Friday, April 1, 2011

Scones for Breakfast

April 1st. It really does seem like April Fool's Day today, the weather is playing a mean prank on us. But the rain inspired me to bake something for breakfast this morning. Well that and the fact that I was craving scones and didn't want to go get one from Starbucks.

So I decided to make my mom's delicious Cranberry Oatmeal scones. I didn't realize until today that "her" recipe was from Gourmet and I could have found it a long time ago if I had just typed in "oatmeal," "cranberry" and "scones" in the Epicurious search box. Either way, the recipe was sitting in my email inbox waiting for me to open it.

The recipe will come later though, because I want to tell you about this awesome book shop I went to on Wednesday. Yes, I am sorry I haven't posted anything since Monday night, but I went to dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday dinner was kind of a fail (expect a "failure" list soon). Last night was wine and cheese night, so even though I'll post about it, it didn't really involve much cooking (expect for the other fail this week, home made wheat thins). Anyways, I went to the Brattle Book Shop because of a reporter's challenge that I have to complete for one of my journalism classes. I was a bit reluctant to venture outside of my bubble and into the city of Boston, but I was happy I went.

As I made my way through the streets near Downtown Crossing, I ran into an outdoor book sale right outside Brattle Book Shop. Books sold for $1,3,5. Racks and racks of them; most of them hardcovers. I started to scour for cookbooks, obviously, but ended getting distracted by the variety. I spent about 15 minutes looking around--even though I wish I could have been there for hours--since I had to make my way to the next part of the challenge in order to meet my roommate for lunch. But I still bought five books for $15! I'm talking five vintage hardcovers in quasi perfect condition. Needless to say I left with a huge smile on my face and the fact that I had to lug them around with me for the rest of the day didn't affect me at all.

By the way, four of the books are cookbooks, which will appear in future posts as I decide to try out new recipes. The fifth book however is about art and civilization. I discovered my passion for history a long time ago and this book pretty much hit the bulls-eye. I will pay $5 anytime for a book that contains pages and pages of art and history under two hard covers (yes, I am all about hardcover books).

Ok, now that I've shared my adventure (hopefully not boring you too much), here is the recipe for the scones:

Cranberry Oatmeal Scones (adapted from Gourmet 2001)

  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (and more for sprinkling on top; use coarse for sprinkling if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk (and more for brushing)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries (more or less depending on how you like your scones)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl (use food processor if you have one and follow these instructions). Add oats and mix.
  3. Add butter and combine with hands until mixture resembles coarse meal (there should be some pea-size lumps). Mix in cranberries.
  4. Slowly add buttermilk and stir with a fork until dough is formed. Take about 1/2 cup dough and make 1-inch thick rounds. Places scones on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until scones are golden. Let cool and serve warm.

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