Friday, July 16, 2010


VBS week is officially over and I am worn out and wound tight so I'm decompressing a little by blogging. And my favorite thing to do with my blog when my brain is weary is post recipes. So here's a favorite I made this week. Hope you don't mind.

I made scones last night, two batches of them. I had two small events back to back to which I had to bring a dish. For one I needed a dessert and for the other a brunch dish. And for both I brought scones. That's just one of the things I love about them, they're so versatile!

I make them so often I could almost do it in my sleep (and, now, Redheaded Snippet can make them, too) and this time, I took photos.

I was all set with my ingredients and tools out, ready to get baking when I discovered that my last remaining liquid measuring cup is missing.

I don't know if this happens to you, but in my house, the darnedest things go missing and it just about makes me blow a gasket when they do.  I can understand when the phone, tv remote, or all the pencils in the house go missing; they're things we all use and things that tend to get used and left in odd places.  Well, okay, the tv remote shouldn't be used or left anywhere but very close to the tv, but anyway...

But when things that I know no one uses but me go missing, that makes me nuts.  I keep a ruler in one of the kitchen drawers.  It comes in very handy.  The children don't use rulers.  The Viking has a very manly tape measure and, thus, has no use for a small wooden ruler.  Yet it is constantly missing.

My kitchen tongs.  Okay, yes, once I caught The Viking using them to fish a dead frog out of Man-Cub's aquarium (and believe me I nearly had a coronary over that one--and bleached and scalded those tongs to near melting when he was done), but otherwise, no one else uses them.  And they still go missing on a regular basis.

My sunglasses.  Redheaded Snippet thinks my sunglasses are dorky.  The Viking and Man-Cub would have some serious explaining to do if they had any reason to be borrowing them.  But they disappear.

I know what you're thinking.  The only common denominator in all of these scenarios is me, right?  WRONG!  When it comes to my things, I leave them in the same places whenever I'm done with them.  It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

Anyway, I'm all ready to bake scones when I remember that my last remaining liquid measuring cup has gone missing and, of course, no one has claimed responsibility.  The first two were destroyed by my family and I had kept the last one in a closely guarded place but, alas, they discovered it.  It hasn't turned up anywhere and I have been left with no way to measure any liquids in the house.

This was the first tine I really needed to measure something since the disappearance and I was ready to panic!  I've been less than vigilant about the amount of cream I've put into these scones before and it really makes a difference!  The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups of cream and it means it!  No more, no less!  What was I to do?

Well, I scrounged through my entire kitchen looking for something, anything, that might help me measure 1 1/4 cups of cream when my eye fell on this item sitting on top of my fridge:

An old egg beater with...surprise...liquid measurements stamped on the side!  Yippee!  I was back in business and feeling like a genius!  So, on to the recipe!

Start with 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

Dump 'em all in a large bowl and whisk 'em up to evenly distribute (or use your rubber scraper if you don't feel like washing extra utensils). 

Add the 1 1/4 cups heavy cream to the dry ingredients and stir in just enough to fully incorporate into a sticky, rather dry batter.

It should look like this.  That's it, no eggs, no shortening, no butter.  Just flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream.  See?  Easy! 

Now, with your hands, knead the dough ever so gently, just enough to form it into a ball, so not really a proper knead at all but a few soft squeezes to get everything together.

Place the ball on a floured surface (I just put it directly on the island surface; it's engineered quartz and similar to marble in its smoothness and coolness) and gently press it into an 8-inch circle about 3/4 of an inch thick.  I confess, I never pay attention to how thick it is.  And I don't measure the diameter anymore, I just press it out until it looks big enough to cut into 8 wedges.

Cut into 8 wedges.  I've done 16 smaller scones before and you could probably do any number you wanted, but 8 makes 8 good-sized, hearty scones.

Transfer carefully to a parchment-lined cookie sheet (I did two batches yesterday so I used two sheets).  I really dislike working with parchment, but the recipe really doesn't work as well without it (you have to really watch the timing carefully as the bottoms will burn easily without it).

Brush each scone-to-be with milk or cream (I always use cream because I already have it out)...

Sprinkle with cinnamon (totally optional but I always do)...

Sprinkle with sugar (here I'm sifting confectioners sugar, but I usually just sprinkle table sugar on top)...

And bake at 425 degrees for 12-18 minutes.  I always check at 12 minutes and hover closely after that.  They're done when they're set on top but not yet browned.  And watch the bottoms; they'll turn on you if you aren't careful, even with the parchment!

We like these spread with clotted cream, lemon curd, jam (red plum, strawberry or apricot are my faves), or even Nutella, but they're good even with nothing.  And though they are good with a glass of cold milk, nothing is better with them than a cup or two of good, hot, strong tea!

Enjoy!  I'm off to bed!

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