Friday, April 14, 2017

Tea and Chocolate Scones

At Tahoe in April brewing tea, making a fire, enjoying a light
snowfall is not unusual
Scones and tea are popular in England and America, including Northern California... Triangle scones, big and small, can be found at coffee shops abound like our Starbucks—and you can make these semi-biscuit treats yourself, too. This time around, I switched it up and gave my scone recipe a makeover. I changed some basic ingredients, and used different add-ons for a new, springtime Easter flair.

Pre-Orders at amazon, kobo,
barnes and noble, late fall release
Two years ago, the day before Easter Sunday, I was booked at the Roseville Barnes and Noble bookstore for a lecture/signing. I offered a giveaway of Easter candy chocolate eggs and bars; I bought scones for my Easter treat. In between talking to customers, I longed to be with my two dogs kenneled through the holiday.  After a few hours, I fled and played beat the clock. Traffic was heavy.  I called the attendant and begged. “Please wait. I think I can make it in time.” It was close. I sensed the challenge was worth the effort. At six p.m., I ran to the back door. Mission accomplished. I did it. I rescued my happy canine duo, both Brittany and Aussie wagging their docked tails and smiling. The reward: I’d be with my boys on Sunday; I recall savoring leftover scones from the bookstore in the company of my two best friends. 
  Ready made scones are good but homemade scones are rustic good. At the store I saw a bag of self-rising flour and wanted to try it and see if it makes the scones thicker and tender. Accidentally, I grabbed a package of premium white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate—but it was meant to be for a lighter flavor and look.

Orange White Chocolate Scones

2 ¾ self-rising bleached flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup European style butter (cold, small cubes)
1 brown egg
1 cup reduced fat cultured buttermilk, 2 % milkfat
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange rind, grated
2 tablespoons juice from 1 orange
3/4-1 cup choc-au-lait vanilla milk chips
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Enjoy a chapter on pairing honey and tea
Half and half, organic, for brushing 
Raw sugar for sprinkling
Marmalade, jam, cream cheese, or honey for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour (sift or whisk), granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Add chunks of butter. In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, vanilla, orange rind, and juice. Combine dry and wet mixtures. Fold in chocolate. Place ball of dough on floured cutting board. Shape into round circle, flatten, and knead several times. Once the disk is a 1 inch circle cut in half, repeat until you have several triangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with half and half, sprinkle with raw sugar. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Bake till golden brown, about 20 minutes. Makes 8-10. Serve with orange marmalade, organic strawberry or apricot jam, cream cheese or honey. Pair with black or herbal tea—hot or iced.

I’ve made fruity and savory scones but vanilla milk chips and citrusy notes are perfect for the season of renewal. The self-rising flour did indeed give these scones height and a fresh  chewy cookie texture with a light crispy crunch. This Easter I’ll be with the dog and cat, and enjoy these special scones with coffee in the morning and herbal tea in the afternoon.

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