Monday, August 10, 2015

Mysteries & Savory Scones

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I love to read, its a bit of an addiction, but one I hope to cultivate in my daughter as well. I usually try to read 100 books each year, but this year I've found quite a few series I like and have read even more than usual - its only August and I've read 84 books! One of the genres I enjoy is foodie lit, especially if they include recipes. Stacey Ballis is one of my favorite authors in that genre, so is the fabulous Ruth Reichl.

However, thanks to goodreads, I stumbled upon a series of mysteries that also have a cooking/magic element (2 of my favorite things!) by Bailey Cates last week and quickly blew right through the first 4 books (my library doesn't have the 5th yet). I decided to try one of the recipes featured in the book this week and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was.

This recipe for savory Cheddar Sage Scones from her book "Brownies & Broomsticks" is perfect to accompany a soup or salad for a lunch or light dinner, or serve them alongside an afternoon tea for a yummy snack. Scones are so easy to make, the keys to perfect ones are to use super-cold butter and not over-mix them. These turned out flaky, tender and delicious, I can't wait to try them again. I just used some leftover mild cheddar I had in my fridge, but I think they'd be fantastic with a sharp white cheddar. This is a great base recipe too, you can always switch up seasonings and cheese or even add dried fruits. I love the sweet/salty combo of fruit with cheese so white cheddar and dried cranberries will be my next attempt!

Cheddar Sage Scones

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp, kosher salt
1 tsp. dried rubbed sage (I like to use Penzey's)
6 tbsp. butter (cut into small cubes and frozen for at least 15 minutes)
2/3 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set aside ¼ cup flour in a small bowl. In a medium bowl combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sage. 

Add chilled butter and cut into flour by rubbing with your fingers or using a pastry blender until the consistency of rough cornmeal. Add the grated cheddar to the ¼ cup flour and toss to coat. Shake to remove excess flour and add to pastry mixture, tossing with your hands to evenly distribute the cheese. 

Whisk together the egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring lightly with a fork until ingredients are moistened and just hold together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead twenty times. 

Add more flour to the surface if needed. Pat into an 8-inch circle, slightly higher in the center than on the edges. Using a very sharp knife, cut eight equal wedges. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slightly apart from one another. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Brownies & Broomsticks by Bailey Cates

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