Scones are seemingly the epitome of tea-time chic. Does anything sound more dainty than inviting friends over for scones and a cup of tea? Perhaps petit fours or a platter of financiers--if you're stateside--but here in France, les scones are basking in admiration from all around.
Last weekend, I was getting all worked up about my great grandmother's pound cake recipe. I wanted to bake a marbré, the classic vanilla-chocolate marbled cake that accompanies many snacks in France and around the world. A chat on the phone with my Aunt Mimi left me longing for more: stories of how the cream used for the cake came directly from the barn only fed my appetite even more. Right after that small interlude of family lore, my thoughts turned to the cream I was about to use. I did not, in fact, have the necessary crème épaisse--a sour-cream type of dairy product. That's all, folks. Just kidding: you'll hear about the marbré eventually.
As my mind raced, my heartbeat went through the roof, and I wondered what in the world I could possibly bake, I settled on scones. Not that I needed to bake anything in particular, mind you, but I just had to bake.
Heavy cream in hand, I took my rings off and got down to it. For some, it's getting their hands dirty in a rusty car motor that makes their Sunday worthwhile. In my case, it's all about sinking my hands into some kind of dough. (Of the 500 euro bill variety, obviously.) Scones bring exactly that kind of joy; add a cinnamon sugar topping and you go straight to heaven.
Hot from the oven, you can tell the scones are everything they promised to be. Crunchy on the outside with the cinnamon sugar, warm and pillow-soft on the inside. They are just the right kind of sweet: tasty on their own, and delightful if you add some jam. What about if you dunk them straight into chocolate pudding? Yeah, no, I didn't do that. You might want to try though: I hear it's great.
Simple Cream Scones, Cinnamon Sugar Topping
makes 8 large scones or 16 mini-scones
2 c. flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 TS salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
for the cinnamon topping:
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB raw cane sugar
1 TS cinnamon
Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Stir in cream with a fork until the mixture looks easy enough to handle.
On a floured surface and with floured hands, lightly knead (the lighter the touch, the lighter your scones) the dough into a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or drop onto a baking sheet if making mini-scones.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until scones just start to become golden.
Serve immediately and store remaining scones in an airtight box or bag for 2 days maximum.