Happy New Year! Hope you have all been enjoying some downtime post-holidays and are ready to get back to work! (I say that with not a little bit of sarcasm!) We have been saving up some recipes through the holidays because, for lack of a better excuse, we’ve been lazy and a little overwhelmed by trips, visits, party planning, party throwing, party cleaning-up… you get the idea. On the whole, the season has been a success. I visited with some of my best friends over the break and indulged in games and more than enough sushi to last until… let’s say February. Trips were taken to see the Dutch masters exhibit at the Frick Collection (with Melissa, of course) and a concert at Madison Square Garden. (For the life of me, I can’t figure out what Colin Firth saw in The Girl with the Pearl Earring…) By my estimation, Fabritius’ The Goldfinch is perhaps the most interesting piece because of its subject, but Rembrandt steals the show by volume and quality. Serendipity 3, the famous dessert spot on 60th near Bloomingdales, deserves mention for a satisfying late night Frrrozen Hot Chocolate and apple pie piled with walnuts, and for the somewhat absurd wait time of close to 2 hours (but it was a Friday night after all).
To ring in the New Year, Melissa and I threw the first of what may be a reoccurring party with great company and plenty of food and drink. Honorable mentions go to Melissa’s sangria (seriously!) and decoration skills (classy!). The post party clean-up and reorganization of my apartment may have taken longer than the party itself, but it was positively worth the trouble. I will freely admit though that were my kitchen usable on Jan. 1, it would have been a perfect time to make scones like those shown above. I’ve previously shared a paean to this perfect breakfast pastry, but it seems like a great time to revisit the possibilities in the new year. Ginger is a great place to start. Just include a bit of lemon zest to lighten up the flavor and your morning (or midnight, if you are like me).
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (or however much you have on hand) crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
- Zest of one lemon
- 2/3 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the softened butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger and lemon zest (a microplane is your friend!). Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and knead slightly until the dough comes together. Divide the dough into 6 lumps on your baking sheet (I find that 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup helps with this). If you like that shiny coffeehouse glaze, brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or half and half.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy for up to 3 days.
- A good buttermilk substitute here is 2/3 cup milk with 2 tsp of lemon juice. Mix these together and wait 5-10 min. If you cut up a lemon for this, feel free to use some extra lemon juice in the batter as it adds to the flavor.