Dudette is ‘Citizen of the Week’ at her school this week. She didn’t tell us about it; nope, we found out when we opened her backpack and found the announcement from her teacher. It was the same with the certificate the school gave her. Not a word from her; just a small smile when we pulled it out of her folder.
Being Citizen of the Week means that she gets to do several special things over the course of five days. She’ll bring a toy from home to share with the class. Hairy Perry is her choice. Perry is a mastadon; actually a real one that lives at Wheaton College. Dudette fell in love with him when we visited, so her cousin sent her the stuffed animal version that the College sells. She sleeps with Hairy Perry every night now.
Dudette gets to bring a book from home to share with the class. Her teacher, a wonderful, classy lady who reminds me of Mary Poppins, will do the reading. Dudette’s chosen, “The Gas We Pass: Everybody Farts,” as her book. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that one. Especially if Ms. Poppins reads the sound effects.
Yesterday, Dudette got to choose a friend with whom to sit at the ‘guest table’ at lunch. As we were driving home that afternoon, I asked which classmate she’d picked. The little boy that she chose surprised me. I knew of him already. He teases her and she often mentions that he’s mean. So, I pressed. Why? Why did she ask him? Dudette hemmed and hawed and finally she said, “No one’s ever asked him to sit at the guest table and I wanted him to be able to do it.”
I couldn’t be more proud of our daughter than I was at that moment. These are the things that fill my soul on sunny mornings when the sun is streaming in the window of my dining room.
The more I make scones, the easier it gets. There are many baked goods that terrify me, but this no longer does. I’ve learned that the cardinal rule of scone-making is to handle the dough as little as possible.
When the instructions say mix until the dough just comes together, do just that. When you’re supposed to refrigerate butter so it’s very cold, make sure it happens.
If you do these things, the simplicity of the recipe will result in light, golden melt-in-your mouth goodness. I promise.
Of the four scones in Martha’s Rise and Shine section, this is my favorite and I really didn’t expect it to be (which is why it’s the last one). I always thought I liked all the additions; scone bling if you will. But, the simplicity of this cream scone was amazing. Rich? Yes. Creamy? Absolutely. Delicious? You bet.
Will I make them again? Without a doubt.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Nothing; absolutely nothing.
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
- ½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1¼ cups cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.) With your fingertips, flatten butter pieces into small disks. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until butter is very firm, about 20 minutes.
- Combine cream and vanilla in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture with a wooden spoon until almost absorbed and dough just comes together. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface; roll out into an 8-by-10-inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold rectangle into thirds, as you would a letter. Rotate dough a quarter turn clockwise. Repeat rolling out, folding, and rotating dough 2 more times. With floured hands, pat out dough to a 1¼-inch thickness, and cut out as many rounds as possible with a floured 2¼-inch round biscuit cutter. Gather scraps, reroll once, and cut out more rounds (you should have a total of 12).
- Place scones 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets. Serve warm or at room temperature.