Friday, January 15, 2010

The Joy of Spiced Fruit Glazed Scones

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

It's no secret. I'm going through a Scones 101 phase. I've graduated from the easy to make and bake dropped scones to shaped scones. Cooking and baking can be a challenge. But once you try something new that seems difficult to do (the fear of unknown) and accomplish it with flying colors, it can be empowering and even builds confidence, especially for this former anti-bakeress. So, last night was exciting for me to take a mini break from the chaos in the world and enter the world of scones...

The Haiti earthquake is on the minds of people worldwide. As a quake sensitive and one who sensed the oncoming 7.1 deadly Loma Prieta aka World Series temblor that rumbled throughout the San Francisco Bay Area--flashbacks of the disaster are returning. I've been interviewed on the radio (another program tonight) and newspapers to discuss some of the similarities of the two catastrophes: the collapsed buildings, countless aftershocks, chaos, fear, trapped victims, and question of "What's next?" for the victims and survivors. My heart aches for all affected by this great disaster. I get it.

Last evening was the first time I took time out to visit the kitchen since the quake hit Haiti on Tuesday. Cooking and baking can be like exercise (something you do to calm the spirit during lifes' tragedies). Yes, swimming and walking the Brittanys are next. And a photo to be taken at the local newspaper this afternoon for a new food column. (There goes the swimmer's endorphin high.)

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Spiced Fruit Glazed Scones

3 1/2 cups 100% natural whole wheat flour

3/4 cup sugar (granulated)

1/4 cup European Style butter

1 cup low fat, all-natural vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons allspice

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

a dash of Mediterranean Sea Salt

1-1 1/2 cup fresh apples, chopped
(or substitute blueberries)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salts. Add chunks of butter (sliced in small squares). In another bowl combine yogurt, and milk, and stir till a dough-like mixture forms. Fold in apples. Form into a round ball (knead several times) and place on floured board or cookie sheet. Shape into a large circle. Cut in half. Then cut in half again and again for mini triangle shapes. Brush tops with a mixture of one brown egg and two tablespoons milk (2% low-fat). Use a spatula and place triangle shaped dough pieces onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. (Keep in fridge as you bake each batch.) Bake till brown and crusty, about 15 minutes. Cool and drizzle with a glaze (1 cup of confectioner's sugar mixed with 2% low-fat milk). Makes 16 to 32 (mini scones).

My days of buying pre-made adorable Starbucks scones may be over. It's fun to do at home and they taste light, fresh and fruity, crispy, and are pretty. These apple sweeties are going into the freezer so I won't be tempted to eat more than one at a time. They are a sweet treat for breakfast, brunch or afternoon snack with cup of healing chamomile or green tea. No, sweet scones cannot heal woes linked to the aftermath of an unforgettable quake. But making and savoring this spicy sweetbread can help to soothe the mind, body and spirit during troubled times-- like now.

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