I decided it would be fun to participate in Swapbot’s Kitchen Challenge: Quickbread. What is this challenge? Well, it’s a chance to try a recipe and write a blog post about it to share with swap partners.
I haven’t been doing as much writing as I’d wanted to lately, or cooking and baking, actually. This seemed like the perfect way to get back into it. Not to mention that I found blackberries on sale. And was told to “bring snacks” to a long handbell rehearsal.
I’d made scones before, but I always found the instructions about using cold butter to be very difficult. The cold butter would never mix into the dough easily, preferring to stay as solid cubes and not even wanting to squish if I got my hands into it. This recipe offered a solution to the problem: Grate the butter on a box grater!! Genius!! Then the butter bits actually mix into the flour.
I decided on the project on Thursday, and I decided to make it on Friday, after I got home from Good Friday service. It was a very moving service, and so, I had to take a little time to gather myself. Good thing I like baking at midnight!!
First up, was to make buttermilk. This is not an ingredient I ever felt the need to keep around. It’s easy enough to sour some milk as a substitute. Today, I didn’t have to. I could tell Wednesday that the half and half was starting to go off. So, to make ¾ cup of buttermilk, I put ½ cup of spoiled half and half and added water for the rest.
Next, I mixed the dry ingredients—flour, salt, sugar, baking powder.
Then, it was time to give that grated butter a try. While it did generate an easy-to-mix pile of grated butter bits, even cold butter gets melty if you’re holding it with a hot hand. Or even a colder-than-average human hand (my normal body temp is 96.8-97.3)! It gets a bit messy. Keep the bottle of dish liquid open and ready for a washing of hands after this step. I always put a plate under the box grater to catch all the bits.
Then I forked in the butter. Yes, you “Should” use a pastry blender or whatever those are called, but I don’t actually own one. Growing up, we always used the Army Fork. It was a bigger than a dining fork should be fork stamped with US Army. So, I’ve grown used to using a fork. Then add in the buttermilk.
Next up, put in the washed berries and the white chocolate chips. This part was a lot more difficult than I expected, mainly because, well, the berries wanted to squish instead of blending into a stiff dough. And ventually I sort of made them go once I got my hands into it. Then I dumped it onto a floured surface.
The instructions specified patting it into a square and cutting rectangle shapes, but mine looked sort of circle, so I went with it. That’s the usual shape for scones, yes? So I cut them into triangles, and the looked too big, so I cut them again and put them on the prepared sheets.
While this baked, I worked on my glaze: I measured the milk in a liquid measuring cup and added butter and confectioner sugar until I got the consistency right. The instructions suggested adding culinary lavender bits, which I often get from the local lavender farm booth at the Farmer’s Market, but I decided to use my Young Living Vitality Lavender Essential Oil. I also make an amazing lavender hot cocoa with this, and I’ve learned that a little goes a long way!! One drop is all that’s needed. If that’s too strong, and it could be—we’re talking essential oils here!, then you can dip a toothpick in and swirl it into the glaze. I tried a drop, and it turned out fine.
I thought I should glaze them immediately after they came out of the oven, but it turns out I should have waited a bit. The glaze got a bit melty and messy. But it was so good!!
When I took the finished scones to rehearsal, the bell ladies were like, “we were hoping these were for us. We saw them on your Facebook!” They were a big hit.
If you want to try these yourself, I got the recipe from Pinterest. It comes from Halfbaked Harvest. Here is a link to it: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/blackberry-lavender-white-chocolate-scones/