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!
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick of cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup of half-and-half or whole milk
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