My house is quiet. The kids have left for school. I am home alone in my warm house on a cold winter morning. What to do next? I opt to push aside my to-do list for a little while; I’m in no hurry to jump into my day today. No, today I will have a special morning, taking a bit of time for myself, savoring a sweet treat with my steaming morning cup of coffee.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and breakfast sweets for me may even surpass chocolate ones. Doughy, aromatic and soul-satisfying, they conjure up images of home, comfort, coziness. Think warm cinnamon rolls with gooey vanilla icing or buttery coffee cake with sweet nutty streusel -- you get the picture. But today I am in need of something that doesn’t require the time investment of yeast or a long bake in the oven. And for this scones are perfect: quick to prepare and quick to bake.
Scones, which can be made sweet, savory or plain, are similar to biscuits, both in their texture and in how they are made. Using the easily-found ingredients of flour, fat, salt, sugar, a leavening agent and in our case add-ins for flavor and added texture, you could probably prepare these using what’s already in your pantry and fridge.
The method for making scones is simple and straightforward: First, the dry ingredients are mixed together, then the fat is cut in using a pastry blender or your fingers, or using the easiest method, your trusty friend, the food processor. The mixture is then quickly combined with the liquid until just moistened, and is then kneaded very little to prevent the resulting scones from being tough. The dough is cut into triangles and baked immediately, and the resulting texture is flaky, tender and slightly crumbly. I actually make my scones completely in the food processor, which accomplishes two things: it distributes small pieces of the mix-ins evenly throughout the dough, and it also eliminates the need for me to wash lots of dishes afterwards.
My favorite scone is the epitome of breakfast, combining fruit and oats to produce the perfect morning treat. But I have also included a recipe for the die-hard chocoholics, those of you who have to have chocolate at all times of the day (and you know who you are!). Serve these delicious pastries fresh out of the oven with butter and jam, and of course, your morning cup of coffee. Perfect for a cold winter day.