I'm in the process of letting all of my subscriptions for food magazines expire. This is due in part as a nod to our economic situation; but, the truth is, I'm utterly unimpressed with them-- in the same way that I'm unimpressed with reality tv, shopping at the mall and designer handbags.
Since the advent of the Food Network, foodies every where have been given a voice and a stage and gained the appreciation of the general population. And that's great....hey, I'm basically a food blogger-an unknown breed even 5 years ago. But, much like I loathe bandwagoning in every other realm, I am utterly fed up with the cliques and snobbery that comes with foodies who publish physical magazines. Do I really need to pay someone actual money to tell me that bacon is the hot new thing? Really? Honey, look at my butt-I knew bacon before you could spell it.
Full page spreads of some 20-something's dinner party where they gush over the beauty of organic produce as locavores that they've now paired with a vintage french wine that cost more than my electric bill. To me, these people have become the Ambercrombie and Fitch of the food world and the unpopular chubby girl that's still inside me realizes I don't need this kind of superfluity.
I've manned the grill. I've run the 6 tiered carousel gas oven, stacked with dozen of scratch made cheesecakes. I've stood in one place for 12 hours, icing cake after cake with consistency only to come back the next day and do it again. I've worked side by side with crusty, mean professionals that push their bodies until bones separate and muscles fail. I've pulled the late shift, the breakfast shift, the all-nighter, the lunch rush, holidays, record heat and cold. Little Miss 20-Something doesn't know shit about what goes into creating with food, let alone trying to pay your bills with those skills.
Screw you, popular girl, who just discovered dark chocolate and cupcakes. You sound like Paris Hilton discussing the needs of the Japanese people.
So, imagine my total surprise when I opened the April issue of bon appetit (because I was stuck on bed rest, with no where to go) and found recipes I would actually like to use. I theorized that some of this is due to the distinct lack of baking that has been going on in this home due to my new condition. Regardless. I guess even the popular girl can pull a decent quote for the school year book now and then.
Oh, and I totally didn't make the original recipe--you can get that here.
Preheat the oven to 425 and cover a baking sheet with either a silpat or parchment paper.
In a mixer bowl or large bowl, blend together these ingredients:
3 cups AP flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg
To this, toss in
12 Tbs or 1 1/2 stick of cold butter, diced
Blend either with a mixer or your hands until the chunks of butter are about the size of peas. Now add
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup diced dried apricot (or the dried fruit of your desire)
Blend again just until these items are covered with flour and fully incorporated. You aren't trying to make the butter disappear.
To this dry blend, you will add about a cup of buttermilk and a tsp of vanilla. I say "about" because you may need a little more to bring all the dry together. I ended up needing a cup and a half myself.
The idea here is to bring the dough together just like you would with biscuits (which is what a scone essentially is)....you don't want to overwork or over mix the dough. Just bring it together enough to shape and bake it. And the sooner the better as there is currently a reaction occurring between your buttermilk and your baking soda/baking powder. (baking is science, kids).
Divide the dough into two balls and shape them into disks, about 2-3 inches thick. With a large knife or bench scraper, cut the rounds into 6 each or 8's if you want a smaller portion (you'll just come back and eat another anyways).
Sprinkle with a little sugar before popping into the oven and baking for approximately 20 minutes. If it seems that the scones are getting very brown but the center seems pretty wet (around 15 minutes), cut the heat to 400.
At the center of each round, you'll be able to see if the dough is still wet-looking or dry. You can poke the center with a toothpick or sharp knife also to test for doneness. Pull out and allow to cool before cutting (yeah I never make it quite that far). A warm scone is the best comfort on a gray day. When the scones are completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container, warming them for a 20-30 seconds apiece in the microwave if desired.