It’s spring break! That was supposed to mean lots of baking, a clean house, new blog posts every day, etc. So far there has been lots of baking and even some cleaning, but no blogging. That means I have lots of catching up to do, so I’ll do my best to fill you in.
Every other weekend, the highlight of my Sunday afternoon is taking a trip to Costco. If I’m really lucky, we get to go two Sundays in a row. When the new coupon book comes in the mail I’ve been known to squeal and jump up and down. You might think I’m overreacting. After all, it’s just a store. But no, Costco is so much more than a store. Costco is an event. An event where I get new exciting things to cook for half the price. And, an event with free samples. Who can resist samples?
Last Sunday I also couldn’t resist the strawberries. Never in my life have I seen such beautiful strawberries. But did I mention that at Costco, everything comes in bulk? So what was I to do with 4 pounds of strawberries? Answer: everything.
Andy’s mother recently returned from a business trip to New Orléans with a carry on full of Hubig’s pies for us so we had lemon pie with strawberries on top for dessert two nights in a row. For breakfast, I had steel-cut oats cooked with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and topped with fresh-cut strawberries. My very favorite was when we dipped strawberries in Nutella for dessert. We had seconds of that one. But despite our consumption of strawberries at every meal since Sunday, we haven’t been eating them fast enough. When I went to have a few strawberries for an afternoon snack, I noticed they were starting to look a little less vibrant so I decided to make some impromptu strawberry scones. Nevermind the fact that I didn’t have half the ingredients, I’m not afraid to improvise.
Here‘s the recipe I started with. I’m not even going to type up the recipe I actually used because I don’t recommend it. There’s a reason I put disaster in the title of this post. It could have been any number of things that went wrong.
First, I ran out of all-purpose flour half way in so I used self rising flour and left out the salt and cut the amount of baking powder to compensate.
Then, I didn’t have any heavy cream so I just used skim milk. Yeah, you heard me.
I didn’t grate the butter, out of pure laziness, I just chopped it up and used a pastry cutter to mix it in. Also out of laziness, I didn’t use my mixer.
At that point, the batter still looked okay, but it was so dry I couldn’t get all the flour to mix in. This is when things really started to go downhill.
I’d left out the orange zest because I didn’t have any oranges. So I thought if I needed a little more liquid anyway, that liquid might as well be orange juice, right? Wrong. Maybe it had to do with the acidity. I have no explanation for what happened when I added just one little teaspoon of orange juice to my dough. It was no longer dry, but it was sticky and impossible to work with. I should have known at that point there would be no kneading of this dough, no matter how much flour I used, but I tried anyway. It stuck to everything–the bowl, the counter, the spoon, my hands. I finally gave up and just dropped roughly scone sized lumps of dough onto the cookie sheet. I had to use a knife to scrape the counter clean and by the end my hands were coated in scone paste. So I shoved them in the oven and crossed my fingers.
When I checked them halfway, they were double the size I thought they should be and looked nothing like the pictures.
In the end, despite all indications that these scones had been a failure, they turned a lovely golden brown, had a nice soft texture, and were generally everything I look for in a scone, which tells me that if I’d made them correctly they would have been amazing, and much less messy.