scones

Cheddar Scones and Apple Butter

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I'm still thinking about New Year breakfast/brunch ideas for when my cousins come for our annual sleepover. Shakshuka is a definite. But I am also going to make these cheddar cheese scones and serve them with butter and/or a really special apple butter condiment that I tasted at Kosherfest last November.

You can use any good, sharp cheddar for the recipe, but at Kosherfest I tasted The Cheese Guy’s Double Ale Cheddar Cheese, which won an award for Best Dairy/Cheese, and loved its boozy tang, so if you can find it, you can give it a try.

The company's Vermont Apple and Maple Syrup Butter also won for Best Jams/Preserves and Dried Fruit. I figured -- the sharp cheese and the sweet apple butter -- it's a good combo!

Cheese Scones                          

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek style yogurt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cheese. Mix the egg and yogurt together and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a circle of 1/2" thickness. Cut the dough into eighths. Place the scones on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until scones are browned and well risen.

Makes 8

 

Irish Oat Scones

    

 

 

I don't make scones very often because I have a difficult time limiting myself to one. I usually eat two. Or three. And then feel guilty and tell myself I will work out more. But of course, I don't do that either.

On the other hand --- tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day and even though I am not Irish, I figure, why not take an opportunity to celebrate? I love Irish food, especially the scones.

So, here's my recipe. Whatever your heritage, try these on Saint Patrick's Day or whenever.

 

Irish Oat Scones

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons shortening, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon peel in a food processor (or large bowl). Process briefly (or mix) to combine ingredients. Add the butter and shortening and process on pulse (or mix with your fingers or pastry blender) until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the milk and process (or mix) until a soft dough forms. Place the dough on a floured board, knead briefly and press into a disk about 3/4" thick. Cut out circles with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Place the circles on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned.

Makes 8

Scones

Last week I took Lila, age 8, to afternoon tea at a tea parlor in New York City. I usually meet her after school on Wednesdays and we do something special together. On this particular day she requested tea because she said she wanted “scones and jam and that soft white stuff we had at Zev’s bar mitzvah," (the celebration after the service was an Afternoon Tea).

The “soft white stuff” was, of course, clotted cream.

Who can resist clotted cream?

Lila has good taste. I say that not just because she understands that clotted cream is something wonderful. But also because when we were seated at our table, she noticed that our places were set with clunky mugs while at the next table there were beautiful floral-design china tea cups, which, when the waiter left after taking our order, she switched. Then she switched the sugar box from our plain white earthenware one to the next table’s gold-trimmed bone china one.

I thought such niceties were gone from the earth, at least for young folks, so I felt positively uplifted by what she did.

Fancy is good sometimes, don’t you think?

As for the scones, Lila had known about those long before our date or even her cousin’s bar mitzvah celebration. She and I have made them at my house. Scones are easy. Even a young child can do it.

Scones also take very little time. And they are amazingly tender, moist and flaky.

Scones: perfect for tea, breakfast, coffee break, snack and even a bar mitzvah celebration. With or without the jam and that soft white stuff.  

 

Scottish Lemon Currant Scones

 

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel        
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

                                                                                                                                         

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in currants. Mix the egg and buttermilk together and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a 1/2" thickness. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Place the scones on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are browned and well risen.

 

Makes 12

 

NOTE: you may also make wedge-shaped scones: divide dough in half, then roll each half to 1/2” thick circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges.

 

 

Scones

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Happy Birthday Charles Dickens! It’s your 200th. And even though you lived long ago and wrote about what was happening back then, in the 19th century, what you had to say still seems fresh, new and relevant today.

You spoke out for social justice. You showed how unfairly balanced your society was between the haves and the have-nots. You wrote about how poor children were made to work and beg. And your stories portrayed how people can speak in high moral tones about “good values” and yet be mean-spirited and behave like brutes.

It rings true even now, in the 21st century.

I raise my tea cup to you. 

And for anyone who loves the writings of Charles Dickens, here’s a recipe for scones to go with that tea, a fitting way to celebrate the birthday of the great English master storyteller.

Scones

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teasoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

6 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and work into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Mix the egg and buttermilk together in a bowl. Pour into the flour mixture. Mix into a soft, uniform dough. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Place the circles on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are browned and well risen. (You can also cut the dough in half, roll each half to 1/2-inch thickness and cut each into 6 wedges, for triangular shape scones). Makes about 12

Scottish Lemon Currant Scones

I just got a call to be “the entertainment” at a bridal shower cooking demonstration in a couple of months. That got me to thinking about suggesting a Tea. And that got me to thinking about spring.

Not that tea has anything to do with spring. In fact, one of the best “teas” I remember was when I was in London during the winter, on business there with my husband, and we went for tea at The Ritz. So glamorous. Everyone was cold, the weather was brisk. The tea was hot and comfy.

Still, the food at tea is light. More springlike. Cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon sandwiches. Little cakes. And scones (I am sure I asked for extra clotted cream). And that got me to thinking about this recipe:

Scottish Lemon Currant Scones

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2-1/2 tablespoons sugar

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/2 cup currants

6 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon peel. Stir in the currants. Add the butter in chunks and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix the egg and buttermilk together. Pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough has formed. Cut the dough in half and roll each half on a floured surface into a circle 1/2-inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place the wedges on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Makes 12

Serve with butter, clotted cream or strawberry jam