I like to lose myself in baking.
It’s an amazing feeling to take a bunch of powders and liquids and mix them together to make something cakey, crumbly and perfect. It’s somewhere between therapy and some sort of creation high.
I bake when I’m happy and have several hours to kill. I bake when I’m stressed, angry, volatile and feel like screaming. I bake when people are born, when people get sick, when they pass. It’s the place I go to when I’m unsure of what else to do. And it is a wonderful place to be.
When my little sister was 7 years old, she had a sophisticated palate. After years of chicken tenders and Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, she suddenly announced at the dinner table that her “bitters had come in”. She now loved to eat strong cheeses (smoked Gouda, anyone?), vegetables, spicy food. It was impressive. And daunting. I loved chicken tenders too much to evolve.
I spent years of my life stuffing candy corn into my face. I used to L-O-V-E sweet to the power of sweet squared. But….(and I hate to admit I’m growing up) 21 years into my maturity, my bitters finally came in. Lately, I like things seasoned. I don’t mean sprinkled with Cajun salt (although that sh#t is delicious). I want deserts a little spicy, surprisingly savory, like chocolate with chili and cinnamon.
My favorite spice so far? Coriander. It’s magical. Especially when it’s mixed with Ginger, Vanilla Beans and a little bit of White Pepper (I know this sounds crazy, but try it!!).
Insert Scones, aka the Most Perfect of Breakfast Pastries. The perfect thing to house my need for a “spice cabinet in a desert” syndrome. And yes, that’s a real disease. I WebMD‘d it.
These scones are healthy(ish), light, a bit savory, and really delicious with homemade butter (see the theme here?).
Cranberry, Ginger and Coriander Scones
adapted from Bon Appetit by Kim Boyce of Bakeshop for Ristretto Roasters
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 vanilla beans or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but pairs well to “mask” the nuttiness of the quinoa flour)
2 tablespoons coriander
Quinoa flour can be found at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores aka Whole Foods.
-Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk both flours, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add cranberries and crystallized ginger and toss to coat. Add spices.
-Combine 1 cup cream, buttermilk, and zest in a medium bowl. Pour cream mixture into dry ingredients; stir until partially combined.
-Scrape mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Knead with lightly floured hands until dough forms, 4–6 turns (dough will be slightly sticky). Form into a 10×5 1/2×1-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise in half. Cut each half into 8 squares. Cut each square in half diagonally for 32 small triangles.
(I made 16 scones, but they spread out a bit. I thought they were too big. Everything’s cuter in miniature.)
-Transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing apart. Brush tops of scones with 2 Tbsp. cream; sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar
-Bake scones, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown and give just slightly in the center when pressed, 30–35 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack.
Do ahead: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.