As a writer, I often spend most of my time in seclusion, deep within my writing cave. Yet since the freedom to take a walk to my local coffee shop, visit family or friends, or to be able to drive to our local winery has been put on hold, I find myself in a cleaning mood. In going through my pantry, I discovered lots of golden nuggets...
A bag of mini Cadbury chocolate eggs
A bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips
Several Hersey bars
Chocolate covered espresso beans
A bag of dried cranberries
Hmm...I wonder who hid these treasures from me? In truth, some are leftovers from the holidays, but I believe the Cadbury mini chocolate eggs were from last Easter! I was giddy with delight! I love these but only get one bag during spring. Somehow I must have had a premonition and bought two last year and hid the extra bag, right? Whatever the reason, I'm a happy gal.
I see chocolate chip cookies (I have plenty of flour and sugar), smores (have a stash of graham crackers and marshmallows), and scones in my baking future. Thank goodness I can still go out and ride my bike and/or take a walk! These treats would surely attach to my thighs.
The rest of the treasures will be savored slowly.
My first go-to recipe is one of our favorites: Cranberry Orange Scones. For years I've been using buttermilk for my liquid ingredient. Yet I've found heavy cream gives a lighter texture, and I've made the switch. I've also been known to toss in a 1/2 cup chocolate chips, too.
Cranberry Orange Scones
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up
1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel (optional)
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Measure buttermilk in a 2-cup glass measure; beat in egg with a fork.
Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk or stir to mix well. Add the 8 tablespoons butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules.
Add cranberries, sugar, and orange peel; toss lightly to distribute evenly. Add heavy cream mixture. Stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 8 to 10 kneads, just until well mixed. Form dough into a ball; cut into 8 wedges. Form each wedge into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, or slipat.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to a wire rack. Brush with the 1 tablespoon butter—if desired. Let cool, uncovered, at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve with whipped cream or this mock devonshire cream...
MOCK DEVONSHIRE CREAM (A lovely substitute for clotted cream)
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup sour cream
Using a chilled bowl, beat cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar in the last few minutes of beating. Fold in sour cream and blend.