Monday, September 10, 2012

Apple raisin scones

Le sigh.  It's Monday, isn't it?  What if I ignore every calendar and day planner in my life?  I'd like to stay in my peaceful weekend bubble juuuuuuuust a bit longer.


After a whirlwind two weeks or so, full of college football, family picnics, fancy VIP book parties and generally running this way and that, it all came to a screeching halt on Friday.

I'd planned to start my weekend with an ultra sweaty, heart-pounding workout but that turned out to be a bust when a harmless prank on my coworker resulted in a surprisingly painful injury to my right leg.  Instead of hitting the gym, I headed straight home with my evening wide open.

All week I'd tracked the weekend forecast of cooler temperatures and multiple chances for rain showers and storms.  I legitimately prayed -- I kid you not -- for downpours.  I wanted every excuse in the world not to "take advantage of this beautiful weather while you can!" and instead stay inside, cozied up in my new sweats, and just be a bum.

Be careful what you wish for, friends.  You bet I got my downpours, but I also got a bit of immobility in my right leg, nixing my intended workout on Friday and long run on Saturday.  Ask and you shall receive, right? :)

Regardless, I didn't really know what to do with myself on Friday.  It wasn't time to make dinner yet, but I wasn't ready to plant myself on the couch for the evening.  No matter how hard I try, I will always have the "earn it" mentality.  What could I do that would be productive?

Bake.  Obviously.

However, I didn't have a firm recipe.  I didn't measure out my ingredients.  I didn't even know what exactly I wanted to make.  But, I knew how I wanted to feel when I enjoyed whatever it is that I was going to bake.

I wanted to feel relaxed.  I wanted to feel peaceful.  I wanted to feel cozy.  And I wanted to feel like there was absolutely nowhere else in the world that I needed to be, except for right here, enjoying the moment.

Savoring every last crumb of a delicious apple cinnamon and raisin scone.

I don't know how to explain what happened other than by saying, welp, it just happened!  I took a little of this and a little of that, thanked my lucky stars there was heavy cream in the fridge, occasionally referenced the base recipe, and just went about mixing until I was content with what I had in front of me and stuck it into the oven.

And then, when the gorgeous little pastries came out of the oven, I didn't stop there.  I spontaneously (a word I rarely use when describing my behavior, FYI) made a cinnamon glaze for the scones.  Lazily drizzling it over every last one.  When they were done, I didn't make a fanfare about them or even yell for Matt that it was sampling time.  I promise you that what I'm about to tell you is the honest to God truth:

I took one scone, sat down on the floor, and just ate it.  And I took about five minutes to do so.

Just sitting.  And chewing.  Those were the only things on my to-do list at that moment.  And it was pure bliss.  Warm spice lighter than air cake enveloping moist apples and plump raisins.  Truly made me speechless.

I didn't even take staged pictures until the next day.  I was in a fall-is-here! fog.  Finally realizing I had to emerge from the apartment to run a few errands, I grabbed a scone for the road and did the only thing left to do to make my day absolutely perfect: I ordered my very first pumpkin spice latte of the season.  It was magical... and I don't even like coffee.

Le sigh.  While my leg is almost recovered thanks to lots of ice, Advil, and rest, I'm sensing this is going to be a long Monday.  I already miss the couch.  And the comfort of my sweats.  And the cool almost-fall breeze blowing through the open windows.  And those scones.

(My apologies if your Monday is now long and dragging thanks to my daydreaming.  Make some scones.  They will cure whatever ails you.  Even a case of the Mondays.  I promise!)

One year ago: Platinum blondies; Classic lasagna
Two years ago: Slow cooker beef with mushrooms and tomatoes

Apple and Raisin Scones
(adapted with only a few changes from Deb's recipe)
-makes 17 three-inch scones (using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter)

A few notes: Yes, you've seen a version of these scones before

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Two dashes of nutmeg
Dash of allspice
Dash of ground ginger
5 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 pink lady (or other relatively firm) apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients through spices.  Using a pastry blender, quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in apples and raisins.  With a rubber spatula, stir in heavy cream until crumbs begin to stick together and dough starts to form, about 30 seconds.

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and roll and knead for a few seconds until a nice ball of dough is formed.  Pat dough out to roughly 3/4-inch thickness.  Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet roughly one inch apart.  Repeat with remaining dough, pressing together scraps and cutting biscuits until dough is completely used.

Note: At this point, you can freeze scones, unbaked, in a plastic bag until ready to cook.  When baking, increase cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes, making sure to watch carefully.

Bake 12-15 minutes until tops of scones juuuuuuust begin to turn golden brown.  Remove and cool completely on rack.

To glaze scones, which is totally optional, combine 3 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar and 2 healthy dashes of ground cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time (I used just under 2 teaspoons), and stir until a thin enough consistency is reached.  Drizzle glaze over tops of cooled scones and allow to dry.

1 comment:

  1. Working on Monday is quite overrated. I'm only working on 25% of the Mondays in September.