Monday, April 4, 2016

In the Scone Zone

Not long ago, I took a little excursion up to Detroit to visit Sister Pie bakery and get some shots for a column I was working on. While there, I was just enamored by the unique combinations of ingredients used in their muffins, scones, cakes and pies. Ingredients like kale, parsnips, radishes and leeks – ingredients I would have never thought about adding to baked goods.

Intrigued by this, I asked the owner how she came up with such incredible combinations. She told me that you just have to have a good, basic recipe, and then you add what’s in season. “It comes naturally after a while,” she added.

With that inspiration in mind, I decided to try my hand at scones. Now, I do realize that cheddar cheese and chives are not exactly unusual ingredients; however, having never made scones before, I thought the cheddar and chives would be a great addition to the basic scone recipe that I found in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Here is how I made them.

Cheddar and Chive Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 beaten egg
½ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon half-and-half

Heat oven to 400 F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter. Lightly stir in cheese and chives. Combine egg and ½ cup half-and-half; add to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead 10-12 strokes – don’t overdo it. Pat dough into a circle, about ½ inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Place scones 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon half-and-half. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Enjoy warm.

Here’s to coming up with new and unique combinations!

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