This issue might be more accurately called “Cooking with Zig and Fen”, but since none of you know Fen yet, and all he did was complain and urge me to take shots, this is all the mention Fen gets today. Shut up, Fen-Fen, no one loves you.
Girlfriend and I are really good about “holidays whenever”, so Valentine’s was on a bit of a delay. That suits Zig just fine, since he’s a big, romantic goofball. We woke up early this morning, and decided that even on my day off, I should be baking in the wee hours before dawn, since I was up anyways. 😛
Cooking with Zig
Cherry Almond Sweetheart Scones
Step 1: Get the three bowls going
That sounds deceptively simple, and if I left Zig to his own devices, that would probably be all he gives you. In fact, the whole recipe would look like this:
Mix 3 bowls, then mix those together, then bake that tastiness. Shots while you wait. More shots in your coffee. Shots with the scones.
I’ll do you all a solid and step in translate a little more heavily than I did last time, since last time we weren’t cooking with booze. What Zig means by the three bowls is that this recipe calls for mixing all your dry ingredients in one bowl, your wet in another, and your alcohol and dried fruit in yet another. I personally like to start with that last bowl first, so that everything has a chance to soak and be lovely.
Proper Step 1: Get the Noms going
The Nom Bowl: This is the part that makes it Cherry Almond Sweethearts. Feel free to get crazy with this for future scones.
- 1/4-1/2 c dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1/4 c Amaretto liquor (enough to cover the cherries, basically)
- 1/4 c sliced almonds
Measurements on the Noms are approximate. I just kinda grabbed a handful of cherries and splashed in some Amaretto and chased off Zig and Fen, who are apparently to alcohol like sharks are to blood in the water. And here I thought Seth was gonna be the one to ruin my liver.
Step 2: Get mixing with the Dry Stuff
The Dry Bowl: Sift together, or if you’re lazy like me, toss it all in a bowl and hit it with a good wire whisk.
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tbs Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Step 2 and a half: DON’T FORGET TO CUT IN YOUR FAT, ZIG
This is why I’m translating. Zig would completely forget to mention this, taking it for granted (and we all know where that gets you).
Once The Dry is all mixed together, cut in 1/4 c of shortening or lard. You could use butter, but I’ve always found that scones just hold up better with shortening. You don’t need any fancy pastry tools or even forks, just get in there with your hands. Start small. Pinch off little bits at a time and just work them through with the flour, going back for more little pinches until the whole thing is worked in. It’s messy, but you’ll know you’re done when the dough starts crumbling off your fingers.
I like to toss my bowl in the fridge once I’m done with that, to make sure the fats don’t melt out. Like with pie crust, you wanna keep this stuff cold til you bake it. Freezer is good, too, if you’re like me and desperately need to clean out your fridge.
Step 3: And then The Wet
The Wet Bowl: Same whisk can totally apply here. Reserve your “plus a splash” before adding the egg. This goes on top of the scones.
- 1/3 c milk, plus a splash.
- 1-3 drops Red food dye
- 1 egg
I actually forgot to add my food coloring until I had it all in the dough. I added a few drops to the mostly mixed batter, and tried to knead it in. This gave me a cool swirl effect within the dough, but I over-mixed tried to work it all in, so my scones were a little dense/chewy. For a compromise, perhaps one drop of a food coloring in The Wet, and one drop added to the dough when it’s nearly mixed would do the trick.
Step 3 and a half: Wet Noms
I say Step 3 and a half cause I did this all kinds of bass ackwards. I hadn’t committed to the Amaretto (cause I’d forgotten we had any) until part way through, so I was adjusting liquids as I went. I have an old school Betty Crocker cook book that I love, but she does this really frustrating thing where you have a Key Recipe, and adjusted recipes below, but they usually adjust crucial things like HOW MUCH MILK GOES IN MY DAMNED SCONES. So I went from a Key recipe of 3/4 cups of milk, to “use Key recipe except, add 2 Tbs sugar and only use 1/2 of milk” to “….fuck. Amaretto’s a liquid, isn’t it?” and I hadn’t even had any shots yet (despite Fen’s urgings).
So, for me, Step 2 went something like “add Amaretto to cherries, wander away and work on Asylum edits with Cait, finish cooking proper breakfast, because boozy scones at 6 am is ridiculous, pour off Amaretto into measuring cup to see how much milk you need to add to get to half a cup, guess that’s it’s 1/3 cup and hope your readers don’t hate you when the scones don’t work”.
I warned you guys we were cooking with booze, yes?
Step 4: Put the
LimeWet in the CoconutDry and mix it all up
This part is pretty straight forward. I like adding the Wet to the Dry, for easier mixing, but do whatever you want. So long as it all winds up mixed together but not over mixed, you’re in good shape. Think cookie dough.
Step 5: Roll it out, Cut it up, Bake it off
If you wanna be awesome, roll everything sweet out in powdered sugar. Always. The only things I roll out in flour are biscuits. These don’t need much rolling, just get em down to about 1/2″ thick and vaguely square-ish. I like to use the edge of my chef’s knife and kinda push the edges into shape, but it’s really not important. Some people even do round scones, the weirdos. I go for a classic triangle, myself.
Transfer to a cookie sheet, go back in time and pre-heat your oven to 400, top your scones with that crazy red/pink milk and dust with powdered sugar (Pro Tip: Roll out your scones on a cutting board, and you can just brush the powdered sugar off the board onto your scones. Mad Genius level, that is.) Bake until sconey (like, you can poke em and they don’t dent). I’m gonna guess 10 – 12 mins, but I’d honestly forgotten to set a timer, cause at that point I’d given in and poured some Amaretto into my coffee. So you can thank Fen if your scones burn.
While those are in the oven, whisk some powdered sugar into your remaining milk for a quick glaze. It doesn’t take much, I probably had a tablespoon or less of milk left over, and probably only added 1/4 c of powdered sugar to it, if that. You could do the same with Amaretto, but seriously, how boozy are you going for? At least the stuff in scones kinda baked out.
Use the whisk to drizzle on your glaze in kind of a zig zag pattern right as these bad boys come out, and you’ll have a sticky hot pink mess for your Sweetheart. 🙂