Scones continued

March 6, 2016

Wild Blueberry Oat Scones

My freezer at home stores many packages of Wyman’s Maine wild blueberries…always ready to make a pie or Marjorie Standish’s Melt In Your Mouth Blueberry Cake. Delighted to bake some of these little blue, juicy jewels into yum-delicious scones.

Prep done on the dry ingredients. Now to add the butter…a new way of doing this with the food processor came to me like the proverbial light bulb going off. Rather than using all the flour to mix in the butter, I decided it would be wiser to use just 1 cup of the flour pulsing 3 times leaving just the right consistency. (Still bothers me that I can’t use my fingertips to do this.)

Then, with my hands, I tossed in the oats and blueberries. Mixed the half and half with the vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Proceeded to add a bit of the liquid at a time until the dough was very moist. Pressed the mixture into a 1/2 cup measure plopping them on the prepared sheet pan. Topped the scones with a few oats and a dusting of turbinado sugar.

Gorgeous scones if I must say so myself. The blueberries just popped with flavor enhanced by the garnish making this a great baking day. YUM!

March 8, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Scones

Can’t wait,  REALLY, I can’t wait to make these. Nothing smells, tastes and bakes like something with pumpkin and molasses. They’ll come running for miles when the aroma whiffs through open windows. (By the way, it is mild enough today to open the kitchen window.)

After breakfast with classmates in Topsham I returned home to begin today’s scones. (Had planned to have coffee ONLY at the restaurant today but ended up with the #1 special on the chalkboard. It was the full meal deal.)

Preheated the oven to 400 degrees, lined the baking sheet with parchment paper, mixed the cinnamon and sugar for the garnish and now I’m ready to begin. Again I put just one cup of flour in the food processor then added a cup and a quarter chilled butter. Three pulses then flour/butter mixture went into a large bowl followed by the rest of the flour, the crystalized ginger, the dark brown sugar and spices along with baking powder and salt. Mix with a whisk and my finger tips (ugh) making sure all the large lumps were out.

Now the wet ingredients. Half and half, pumpkin puree and 1 egg. As quickly as possible I mixed all the components together. With my ice cream scoop I shaped the scones topping each with the cinnamon sugar and a few  pumpkin seeds. Into the oven for 25 minutes making sure to turn the baking  pan half way through in order have an even bake. (Wish you could smell them baking!)

Okay, 25 minutes might have been a tad too long. The scones didn’t burn but two more seconds and it would have been Sayonara Baby. Oh, but the taste is full and rich. The crystallized ginger adds so much flavor along with all the spices, pumpkin and molasses. Lord, I’m glad to be alive!

May have to drop a couple off at City Hall! What say you, Kathy?

March 11, 2016

(I have a problem…the next scone recipe is the dried pear and ginger scone. What’s the problem you ask?…where in the heck do you find dried pears! Looked locally without any success. So, I’m drying my own. OMG, what a ordeal this is turning into. Those little sliced pears have been in the oven for 5 hours (after soaking them in some weird solution) turning them into pear leather. Oh goodie…went back to Google to find the above recipe and I can’t find it. Read others articles on this process in Google but they were not one bit like the one I’ve been working on. Okay…this will take a bit of time so I am, for today, skipping over the dried pear and ginger scones and continuing on with the cheddar chive scones.)

Cheddar Chive Scones

After preparing the pans, mixing the topping of corn meal, cheese and pepper, I again took 1 cup of flour adding 1/2 cup chopped butter and pulsed 3 times in my food processor. I then added this to the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combined the egg and half and half with a whisk and poured this over the dry ingredients followed by the cheese and egg mixture being careful not to over mix. Then gently added the chives and extra sharp cheddar. YUM!

I was surprised at the amount of pepper used in this scone, 2 1/2 teaspoons. Baked the scones 20 minutes until golden brown. To my delight the pepper amount was perfect! No Doubting Thomas here, thank you…this cookbook is perfect in every sense. The scones are light with a peppery, cheesy, zing… very tasty. Thank you SBC!

(Okay, for those who REALLY know me, you must be impressed at the lack of expletives in this blog. It is with the utmost diligence this phenomenon has occurred. Of course, you have my permission to read between the lines.)

March 12, 2016

Pear Ginger Scones

Finishing the chapter on scones today with pear ginger scones. After dehydrating the sliced pears in the oven for 5 hours yesterday they are ready to be used in today’s recipe. Funny, after all that time turning these pear slices into pear leather, I now have to hydrate them in a cup of boiling water!

Prep work done…now to add the half and half, vanilla and eggs

into the dry ingredients along with the chopped butter. Lovely dough…moist and light. Added the ginger and the chopped pears. With an ice cream scoop I dropped the scones onto the parchment lined pans followed by the cinnamon/sugar topping.

Baked for twenty minutes, turning the pan after the first ten minutes. My, oh my, oh my are these delicious! I’m not kidding here…they are my favorite. Well, the pumpkin creams are a close second.

