A Good Morning!

Well, it so far has been a wonderful morning (excepting the below zero temperatures and the dog nearly trampling Brighton while in a hissy to get her treat after coming back inside). I woke up about 6:15, Brighton still sleeping, I went into the kitchen, started some fresh blueberry scones and made myself an espresso macchiato breve. (two shots of espresso over foam and steamed half and half). Brighton woke up and practiced his Stand Up routine to Feebee in his bedroom until I could come get him. Then I finished the scones (I burnt them a little bit…but definitely still edible), Brighton and I each had a scone, drank my espresso, let the dogs out and now I’m blogging. And as soon as I’m done with that, I’ll be getting us ready to head out the door to go to a play date with Gretchen and Josey. I think it’s going to be a good day.

Would you like the recipe for my scones? Again, from America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Cookbook. They are the best scones…and SO EASY!
Some tools that defintely make it easier to prepare:
Food Processor or Pastry Cutter
Dough Cutter / Scraper

CREAM SCONES WITH CURRANTS:

Makes: 8
Prep Time: 5 Minutes (not for me, about 15 minutes if I have everything prepared)
Total Time: about 40 minutes
2 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
3 Tbsp sugar (or splenda for baking)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and chilled
1/2 C currants
1 C heavy cream

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together to combine, about 6 pulses. (Or you can whisk it if you don’t have a food processor). Scatter the butter evenly over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few slightly larger butter lumps, about 12 pulses. (use your pastry cutter to cut through the butter to produce the same effect. If you have neither a processor nor a pastry cutter, you can use a knife. If you don’t have a knife, I don’t know what to tell you…)

Add the currants and quickly pulse once to combine. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Stir in the cream with a rubber spatula utnil the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. (if your dough is too dry, add a little more heavy cream or half and half about a teaspoon at a time. Your dough should be silky, not sticky).

Turn the dough and any floury bits out onto a floured counter and knead until it forms a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. …Press the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Unmold the dough and cut into 8 wedges. Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet (I use one with sides incase the butter melts and falls to the bottom of the oven).

Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. (“Resist the urge to eat the scones right out of the oven. Letting them cool for at least 10 minutes firms them up and improves their texture”)

VARIATION:
Ginger Scones
Substitute 1/2 C chopped crystallized ginger for the currants
VARIATION:
Cranberry-Orange Scones
Add 1 tsp grated orange zest with butter and substitute 3/4 C dried cranberries for the currents
VARIATION:
Lemon-Blueberry Scones
Add 1 tsp grated lemon zest with the butter and substitue 1 C fresh or frozen blueberries for the currents. Mix the dough by hand after adding the blueberries to keep them plump and whole. (Coat fresh blueberries with about 2 Tbsp flour to keep them dry, or if using frozen, thaw them out and dry them with a towel before adding to the dough. Otherwise, your batter will look grey and your texture will be too wet.)
tip: you can also brush a little cream or half and half on top of the scones and drizzle sugar on top for a little extra sweetness and to gloss up the top-however, it’s not necessary for these scones.

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