By Cal Orey
|Spice and Raisin Scones with|
Sweet Vanilla Glaze
The cold and snowy winter season is here. It’s time to fill up on hearty and warm comfort foods. Think home baked scones...
I remember one winter storm in 1983 when I lived in Santa Cruz mountains. In a house overlooking the San Lorenzo River my concerns of the raging water rising was happening in my unused gourmet kitchen—not baking scones. As a student at San Francisco State University, one night our final exam for a science class was canceled due severe flooding and a power outage—the lights were out. On the way home, food for me was hot cheese and herb pizza slices at the local pizza spot. Baking wasn’t in my vocabulary.
But these days in the heavy sierra snowstorm, baking a batch of scones chock-full of herbs is a feat I did accomplish and is well worth the effort. The scone is a popular British bread that is quick to make. Savory scone like a cheese kind (cake flour gives it a light texture) is perfect paired with scrambled eggs, a bowl of chili or simply solo with a pot of tea. A dropped scone is quicker to make than other varieties, has a nice rustic look, and it tastes just as good if not better than the perfect circle shape. And the Mediterranean touch I like to use comes from using European Style butter (creamy and rich) with sea salt--and keeping the portion smaller than larger.
|Pumpkin Scones with Herb Butter|
2 cup cake flour
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup European Style butter, cold small cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1 brown egg
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, fresh, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
|Dried Cranberries and Walnuts|
for Round Scones
and Cream Cheese
The first scone I tasted was a petite vanilla one at Starbucks. Later on when I entered the world of scones I discovered savory types were tasty, too. To enhance a warm scone for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, try herb butter (just a small amount). Mix a teaspoon of real butter with a dash of fresh basil and parsley. Or try drizzling the scone with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
This weekend when the sun shines again, I will bake sweeter triangle shaped scones with apples and walnuts with a maple glaze and circle shaped scones infused with currents and dried apricots. Scones are a great way to bring in the New Year with good food, less sweets, and good vibes for the best and worst of times (during a historical California winter storm), with respect to Charles Dickens. And don't forget to make a nice pot of tea--any kind will suffice and fuel your body, mind, and spirit.