Monday, March 16, 2009
Scones Two Ways
How do you like'em? Sweet or savory? Lemon cream scones have become a go-to recipe for me (Warning - if you've eaten my scones and are looking for the exact recipe, this ain't it - it's the base I started with and the one you should start with too!). They're easy, they always come out great, and you can make the dough the night before and bake them off quickly in the morning. These are light with slightly crunchy tops - I hate it when scones are heavy and dry. They're perfect by themselves with a cup of coffee or tea, but they'd be delicious with jam or cream.
Yesterday we had a National Charity League meeting and my assignment was to bring 4 doz. appetizers. Given that it's St. Patrick's Day tomorrow I searched online for an Irish appetizer. It turns out, Irish appetizer = beer, so after rejecting the idea of green deviled eggs (presumably with ham) I found a recipe very similar to my basic scones that called for cheddar cheese and chives.
I made two batches of this recipe using some fantastic Kerrygold cheddar (to stay in the Irish theme) and used a small biscuit cutter to make these little rounds. The cheddar was white but still sharp, so it had great fresh flavor but didn't make my scones Cheez-it yellow. I tested a crumb when they came out of the oven and they were delicious, but the true test is that a platter of about 80 of these little babies was wiped clean in minutes.
Today I have a meeting to hear grant presentations (Support your local nonprofits! They are feeling the pinch from both directions - more clients and fewer donors! But also look here, this is a silver lining.) and I was asked to bring the lemon scones, so I made a double batch and used the same cutter. It's a perfect size for someone who just wants a little something but not a whole big scone.
If you make these, here are a couple of tips that have made a big difference in the outcome for me: good, fresh, aluminum-free baking powder; mixing everything by hand to keep the dough light; wrapping the kneaded dough in plastic and letting it rest for 15 minutes (or even overnight) before patting out to cut; and preheating the oven for a good long time. And of course, if you add stuff like cheese or nuts...the better the ingredient the better the scones will taste!