Friday, February 14, 2014

Lemon-Blueberry Scones

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today, in addition to being an international day devoted to love, flowers, and chocolate, also marks the 9-year-anniversary of when Paul and I became a couple. Nine years seems like such a large amount of time. We have been a twosome for a third of my life now! However, it seems like just yesterday that Paul shyly showed up at my dorm room with a bouquet of roses and a poem.

He was so nervous. He barely said a word. And he was giving me a really creepy, closed-mouth smile. I also noticed that he was trying to open his mouth as little as possible when he spoke. The reason for this odd behavior became very clear when I noticed a glint of silver between his lips. For some reason, Paul was wearing his retainer. I had never seen him with his retainer before nor was I aware that he even had one! I was very confused as to why he had chosen to wear his retainer to come bring me a Valentine's Day gift. I figured that perhaps he thought it was dressy - an additional piece of d├ęcor to add a bit of glitz and glamor to his outfit - like a pair of cufflinks or a tie clip.

Turns out, Paul had been so nervous while getting ready to head over to my dorm, that he had accidentally put his retainer in after brushing his teeth since that is his normal nighttime routine. He did not realize it was in until he was already at my dorm and had nowhere to stash it. The poor guy was so embarrassed by it. I thought it was cute.

In the end, Paul handed me the flowers. I told him they were lovely. Than he gave me a card with this carefully written poem in it:
Happy Valentines,
Monica, so fine!
Who's so very kind,
and on my mind,
most all the time.
I'd give a dime,
for your thoughts,
'cuz to me - they mean lots!
Oh Monica, will you be mine?
My Valentine?
Obviously, Robert Frost never held a candle to Paul's poetic mastery.

Anyway, I read it and then we talked and laughed for a bit. Then he headed back to his dorm.

He instant messaged me the minute he got back to his dorm: "So...we're going out now right?"
I replied: "I think so."
He replied back: "Good. Have a good night!"

There you have it. Romance at its finest. And the rest is history.

Tonight, Paul and I will be going out sans kids to enjoy a little wine, some reminiscing, and a lot of Asian food. However, this morning we had a special candlelit Valentine's Day breakfast with the kiddos before Paul headed into work. We made a large cheese omelet, some heart-shaped toast, hot coffee, and warm blueberry scones fresh from the oven. Even the littlest member of the family was a big fan of the scones.

This scone recipe is amazing. It is so easy, so buttery, and so good. My favorite scones are blueberry lemon but you could easily substitute any type of berry for the blueberries. If you're a fan of white chocolate, the addition of about 1/2 cup diced along with blueberries or raspberries make a scrumptious addition. The awesome thing about scones? They are great to serve for company or on special occasions because the batter can be made, shaped, and popped in the freezer before baking. Then, all you have to do is slide them in the oven on the morning you want to serve them and you'll have some freshly baked scones with no hassle!

Lemon-Blueberry Scones
from Cook's Illustrated

Note: To make ahead, place the shaped scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet and immediately place in the freezer. Once frozen solid, wrap the sheet with the scones in plastic wrap. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, remove the plastic wrap from the scones, brush the scones with the butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
16 tablespoons butter, frozen whole (note that only 10 tablespoons will be used in the recipe)
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Make sure the sticks of butter are frozen solid before proceeding.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.

Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Fold with spatula until just combined. Transfer dough to a liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, about 18-25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta hand it to least he had the nerve to pursue you!
    Thanks for the chuckle! Mom