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Entries in Scones (2)

Tuesday
Oct182011

Pumpkin Scones from Alice's Tea Cup

I've been trying to explore the Upper West Side as I've just moved in and I need to find things. Mostly things to eat. Luckily, my new neighborhood is very helpful in this regard, and it seems that I can just roll out the door and stumble onto something delicious. For this I am very grateful.

As we're talking pumpkin this week, I thought I would mention the Pumpkin Scones at Alice's Tea Cup. Alice's Tea Cup is a teeny tiny bakery with a counter in the front and a seating area in the back. I've never actually sat down to eat there, I could never get past the counter with the GIANT SCONES in the glass case.

Scones as big as my head! Or as big as Alice after she magically enlarges and causes serious damage to that cute little cottage, bringing property values down everywhere in Wonderland.

As large as these scones are, they are also huge in flavor. Particularly the pumpkin variety. The rich pumpkin flavor, gives the scones both a beautiful amber hue and a moist texture. No dry scones here!

They are topped with a caramel drizzle that is both sweet and slightly salted – a wonderful (pun intended) pair for its bready base.

As an added bonus, you have the option of taking your scone to go with a little vial of cream and jam. REAL cream, not just butter. Please accept this option, if only for the cream, as it has a bland richness that completes a trio of fantastic flavor combinations.

This is the kind of scone you can share (mostly because of its size), although you may not want to. In fact, I would recommend you didn't. It might get rowdy. And no one wants to lose a head. Or a scone.

Alice's Tea Cup
102 W 73rd St
(between Amsterdam Ave & Columbus Ave) 
New YorkNY 10023
Neighborhood: Upper West Side 

Wednesday
Jun082011

Let Me Bribe You With Baked Goods



You can't get something for nothing, you know. The word "bribe" has all manner of negative connotations. It's really quite depressing.

A form of corruption! A crime!

According to Wikipedia, in some Spanish speaking countries the word for bribe is "mordida," which literally means "bite."

I like this definition, so I'm going to go with it. Especially since I like to bribe people – with food.

So far these bribe recipients have not been officers of the law, elected officials, dictators, or even bouncers. They're usually my friends, or at least people I know pretty well. You may ask, "If these schmoes are your friends, why in the name of sprouted brussels do you need to bribe them?"

Because it works. Example:

Me: Hey, Dude (names have been changed to preserve anonymity). Would you be willing to help me with that blog CSS thingie? I will make you scones.

Dude: Scones? The cranberry ones? (Dude is familiar with said scones...this can work to your advantage if you are a decent baker).

Me: Yes, Dude, the cranberry ones. So that CSS thingie....

Dude: I'll take care of it.

Me: Super fantastic. Scones delivered on Monday.

Do you have someone you would like to bribe with scones? If so, here is the recipe for:

Cinnamon and Cranberry Buttermilk Scones
What You Need:

3 cups of flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
12 tablespoons cold BUTTER (so you know this is gonna be good), cut up into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cranberries (you can use more if you like, just depeneds on how berry-fied you want your scones to be)
cinnamon and ground nutmeg to taste
1 beaten egg white

What To Do:
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a bowl.
Note: I hardly ever sift anything. Go ahead, you can yell at me. Instead, I take a wire wisk and fluff it all up. There are sometimes when you have to sift. I don't believe this is one of them.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture with two knives. Alternately you can use a food processor. It's MUCH easier with the food processor. LOADS easier. Whatever you do, don't use your hands. The ingredients will get warm and mushy and you don't want that.

The mixture should resemble a chunky oatmeal when it is the right amount of mixed.

Add the cranberries in.

Add in the buttermilk and mix until it is just blended. Now your dough will look shaggy. Don't panic.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and give it a quick knead. If it's too sticky, add a little bit of flour. A tablespoon at a time, to avoid over-flouring. The dough shouldn't stick to your hands.

Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon and nutmeg (as much or as little as you want).

Fold the dough and sprinkle with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Knead the dough a little longer, but be careful not to overwork it. It should be pliable.

Form the dough into a flat circle (maybe about 3/4 - 1 inch high). Cut the dough like a pie or a pizza. This recipe should yield about 8 triangles, but don't get agitated if you have more or less. No biggie, these are scones, we are not supposed to get upset about them.

Place them on a baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg white.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 425 degree oven.

Serve with butter, or bring them to your web programmer and await results.

Would you like me to bribe you with scones? Let me know why I should and I just might do it.