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Welcome to Hill Reeves, a blog where I write about the things I cook and bake in NYC.

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Berry Scones

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Apparently people in the UK have fights about how to eat scones the right way. It's bizarre. It's like when people in New York roll their eyes too much at someone not folding their slice of pizza in half as if to say "CLEARLY that person isn't from here. Can you tell that I'm a real New Yorker based on how much I care?" (P.S. This usually means that they're harboring a deep, dark secret. They're from Ohio. Call them out on it by saying "the Lady doth protest too much, methinks" and they'll feel schooled cause you quoted Shakespeare, something they totally wanted to do.) I just wanna be like, "shut up and let me eat my pizza/scone." Note to self: mmm pizza scones.

There have actually been a ton of moments in my life where I can recall people having really strong opinions about scones. A boss of mine once explained to me that making scones a few times a year was her treat to herself. The recipe was complex, but she loved her scones, so she would make them just once every few months and ban her kids or husband from eating them. What a lot of trouble for a tea time treat.

I also worked at a bakery throughout college and customers routinely freaked out about our scones. They weren't triangular (apparently, definitely an issue) and we gave people $0.50 off if they got a coffee, scone combo which was totally offensive to the purists who believed scones were only to be paired with tea.

So I want to assure you that scones do not need to be this complicated. I make them pretty often on Sunday evenings when I realize that Monday will inevitably suck and a fresh scone for breakfast might make it a little bit better. My go-to recipe is usually a variation on

Martha's Rich Cream Scones

. Mostly because I tend to have every ingredient on-hand. I generally substitute the cream with whatever dairy I have in my fridge (whole milk, half & half) and always toss in some fruit or chocolate!

Also note: If you love a good scone or pie crust, always keep some butter in your freezer! Cut a stick of butter 1 inch cubes and store in a Ziploc bag. Keep each portion (stick) in a separate bag so that you can measure accurately come recipe time.

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Martha Stewart's Rich Cream Scones

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and cutting

1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup berries, dried cranberries or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and 3/4 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.
  2. 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. Sprinkle berries/chocolate over the rolled- out dough, which will get folded in. 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 1 1/4-inch thickness, and cut out as many rounds as possible with a floured 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter. Gather scraps, reroll once, and cut out more rounds (you should have a total of 12).
  3. 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.

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