Thursday, April 15, 2010

God Save The Queen - or at least feed her

Well friends, I'm back. The check cleared and I was able to purchase chocolate chips, fire up the oven, and bake.

But being the fairly politically conscious person I am, I just couldn't help myself from being moved by a story I saw on the nightly news. Apparently, the Queen of England is beside herself with anxiety. Something has her adult diapers (which I'm sure are Burberry or Hermes) in a twist. What you may ask? Well two things really: First of all, her eldest grandson, the ever-adorable-despite-the-balding, Prince William, has been dating his girlfriend for like a gazillion years and he won't marry her. According to my sources...Extra, Access Hollywood, and the NY local ABC news...the queen has told the prince in no uncertain terms that it's time to get hitched!
Well, little Billy prince man refuses to do so.

Aside from that issue, the queen was so overwhelmed by the economic crisis in England she decided, as a sign of solidarity to her people, to take the train - probably to get to the palace.
Ya know, if I were currently living in England, struggling to pay my rent and feed my little corgi puppy, I'd be pretty cheesed off (that's Brit for "pissed off") if the queen, who nobody elected and who lives the good life as the result of the money she earns from what is essentially the most incredible welfare system EVER, decided she'd help me by taking the damn train. How about you sell the crown jewels or one of those ridiculous ermine coats you're always parading around in and give the money to a few of your loyal subjects?

Ugh. Now I'm frustrated!

But that's okay because I baked today. My original thought was to bake something for the queen in order to help her calm down. It had to be something British. Unfortunately, the Brits aren't exactly known for their culinary mastery...or their dental care (sorry Brittany, but it's true). After a few hours of concentrated meditation and about 200 episodes of Keeping Up Appearances on PBS, I decided to bake CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES. They were easy to make and turned out amazingly well! In fact, they taste of all things British - mostly irony and socialized medicine, with a nice chocolaty finish! Delish! Enjoy folks!

Here's the Recipe:

Adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

• 1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel

• 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

• 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk

• 1 large egg yolk

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• Milk (for glaze)


Butter and flour baking sheet. Sift 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into large bowl. Add butter and lemon peel; rub in with fingertips until butter is reduced to size of rice grains. Mix in chocolate chips. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press dough out on lightly floured surface to 8-inch round; cut round into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°. Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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