I'm not quite sure where to start today, so why don't we just dive right in?
Here's the news from my end: it's March, and my mother's birthday is in a few days, and hey, I made a batch of scones and they were good! Delicious, even. Here's their before shot:
I found the recipe over at 101 Cookbooks, when I was looking through the archives the other day. The scones came originally from a cookbook called My Nepenthe by Romney Steele, and this morning, they seemed like just the thing to ward off yet another day of gray. The original version called for currants, but I had a bag of dried cranberries I'd picked up from Crow Farm in Sandwich lying around, and so I swapped those in instead. The oat/orange zest/cranberry combination proved just right—a little bit hearty, a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and a big hit. I ate one right out of the oven, took a half hour break, and dug in again. They have a nice crumb—moist and big, and a little bit chewy—and the oat flavor is there, subtle, just underneath the citrus. The cranberries add tang and chew—for everyone's good, Alex had better come home and claim some soon.
I can't stay much longer—there are, after all, still bowls and whisks and spatulas to be scrubbed and a dog that's very anxious for a walk—but I wanted to pop in and tell you to make a batch, maybe two.
CRANBERRY ORANGE ZEST OAT SCONES
This recipe is adapted from this recipe over at 101 Cookbooks. One thing to note is that the scones are very large—like those you might find at a commercial bakery. If you like smaller ones for home consumption, divide the dough into two balls before you pat it into discs. Then cut each disc into sixths instead of eighths.
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups rolled oats
zest of 1 orange
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup buttermilk (or almost 1 cup milk with a dollop of plain yogurt in it)
1/4 cup coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter and mix using a pastry cutter, until the butter is in small, pea-sized bits. Add the oats, orange zest, and cranberries. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until the dough is just moist.
Use your hands to bring the dough together. If it is still too crumbly, add more buttermilk a splash at a time until it comes together.
Working on a cutting board or piece of parchment paper, turn out the dough and pat it into an 8-inch round. Cut the round in half and then into quarters and finally into eighths, so that it forms 8 wedged triangle shapes. Use a spatula to transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle the top of each one with the coarse sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden and the scones are cooked through.