smitten. with scones.

Recently (and for the life of me I can't remember how), I came across the Smitten Kitchen recipe blog run by Deb Perelman.

Honestly: most recipe blogs I could do without. Either they have bizarre ingredients choices (Splenda in KAISER ROLLS? What, are you putting the yeast on a diet? The sugar is for the yeast in the bread, not the people eating the bread!!!!), or else they assume you have a giant suburban kitchen and all freaking day to cook stuff, or that you shop at the same supermarket as the blogger and therefore just need to know the brand names, not the size or type of ingredient.

Perelman doesn't pull any of that. Her recipes are all made with real food, with stuff you probably already have on hand, for kitchens that will never be on The Food Network because there's no way you could ever fit a camera in there, much less see what the cook is doing.

There is a Smitten Kitchen cookbook out, which I may well request as a birthday present. In the meantime, I've been going through the blog archives, and have been pleasantly surprised by how often I think, "Yeah! That would be great to make!" I even made a Pinterest board to keep track of my Smitten finds.

I love baking scones — they're like baking's answer to Play Doh — and the Smitten Kitchen blog has several scone recipes. This morning, I got up early and rebelled against the dangerous-to-drive-in sleet-and-snow mix we were getting by making the roasted pear and chocolate chunk scones.

They came out looking like this:

I made the following substitutes:
  • brown spelt flour instead of all-purpose
  • 1 tbsp of demerrara sugar instead of 1/4 cup granulated (I would leave this out entirely next time — the pears and semi-sweet chocolate add enough sweetness)
  • no added salt because I was using salted butter
  • Balkan-style plain yogurt instead of heavy cream
  • no egg wash (ergo no further added salt or sugar)
  • hand mixing instead of stand mixing ('cos I don't own a stand mixer)
I also baked the scones as a single giant, scored patty instead of cutting the dough into six pieces, but that's because my dough came out very wet, even after I added more flour. Then I let them bake for ten minutes longer to make up for the different configuration. But they came out great anyhow, because, you know, they're scones.

(And yes, just like with knitting, I can never just follow the damn directions.)

The results have a great texture and a surprisingly filling. There's only a quarter-cup of chocolate in the whole batch, so while they can't count as regular breakfast food, but they're a nice occasional thing. Definitely the next time it's my turn to bring the goodies for an office meeting, I'll be including a batch of these.