But let me get on with the food talk (beyond the covered-in-babyfood variety mentioned above). I’m trying to squeeze in some final holiday baking before leaving, and since I’m just about cookie-d out, my thoughts are turning to Christmas breakfasts.
Kevin and I have already planned to do baked French toast for Christmas morning, but I want something special for Christmas Eve morning as well—I love the final hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve: wrapping presents, delivering last-minute gifts, Xmas movies and music on in the background all day, getting ready for church, etc. A quick, make-ahead breakfast seems just the thing: specifically, Christmas Eve scones.
My mother makes excellent scones—she uses a basic currant scone recipe from the Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery (this is one of the greatest cooking collections of all times). We ate them often on weekend mornings, so getting into scone-zone is a nostalgic choice, too. Plus, I’m thinking leftovers will travel well on the flight Christmas day
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not one for tradition when it comes to recipes—I almost always want to develop something new, so out with the traditional currants, buttermilk, and nutmeg, and in with the tart dried cherries, coconut milk, and cardamom.
The scone recipe is one I’ve been honing for about 2 years: it’s lighter, but it tastes anything but, in part because I still use real ingredients . It has a delicate crumb, the way a good scone should, but at the same time, it’s not crumbly. The cardamom and coconut lend exotic notes; the tart cherries, a mid-winter brightness. I like to give the scones a glossy sheen with some beaten egg white and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar (as my recipe directs), but you can skip these steps if you’re in a time crunch.
One of my more recent adaptations to the recipe is the use of white whole wheat flour. You MUST try this flour. It’s made by King Arthur Flour and is an incredibly easy way to add whole grains to a wide range of recipes without much more than a blink. Here’s the link if you would like to read more: King Arthur Flours
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (e.g., King Arthur Brand)
- 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled or cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 2/3 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped (or dried cranberries)
- 3/4 cup well-stirred coconut milk (not the lite version)
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cherries.
- In a medium bowl whisk the coconut milk, almond extract and egg until just blended.
- Add coconut milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Dust top of the dough with flour, and pat with fingertips into an 8-inch square. Use biscuit cutter to cut 8 circles,re-patting dough as needed. Arrange scones 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Brush egg white over wedges and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack with a spatula and cool 5 minutes. Serve warm or cool to room temperature. Makes 8 scones.
Making Ahead: These scones are excellent make-ahead options. Cool completely then store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (rewarm as desired). Or freeze by wrapping cooled scones in aluminum foil, then in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months (they only take about 20 minutes to defrost on the countertop).
- Category: Breakfast bread, Scones