Thursday, September 23, 2010

Memories of a strange childhood

I think that one of life's great gifts is being able to joke (as an adult) with your parents about events in your childhood.  It's always interesting (and usually humorous) to learn what your parents were thinking when punishing you for doing crazy stuff--for instance, though he maintained a gruff exterior when removing my television from my bedroom after my third C in a row on an Algebra test, my father later told me that he felt terrible about it for weeks, and that the actual removal of the tv from my room as I watched sadly about broke him for good.

Or when they admit that certain things they absolutely insisted that you do, in truth, seemed pretty ridiculous to them too.  Like when my parents decided it would be a good idea to have my brother and I dress up after school one day a week and sit in the dining room with my mom where we would all sip tea and nibble scones.  As though we were British people.

You can imagine how well this went over with a six-year-old and a twelve-year-old.  I distinctly remember Alex and I staring at one another across the dining room table, a look of total confusion on our faces, "Is this real?" we wondered.  "Are we really being made to do this?"

Well it didn't last truth I only remember doing it once.  And just a few months ago Alex and I brought this up to my parents.  My father had completely wiped it from his memory, which my mom found funny because she said it had been his idea.  And she admitted that she thought it was absolutely nuts at the time and it took everything she had to not burst out laughing that afternoon.  My parents always went to great lengths to maintain a united front, which as a kid annoyed me to no end, but in retrospect I find it kind of sweet.

Nonetheless, the scone event did not traumatize me enough that I don't eat scones.  I adore scones.  And since I had a little time today, I made my first batch ever entirely from scratch.  I usually use a mix.  And there's no shame in that!

These are so absolutely marvelous.  No chalky texture, not hard as rocks.  Delicious amazing goodness in wedge form.

So I wanted to share the recipe with you, because what better way to say I love you than a sweet from my home to yours.

From Simply Scones by Leslie Weiner and Barbara Albright
Chocolate Chip Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled (yes, that's a whole stick, live a little!)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular size; chocolate is one thing that should never, under any circumstances, be consumed in miniature)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch-diameter circle in the center of a baking sheet (I used a non-stick mini-scone pan, which lessens cooking time by about 7 minutes and shapes the wedges uniformly).
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture.  With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  In a small bowl, stir together the eggs, orange juice, vanilla, and orange peel.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.  The dough will be sticky.  With lightly floured hands, knead in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch-diameter circle in the center of the prepared baking sheet.  With a serrated knife, cut into 8 wedges.  (Or just press the dough evenly into a scone pan.)  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or 12 to 15 with the scone pan), or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.  Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.  With a spatula, transfer the scones to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes.  Recut into wedges, if necessary.  Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container.  These scones freeze well.

Have a happy evening.

1 comment:

  1. Combining chocolate and orange is always a good thing. I look forward to trying your recipe.


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