Friday, August 21, 2009

Mmmm Scones!

Well, we're finally back. It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks. I (Emily) started my job and Iain's been going crazy trying to find a place for us to move into come September 1. But he did and we've signed a lease and it's going to be fantastic. It's got a great kitchen, anyway.

So while we have been cooking/baking quite a bit (expect a post soon with some brief descriptions of our latest adventures), we haven't found much time to blog about it.

Anyway, last weekend I thought it would be lovely to make some scones. We'd let some milk go close to sour and so I figured it would be good to buttermilkify it. We had most of a lemon sitting around too, so I decided that traditional lemon-buttermilk scones were probably the way to go. That thought was gone, however, as soon as we opened the cupboards. We were, shall we say, low on some essential ingredients. So the planned breakfast quickly morphed into a baking adventure that resulted in, incredibly enough and to my great delight...

Lemon Chai Scones

Now, before we get started I would like to stress, once again, that this was a baking adventure. I did not follow a recipe while actually cooking, although I did consult a couple of generic scone recipes. Thus, the ingredients and procedure are approximate, nothing was recorded until after the fact, and I cannot guarantee that if you follow this to the letter you'll get the same results I did. I was, however, shocked by how great these turned out! The flavors melded really well, the whole wheat flour added nice texture and depth, and as far as nutrition and scones go these are pretty decent. So I do recommend giving these a try, particularly if you enjoy chai. Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS chai powder *note* One of my friends gave me a small bag of this 'chai powder' for my birthday. According to the website of the company it's from, the ingredients are: sugar, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and black pepper. If you can't find any where you are, you can probably try mixing it yourself.
  • cinnamon sugar to taste
  • 1/2 stick (4 TBS)butter.
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • juice and zest of half a lemon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

  • As with most muffins, start by stirring together the dry ingredients-- in this case the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, chai powder, and cinnamon sugar.

  • Cut in the butter. If you aren't familiar with this term, it means slicing the butter into little chunks and then using two knives to cut it into smaller bits (aiming for the size of peas, more of less) and incorporating it into the dry ingredients. If you have a pastry cutter, that's easier, or you can throw it into a food processor and have it done in twenty seconds, but I really enjoy the manual work.

  • Pour the buttermilk, lemon juice, and zest into the dry mix. If you're so inclined you can mix the wet ingredients together first-- it would probably help. But I was lazy so I didn't. Also, a note on buttermilk. I don't think I've ever actually bought it, because you can sub in sour milk, and you can actually make milk into sour milk by adding one teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of milk you want to buttermilkify. It sounds strange, I know, but it really does work. It might not have the same delicious flavor as buttermilk, but chemically it works well (and it certainly doesn't taste bad).

  • Bake for 25 minutes, more or less.

  • Lemon-Chai Glaze

    I decided to throw this on top just for fun, and also because we still had a quarter of a lemon left. And also because I was already deep into baking adventure mode and we're trying to use up ingredients before we move. Anyway....

    • 1/4 lemon, juiced
    • chai (liquid this time. I had some chai tea I'd iced in the fridge and just poured some in. Probably a couple of tablespoons. But it's all a matter of proportions with this stuff so I won't try to give exact measurements)
    • Powdered sugar (same deal as chai).
    Combine the ingredients and stir/whisk thoroughly until a good pouring/spreading consistency is reached. This is where it gets super subjective, because it comes down to individual taste/texture preferences. Personally, I used probably no more than a few tablespoons of liquid and well over 2 cups of powdered sugar. Others might take that even further and use 4 cups of sugar for that amount of liquid. Others might want something thinner. So just mess around. Add liquid slowly and taste the glaze to make sure it doesn't taste like pure sugar. After the scones have cooled a little, spoon (or spread, depending on the consistency) the glaze on top. Enjoy!

    So that'll do it for now. But expect a post from Iain soon regarding a particular Italian-inspired adventure. G'night, everybody!

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