I found this easy one in the New York Times:
Ingredients: 2 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1/4 cup if you want a sweet scone), 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the top third of the oven. Thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture, add 1 1/4 cups of cream and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a fork. Work quickly, stirring as little as possible, until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems too dry.
- Use a large serving spoon or cup measure to drop the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, allowing at least 2 inches between each scone. Brush the top of each with heavy cream and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
And from NPR, a note to be sure to eat your scones properly:
“The grocery store Sainsbury’s showed a photo with a fruit scone smothered in cream and jam. The problem: the photo showed jam on top of the cream. Customers in Cornwall argued the jam must go first…Some Brits take their afternoon tea very seriously. That’s landed the grocery store Sainsbury’s in trouble. They put up a picture with a fruit scone smothered in cream and jam. That is normal. The problem is the photo showed the jam on top of the cream. In the county of Cornwall where the picture went up, customers were outraged. They argued that jam must go first. Sainsbury’s admitted its mistake, saying it has all scone wrong.”
Perhaps you watched the Disney channel offering of Hamilton released for July 4th, as I did. I did enjoy it, but was happy not to have spent hundreds of dollars for a ticket. I also watched an old seventies favorite, 1776, with a young Ken Howard as the tall red-haired Jefferson and Blythe Danner as his wife Martha. Although it may be sacrilegious to admit, I liked the latter better.
My favorite part of the movie is Blythe Danner singing “He plays the violin,” as she dances with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. I replayed it several times.
I have a recipe from Blythe Danner, published in one her daughter ‘s (Gwyeth Paltrow) cookbooks. Since I had all the ingredients, I made the blueberry muffins for dinner. So delicious – I could have danced all night (but that’s another movie).
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it. All you need to enjoy them is some butter and a fiddle.
- 1/2cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2eggs (preferably organic)
- 1/2cup whole milk
- 2cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided
- 2teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2cups fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in blueberries.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar.
Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.
In J. Ryan Stradel’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a hometown cook successfully beats out more sophisticated chefs in a prestigious cooking contest with her simple five ingredient recipe.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it.
Pat Prager’s Award Winning Bars
- 2 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup melted Grade A butter
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon Grade A butter
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs. melted butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Put into a greased 9×12 inch pan. Melt the chips and butter and spread them on top of the bars. Set into the refrigerator until firm. Cut into bars.
While the bakeries sold fancy concoctions for the feast day, my Italian grandmother used a fast and easy traditional recipe for a bite-sized donut covered in powdered sugar, resembling a beignet. You can whip up a batch in about ten minutes – best when hot.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
Mix dry ingredients together. Stir vanilla and ricotta into beaten eggs. Combine dry and wet ingredients. The dough will be sticky.
Heat about 2 inches oil (the only oil my grandmother used for everything was olive oil but you can use vegetable oil, if you prefer) in a pot.
When oil is hot, drop a tablespoon of dough into the oil and fry until puffed and brown – about 3 minutes – flipping over about halfway through. Try your test donut to check the timing – break it open and eat it.
Continue cooking, about three or four at a time. Then transfer finished zeppole to a dish with a paper towel to absorb the oil. Roll in powdered sugar and eat hot. Try not to eat them all yourself.