I do hope you folks out there get your fingers messy and try some of these scones. The cookbook, “Pastries” will be required but, to me, the price of the book vs. the pleasure of baking these recipes is minimal. A delight to the baker and those who enjoy the finished product.

NEXT…BABKA

Scones

February 29, 2016

Today begins the chapter on SCONES…a favorite of mine to make and EAT. These are currant scones made with 2 ingredients I’ve not used in making scones before…dark brown sugar and yogurt.

Right from the get-go I felt things were rather amiss. After preparing the sheet pan with parchment paper, setting the oven to 425 degrees and combining the cinnamon/sugar to top the scones before baking I began to combine the dry ingredients with the cubed butter. Using my finger tips I began the process of incorporating the butter into the flour mixture. Well, my arthritic hands rebelled! 

As much as I tried to complete this critical part of the scone I did not succeed. Should I pull out my food processor? The recipe did not call for any devices requiring an electrical cord. Humm…so, I continued with the recipe adding the rest of the ingredients and finally the yogurt. Oh dear, what a mess. The yogurt did not moisten the dough enough to form the 8 inch square required. As it stressed not to over work the dough, I just dumped the mess on my floured board and tried to mold it into a square. I then randomly cut out the scones, topped each with the cinnamon/sugar topping and baked. The result…DISASTER!

 (At this point, I wondered if perhaps all the meds I’ve been taking, especially the prednisone, might be causing me to hasten my work. Yes, I do think my need for detail and patience went out the window replaced by lack of attention to the recipe causing failure. Back to the drawing board tomorrow.)

March 1, 2016

Off to the grocery store to replenish the larder with flour, dark brown sugar among other staples. Mission accomplished.

Today I am doing the Currant Scones again…with patience and precision! Everything was in place before the actual mixing began.…currants, sugar/cinnamon mixture, flour and remaining dry ingredients.   I did have to use my food processor  which made me feel OLD. ( I have to interject a very valid point the book makes…read the entire recipe before beginning!)

After the dry ingredients were combined in the processor, I then dumped them into a large bowl, adding the yogurt. With a small hand scraper, I incorporated everything together without too much muscle action (as if). The moistened dough was then put on a floured work space, shaped into an 8 inch square and dusted with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Proceeded to cut the square into 6 squares then cut each of these squares on the diagonal.   The scones appear to be moist and light unlike yesterday’s fiasco. Popped them into the oven, made a cup of coffee and thumbed through the newspaper.

Oh my, they are rustic but lovely. I pulled one apart to see if they baked evenly…yes, they had. Now for the first bite…delightful. Light with a burst of flavor that lingers on the palate…I am truly pleased with todays results. Tomorrow I will make cranberry/walnut scones, a variation of the currant scone.

As a side comment, the above scones were delivered to my son and his family in Bath last evening. They were hosting a Bon Voyage gathering on the eve of their departure to the Caribbean. We had the most delicious tastes of the islands inspired by a buffet prepared by my daughter-in-law. My son made island rum drinks that had Mamie (me) relaxed and wishing she were going with them. We sang songs like, “Holiday” and “It’s not a dream your seeing down in the Caribbean”…remember that one?  The teenage boys were not too impressed and soon were off saying…”see you when we get back”…

A word from one who has to do everything at least twice, I have to tell you…if you take your time, plan your time and set aside any other business, follow the recipe with well rested eyes and body you will succeed the first time. The recipes are so instructional and detailed that one should nail it on the first go.

March 2, 2016

Cranberry/Walnut Variation

The same process as above was completed except dried cranberries and walnuts replaced the currants. The recipe suggested using Turbinado sugar instead of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Since I do not have this item in my pantry I again used the c/s mixture. No oh-oh’s and with that, considered these scones a success.

Tonight is “Turbo Tax Night” with daughter No. 2.  Hopefully, a scone or two will help make the task less painful. 

March 3, 2016

Today I resumed my Thursday morning league bowling in Brunswick. After that, it will be a trip to Now You’re Cooking in Bath to find Turbinado sugar. Then on to the local fish market for crabmeat that will be made into “cakes” for lunch upon my arrival home. I love my life> <3

Returned from my Thursday outing successfully obtaining the Turbinado sugar. Mike, at Now You’re Cooking, told me they didn’t carry this item but did tell me that good old Reny’s did. Thanks, Mike!…you’ve always been so helpful over the years.

Dried Apricot/Toasted Almond Variation

Again, repeated the above scone recipe using chopped apricots and roasted almonds. (There is a guide on roasting nuts in the back of the cookbook that is very helpful.) The scones were dusted with the Turbinado sugar, which I have to say was well worth the extra effort to find.

 

March 4, 2016

Today is a busman’s holiday. Baking on the docket but switching from scones to cakes! Tomorrow Dick and I are headed to Phippsburg to have lunch with old friends who just happen to be the parent’s of my daughter-in-law. Thumbing through “Pastries” I found a flourless chocolate cake that will certainly be a perfect addition to the day. I will repeat this in my blog later. At that time I’ll do the play by play. (Just a side note…it’s a lovely cake topped with whipped cream and mixed berries.)