Scintillating scones

11 Dec

So it’s finals week, which means I have two take home finals due this week and have to proctor and grade an exam later.  And of course, that means that while I’m working on my take home real analysis final and wondering why \int_{[a,b]} f dm\geq 0 for every rational a<b implies that f(x)\geq 0 a.e.  (Don’t tell me!  Or at least not til after Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll have figured it out by then), I’m also daydreaming about what I can bake tonight as a treat for myself.  (I don’t know exactly how to use parenthetical sentences; like where does the question mark go here?)  I still had chocolate chips leftover from my pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, and some OJ because I love me some orange juice in the mornings.

I wanted to make orange juice-chocolate chip cookies, but a quick google search convinced me that scones were the way to go.  I’ve probably memorized about three baking recipes: the shortbread was one; this is the second; there’s probably a third somewhere in my head (I get lost up there sometimes).  (That’s when I use a lot of parentheses.)  (Or when I’ve been thinking about math all day.)

One HUGE TIP to making scones: USE A FOOD PROCESSOR.  It makes scones take absolutely no time.  Also, chill your butter!  Keeps the dough together without getting too sticky.

Me being myself, I followed neither of these pieces of advice nor my recipe too closely this time.

First, whisk together:

2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c sugar

Golly gee whisk, Batman!  Whisks are so effective!

Golly gee whisk, Batman! Whisks are so effective!

I’ve always had trouble with my dry ingredients and having bites of baking soda and/or salt in my baked goods.  And then I discovered whisks!  Whisk are so great!  Though this would have been even easier with a food processor.

As a present to myself, I bought a grater from K-Mart!  I was hoping for a microplane but neither the grocery store nor k-mart had it and I was over it by then.  I also bought an orange (the only part of this recipe that I didn’t already have in my pantry) for zesting.  Those of you who read the fruitcake post know what a big deal this grater is.

Now, now kids, mother knows zest.  This is one of my weaker captions.

Life is so much greater with the right tools.

Toss in the zest of an orange or two to that flour bowl.

Then cut in a stick of butter using two knives (or your food processor or your pastry cutter).  I’ve never understood what this direction means in recipes.  Cutting butter into flour seems to work just as well with a knife and fork, or even one knife.  It’s also sort of sadly ineffectual.  I was going to put in a picture but it just looks sad.

Next, and here’s the key, mix in

1/4-1/2 cup of sour cream (I use yogurt)

1 egg

whatever else you want to throw in there

I added about 1/4 cup of OJ, squeezing in those oranges I zested and adding some breakfast goodness.  This is also a good time for dried cranberries or chocolate chips or walnuts.

Hey, leggo my egg yo-gurt!  And mix in there.

Hey, leggo my egg yo-gurt! And mix in there.

Don’t mix it too much, just mix so everything is sticking together.  Then plop thoat sucker down on a silpat on a baking sheet, split it into two balls and pat ’em down, and use your buttered knife to score them into quarters or sixths or eighths.  I got to about this point when I remembered my chocolate chips because I’m a doofus, and so I just smashed a handful of them down into one of my lumps.

Wheel of fortune! Every spin is a good one.

So, once you’ve got your sixths or eighths or quarters, sprinkle them with some granulated sugar and toss the cookie sheet into a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Then you can cut along your score marks and get cute little scones.

Nothin left, nothin left for me to do.  You're the scone that I want!  Ooh ooh ooh honey!

Nothin left, nothin left for me to do. You’re the scone that I want! Ooh ooh ooh honey!

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