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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Laziest woman alive bakes.

Not that kind of baking, silly. I'm naturally lazy. I don't need any help. When I was pregnant, I decided to invite all of my friends for coffee one day. I must have been feeling all domestic, or maybe I just didn't want to put on pants and go out. Who knows. Anyhow, I decided to make dried cherry scones, because I was craving them. As I prepared the dough, I kept ignoring this little feeling I had that something was off. The dough was a little bit too powdery. Or maybe not. Pregnant women imagine things all the time. Funny, the dough wasn't really sticking together. Huh. I soldiered on, ignoring my inner Julia Child, who was by that point screaming, "Stop, you idiot! You forgot the freaking butter!" Because I couldn't admit defeat, I decided to melt the butter in the microwave and mush it in with my hands. And this was after the dough blob had been cooking for a few minutes. Just so you know, it didn't work.

By the time my friends came over, I was a sniffly mess. Having all been pregnant and over ambitious themselves a time or three (who can be expected to cook, in the morning, without massive doses of coffee?), they felt my pain. One of them offered to rub my feet while another made the scones, from the beginning. I turned down the kind offer because, as is common in pregnancy, I was so over those effing scones. But they are really good.

Now that the baby is two, I've recovered enough to revisit the scones. The other day, I received an email from Oh! Nuts, offering to send me some of their product. For free. All I had to do in return was use the stuff and consider sharing on my blog. I considered the ethics of such a proposition, got bored and decided to accept. I also warned them, before they sent me free stuff, that I have a tendency to veer into vulgar territory. Knowing myself as I do, I suspected I wouldn't be able to be completely mature about a company called "Oh! Nuts." I was right. Oh! Nuts*. The other day, my free stuff arrived, as promised
. They sent pecans, dried cranberries and dried sour cherries, which I requested. Those suckers are expensive and I like them. And I got me three little mouths to feed and a fancy lifestyle to uphold, y'all. But I digress...

Yesterday I made the scones, which also conveniently contain buttermilk, which I had in the fridge and needed to use. I still didn't follow the directions, because they involved too many bowls. This is the real recipe. Here's how I did it.

In the bowl of my beloved Cuisinart, I dumped the following:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
I blended it until it looked all crumbly. Then I dumped in the rest of the stuff:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries (with special thanks to Oh! Nuts*.)
I was about to start blending that when I felt that little feeling. I said, rather calmly, "Crap." I reached for the baking soda, which I had forgotten, and added 1/2 teaspoon to the processor. I pulsed until the whole mess turned into a dough ball. I really like the way this technique chopped and distributed the cherries. I would even go so far as to say that this was an improvement, if only a slight one.

Rather than dirty up the counter, I dumped some flour right onto the baking pan and kneaded and shaped the dough there. Have you ever tried to get sticky dough off of a counter? It's not the sort of activity I enjoy.

Scones before cooking or scoring.

Then I actually followed instructions and cut the dough circle into eight pieces, using one of my favorite kitchen tools, a Zyliss Pizza Cutter**.

Best Pizza Cutter Ever

I brushed the top of the scored dough with buttermilk and sprinkled it with sugar. Then I baked it at 400° for 15 to 18 minutes. Just like the directions said. Gold Star!

Dried Cherry Scones

Then, without even cleaning the food processor, I mixed up a pâte brisée and used it to make a quiche with sliced tomatoes, frozen spinach and all the cheese I had left in the fridge, a combination of mozzarella, Parmesan and St. André. I didn't let the dough chill, because I'm a rebel, but it didn't seem to make a big difference. I didn't par-bake the crust, which I should have done, but it wasn't the end of the world. If you're still reading, thank you for your kind interest. Also, you should know that the scones are really good with orange marmalade.

Namasté, y'all!

*That's what she said. Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

** Available at Mary and Martha's, last I checked.


Suz said...

I am so glad to discover I'm not the only one still saying "that's what she said." Thank you for that.

Brenda said...

Those scones look really good. Love the gratuitous product placement. :D With a name like Oh, Nuts!, I had to go visit their site too. See, it worked...

CarolinaBlonde said...

Ha! I love that another reader commented on "that's what she said!". I am going to have to include a link to this foodie post on my blog!

Anonymous said...

Scones were good. Quiche was out of this world. It must've been the tomatoes -- juicy and tasty. I'm dying here!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Did I mention I'm starving and that looks awesome. Yummmmy!