November 8, 2011

England Where my Heart Lies

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies.
-Kathy's Song by Simon and Garfunkel



My heart is in England today.  I don't know why.  Perhaps it's the cold, steal grey skies.  The sun, just a white orb, failing to penetrate the icy clouds with its warmth.  Perhaps it's the damp air.  It clings to my hair and jacket when I walk out the door.  It coats my lungs with a cold film that makes me cough when I inhale, and then it escapes in a burst of heavy steam.  Whatever the reason, I find myself thinking of Darjeeling tea and scones and Paddington Bear, and all things comforting from England.




In all my time spent in Europe, I've managed to spend a grand total of three whole days in London.  Yet, in that short time it's succeeded in stealing a piece of my heart.  On one of my short visits I sat nibbling a scone with orange marmalade as I gazed out the window at a wet, verdant green hill - the most vibrant, alive shade of green that I have ever been lucky enough to see.  It was backed by a cold, grey sky, not unlike the one today.  I can hardly wait to return.

As I was perusing a few of my favorite food blogs I came across a recipe for Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Scones at Meg's Everyday Indulgence.  This was just what I needed.  The addition of oatmeal intrigued me.  I thought it would make an interesting textural contrast.  And the use of the apple and its juice was brilliant.  Alas, I had no cinnamon chips (never even heard of them), nor did I have an apple.  However, I did have a couple of oranges and a few chocolate chips (I order all my baking chips from Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates - none of the conventional chips are safe for people with peanut allergies).  I added vanilla and a bit of honey for a floraly scent (it'd be even better with orange blossom honey).  I made these for breakfast this morning and was happily cured of my craving for scones.  Please try Meg's version, as well.  I'm sure they are absolutely amazing!






Chocolate-Orange Scones

1 1/2 cups of flour                                               
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
the zest of one orange
1 stick of cold butter, cut into small cubes            
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup of half-and-half or whole milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter with a couple forks or a pastry cutter until the mixture is fine.  Stir in the chocolate chunks and the oatmeal.  Mix the half and half, egg, and vanilla together in a large measuring cup.  Gently warm the mixture to just luke-warm (95-100 degrees F).  Gently stir the honey into the half and half until it's dissolved.  Pour the wet into the dry and turn out onto a floured surface.  Press or roll into a circle and cut it into 8 wedges like you would a pizza.  Transfer the wedges to a pizza stone or a baking sheet lined in parchment.  Sprinkle the tops with a thin layer of sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges a light golden.




shared at: mangia monday

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention! Your variation sounds absolutely delish! I love orange and chocolate together!

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  2. These sound absolutely yummy. Definitely a touch of England and scones are my absolute favorite.
    Laura

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