooray!), so let me give you an easy breakfast option to make your celebrations even brighter.
Every time I post a butterscotch recipe, I talk about how I don’t ever remember to bake with it. But when I do, it’s the best flavor explosion. I’m trying to do it more often, and the overripe bananas on my countertop always present a fantastic opportunity.
If you are one of those people who craves moist (sorry if you dislike that word, but whatever) banana bread with crunchy pecans and sweet butterscotch chips, look no further. This bread is your soul mate! And it’s effortlessly gluten-free, too.