Although the superstar meal of Christmas and Thanksgiving is always the dinner, I’ve started some of my own traditions around the start of the day. For me, cooking dinner is an all-day event. And in order to have the stamina for a marathon day of cooking, I firmly believe you should start the day with something that is both fresh baked and easy. Something that goes with mimosas, of course.
I read a lot of blogs, and although I like to imagine myself cooking all of the delicious and beautifully photographed food I run across, the reality is that there are maybe three days a year I will have time to devote an entire day to cooking. When I ran across this scone recipe at poppytalk.blogspot.com, the berry/chocolate combo grabbed my sweet tooth and I decided to try them out the next weekend. It was a bonus that I had most of the things on the list. A lot of times, a recipe will look amazing and then call for a list of ingredients that would require a lot of shopping. Suddenly, the recipe looks less appetizing.
For this recipe, I had almost everything — except the berries and chocolate chips. I am never averse to buying chocolate chips.
Start with 2 cups all-purpose flour. The original recipe called for 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat, so that would probably work too. I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, so it was all-purpose all the way. Mix in 2 tablespoon sugar, 1 rounded tablespoon baking powder and a pinch of salt.
Once that’s mixed, add in 6 tablespoons butter and work it in until it resembles coarse meal — I’ve found that getting your hands messy with this task makes it go a lot faster. Add ½ cup chopped frozen berries. While the original recipe calls for frozen cherries, I used mixed berries. Pick your favorite and go with that.
Add ½-1 cup chocolate chips, depending on how chocolaty you want your scones to be. Stir in 2 large eggs and 1/3-½ cup heavy cream or half and half. You want the dough to stick together but not be sticky. When the dough comes together, knead it 10-12 times, and then shape it into a circle about 10-12 inches in diameter. I found that I had to dust the circle with flour as the berries had started to thaw and turned my hands purple and pink. Cut into eight wedges and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden.
These scones take 15 minutes or so to whip up, and with 12-15 minutes of baking time to clean up the mixing bowl and pour a cup of coffee, they are a great way to start off a long day at home in the kitchen. Plus there are plenty left for snacking for the rest of the day!
• Fresh is a photo/food column by Yakima Herald-Republic photographer Sara Gettys. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.