Happy belated Easter to you all! I hope you were all blessed with as beautiful an Easter Day in your home towns as we were in Charlotte. Simply gorgeous!
To celebrate this joyous day we joined some friends for an after church outdoor brunch. It was potluck. After last week’s potluck fiasco resulting in me showing up to a cookout with store-bought potato salad (gasp!), I knew I had to redeem myself. My foodie/cook reputation could be hanging in the balance…
So, I thought long and hard about what my contribution to this brunch would be and the answer was clear – SCONES!! I ask you, what is more “spring brunchy” than SCONES?!?
Once again, I turned to The Foster’s Market Cookbook for inspiration. More specifically, I chose to make Sara Foster’s Chocolate Chip Espresso Scones.
I got up early before church to whip these babies up. Did I mention that I’ve never made scones before? So they didn’t exactly “whip up”. They were a little labor intensive. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea when I’m trying to redeem myself from a major foodie faux pas! I was nervous and in a rush after waking up 30 min later than intended. So I don’t have a lot of pics because 1) I hadn’t had my requisite two cups of coffee (which is dangerous in and of itself) yet while I was making these and 2) these scones were stressing me out.
The recipe called for cutting the butter into the dry ingredients mix with a food processor. I only have a mini-Cuisinart, not a full sized one. So it took me several attempts to figure out how I was going to make this work in shifts. Ultimately I cut little cubes of butter into the large bowl of dry ingredients then transfered it into the mini-Cuisinart for some pulsing in 3/4 cup shifts. We got through it, but ultimately my kitchen looked like a flour bomb exploded in it.
Once cut and mixed, it was now time for me to add in the wet ingredients…buttermilk with espresso dissolved into it. The Foster’s Market Cookbook maintains that it is the use of buttermilk, versus the typical heavy cream or half-and-half, yields a “lighter and flakier” scone.
The recipe called for this to be mixed in a large bowl, so I whipped out the largest bowl I have. It apparently wasn’t large enough as I could really couldn’t stir the ingredients without sloshing it all over my already flour dusted countertop. So…I dove in with my hands, trying my best to distribute the ingredients evenly.
So as I’m attempting to mix with my hands, thinking “This isn’t going well” to myself, and becoming increasingly aware that I’m running really late, I read the words “Do not overwork the dough” in the recipe. But that’s it. No further indication of what action would result overworked dough. Clearly, Sara’s target audience has prior biscuit making experience. I’ve said it before – I cook. I don’t really bake. Which, again, makes me think this wasn’t the best idea for today. Don’t overwork the dough?!? What does THAT look like? How would I know?
I finally get frustrated trying to finish mixing the dough by hand in the bowl and just dump it out on the kitchen counter,
wash the espresso-buttermilk goo off my hands, and head back to the recipe. Well, what do you know. I was SUPPOSED to dump it out on the counter. Maybe I have more “baker instincts” than I thought…
Confident in my new baker skills, I commenced rolling. Gigantor chocolate chip cookie anyone?
Incidentally, the recipe makes two of those so that you end up with 12 total scones. From here, it’s pretty easy. You just cut it into six equal triangles, brush them in an egg wash, and bake them up.
The only problem now is, it’s 9:50 a.m. and I have to serve them at 12:30 p.m. – piping hot! Will they be okay if I put them in the fridge for 3 hours before baking them? Surely they will right? That won’t mess up the baking chemistry will it? AAAAHHHH….now I’m nervous again. I should have asked somebody about this first. I really don’t want to mess up my contribution to a friend’s potluck gathering for the second week in a row!
At this point I have no choice. I’m pretty sure that it’s more “dangerous” to leave the raw sliced dough on greased baking sheets sitting on my countertop. So into the fridge they went. And I rushed home from church an popped them into the oven before heading over to brunch…holding my breath along the way.
Well, they look like proper scones to me…
Okay, so we were 20 min late, but we showed up with fresh-from-the-oven, piping hot scones as everyone was sitting down on the lawn to eat. Half of them were gone before I could get them to the buffet.
Rave reviews all around! Comments from the peanut gallery went something like “Those are awesome!” “These are fantastic!” “Did you make these from scratch?” I am redeemed…which has more than one meaning for me on this lovely Easter Sunday.
So, I think I can safely say that my foodie reputation in firmly in tact!