Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scones with Strawberry Jam

I have written about the scones we enjoyed in England last summer and the awful scones we had at the Crown & Crumpet in San Fran, but I've yet to write about my own scone recipe. My scones are more of the English style scones that are a biscuit like shape and texture. I don't much care for the triangular shaped scones that most cafe's and bakeries have and they always seem to be very dry, tasteless and covered in huge crystals of sugar. What's special about mine? I always use pure full fat unsalted butter. It's best to use unsalted to control the amount of salt in the recipe and most scone recipes don't call for much sugar, so it's good not to overdo it on the salt, especially for fruit scones. You also must use baking raisins. Most people don't know they exist, but you can buy Sunmaid baking raisins in 1 cup pouches in most grocery stores. They are much juicier for baking unlike those dry pebbles of raisins that come in boxes. They are great for scones, but also for oatmeal raisin cookies and even to put in your morning oatmeal. I use a scalloped biscuit cutter and you can also make different sizes. I usually do this to make some smaller ones more suited for afternoon tea vs. the bigger "breakfast size" scones with the larger biscuit cutter. When baked just the right amount of time, they are moist but not doughy, rise nicely and break apart perfectly without the need for a knife...aside for spreading on the clotted cream and strawberry jam! I enjoyed afternoon tea with Audrey last weekend and used the last of my homemade strawberry jam.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A (Pretty) Good Latte

I went to Mary Ann's Chocolates today in East Grand Rapids to pick up a few treats. I was delighted when they handed me my vanilla latte to see it had this pretty fern design they put on the top. Most places just froth the milk, pour it in and hand it over, but they actually took the time to finish it off with flair. It's not only pretty, but it's the best latte I've had in a while. Now that I'm back home and Audrey is napping, I'm going to sit in front of the fire with my book, enjoy my chocolate truffle I got there and finish my latte.