As promised, as part of the Winter 2005 Adventures in Cooking series, this week I researched the wild world of scones.
This was a good deal more complicated than crumpets. There are thousands of recipes out there. (Find examples here, here, and here. There's even a scone newsletter.) One of the reasons everyone loves scones, it seems, is because they're so easy. Scones don't have to look perfect. Even better, you can throw pretty much anything in them short of a pair of tennis shoes.
I dutifully researched a few recipes and even considered one that would have required Droste chocolate, until I realized that would require me to slog across the frozen city tundra to a store that sold such a thing. What I really wanted, I realized after a little research, was a chocolate chip scone.
My fascination for this treat dates back to my nutrition-free 20s, when a chocolate chip scone from the long-gone Red Chair Bakery constituted lunch (it went best with milk and an issue of Ben Is Dead). Anyway, I decided to try the recipe here.
A few notes: The recipe directs you to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, which I did not have (nor was going to try to buy; see frozen tundra problem above). A nonstick cookie sheet worked just fine. It also calls for unsalted butter, which should be used cold (but not frozen, as mine unfortunately was initially). I used a few more chocolate chips than the half cup the recipe calls for, because you can never have too many.
These details aside, the recipe was ridiculously easy. Scone enthusiasts caution you not to "overwork" the dough, so I was cautious about that. My dough was so sticky, however, that I don't see how I could have overworked it without losing a nail (just what no one wants). The result, however, was light and fluffy and just as good as the scones of my youth.Posted at January 29, 2005 06:17 PM