“Love, love, love, love
Love, love was all around”
-Dave Matthews Band, Christmas Song
I fell asleep in a happy stupor of cheer, good wine, food and family last night. We had shared a simple meal, my father had still failed to grasp “the point” of a round of Clue. My sister and I shared snickers at “his way,” and our thoughts on good cheese, the ways of men, and all the tattoos that we wanted to put on our limbs, all the scars of the year past that we hadn’t chosen, but are pleased to have anyway. And when I woke up this morning, it was just another day, and yet it wasn’t; a subtle air of peace filled the streets, the grey skies begging everyone to turn in and gather their loved ones up in their arms and squeeze them tight with appreciation. Even in the quiet of the little apartment on this Christmas morning, love was all around and it was perfect.
This holiday is the first that I’ve spent on my own and I’ve filled the days with good people and good food, long rides in the plains with horses running beside me through the fields, and long tromps in the snowy mountains. There hasn’t been much stress, much worry with regards to the “clock ticking down to Christmas,” and yet a general enjoyment of this season when we (hopefully) all stop to recognize that life is good, our hearts are full, and for that we’re very lucky.
Even though this holiday has been very different for me, I did what I have always done; padded into the kitchen, started the coffee, turned on the oven and filled the house with all the good smells of the holiday. The recipe that I used wasn’t one I had bought ingredients for, it wasn’t one that took planning, or even much time or care. It’s a recipe that has been living in my back pocket for quite some time and I’m very pleased to share it with you so that it can live in your back pocket too.
If you want a freshly baked breakfast, and you want it fast, there aren’t many pastries you can make that will be faster than scones, and if you’ve stocked your pantry well you’ll have all the ingredients to do so on the fly. (If you haven’t stocked your pantry amply yet, get on it! It’s the New Year! Resolve!) These simple little buttermilk scones just take a couple of minutes to prepare, don’t require any waiting or special techniques, and can be adapted to what you have on hand. I’ve been baking them for years because they’re flexible and easy as can be, and have found that currants are always recommended but dried strawberries, figs, or fresh fruits would all be delicious. Chocolate chips, chunks of ginger or candied citrus, even. This morning, I browned a bit of butter and then let dried figs sit and stew in it for a bit before tossing them into the dry mix. I ate the finished scones with hazelnut – cocoa spread and they were divine. Make these your own, absolutely. Play with flours, play with flavors, spread them with whatever good stuff you have on hand and share them with people you love.
I hope that your homes were filled with all the good smells, and all the good people to enjoy them with on this fine Christmas Day, and hope that your holidays continue to be merry and bright! xo L
- 1 1/4 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dried fruits, fresh fruits, whathaveyou
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp greek yogurt
- Turbinado or raw sugar for finishing
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and prehat to 400F degrees. Rub two baking sheets with butter. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, work the butter into the dry mix, pinching and squeezing until the mixture resembles a fine cornmeal. Add the dried fruits and stir to combine. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl and stir until the ingredients are just combined and the flour is moistened throughout.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the dough into 9 little scones and plop them on the baking sheets with about 4 inches in between them. Use your hands to break up any large heaps of dough and tucking in the crumbs. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. You'll know the scones are done when the tops and bottoms turn golden brown.
- These scones are best eaten the day they are made, warm from the oven and maybe with a healthy slathering of something delicious on top.