Today is a day for chocolate, fake blood, fairy wings, and excuses for women to dress immodestly. Children trade their backpacks and sneakers for plastic fangs and pillow cases, while dentists try desperately to warn of the impending sugary doom. Many view Halloween as a generally useless holiday, but I imagine those are the same folks who sneer at Valentine’s day, with all its ‘corporate greed’ and savvy marketing schemes. These people sneer without purpose or solid accusation; it is my belief that they are simply and whole-heartedly year-round Scrooges, vocally dissatisfied with anything that has the potential for a good argument and finger-pointing. They enjoy touting around their frowns and justifications like the kids with their candy filled pillow cases.
But anyway. My husband and I threw together costumes and are currently awaiting the onslaught of tiny wizards and vampires. I’m representing the 1940s as Audrey Hepburn and he’s the 1840s, as a Victorian gentleman. My bucket o’ chocolate is standing at attention by the front door. I love seeing all the children dressed up, proud and innocent. My favorites last year were a ten year old boy dressed like a sandwich, and teeny little girl who was deaf, dressed like a princess. She shyly signed ‘thank you’ after gingerly removing just a single piece of candy from the bucket. Can you say precious?
I fully intended to make caramel and peanut brittle today, in hope of providing you with a holiday-based recipe. But alas, I slept in until 11:30am and didn’t like doing much of anything, nevermind wielding a candy thermometer and a pot of scalding hot syrup. So I leave you today with my typical Saturday breakfast recipe for cream scones. Moist, tender, and oh-so-effortless, these simple triangles are perfect with your morning cup of tea or coffee. I added some spices to give it a little autumn flair, but the scones are just as delicious without them.
Be careful out there tonight, and have fun!
Spiced Cream Scones
2 c flour
1/4 c granulated white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 kosher salt, slightly heaping
1 tsp groudn cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
5.3 tbl cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c whipping cream or half and half
Whipping cream or half and half
Heat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
In a small measuring cup, combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Fold this into the flour mixture, just until combined. Do not overmix.
Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface. The dough will seem impossibly wet at first, but just keep going, dusting with flour as necessary. Stop when the dough holds together and is no longer sticky.
Pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches wide, and slice into 8 triangles, like a pizza.
Placed the scones onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick spray, spacing a few inches apart. They will fit comfortably on a single sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream.
Bake for 14 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Turn the oven to broil while dusting the tops of the scones generously with powdered sugar. Return them to the oven for about 2 minutes, or until the tops are lightly caramelized. This may take a little effort, depending on your oven. Mine is an ancient electric one that refuses to broil evenly, so I have to keep the oven door open and turn the cookie sheet periodly to get even browning. Just make sure you watch them carefully; I have burned many a batch by keeping them under the broiler for just 10 seconds too long.
Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool. They keep for many days and feeze very well.
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie
“I’ll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween.” Author Unknown
‘Tis now the very witching time of night / When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out / Contagion to this world. William Shakespeare