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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lemon Basil Scones

I love baking because I get to pull out my grandmother's (my Bubby for those of you who know or don't know some Yiddish), dough board.  She passed away about a year ago, and my mother thoughtfully passed this on to me.  I think of my Bubby every day, but when I use her dough board, I am transported back to watching her make chocolate rolls and cookies, strudel and my favorite kreplach.  I don't think she ever made a scone in her life, but after watching her cook enough to feed an army almost every day of mine, I know she would be so happy to know that her love of cooking, baking, and feeding the neighborhood and those she loved dearly lives on in me.

My mother-in-law, Ann, always picks me up recipe flyers wherever she goes.  On her most recent trip to Vermont, she found a really good one with some interesting recipes.  I saw this one for Lemon Basil Scones, and being that I just happened to have some leftover basil and a lonely lemon hanging out in my fridge, I took it as a sign that I had to make these.

Even if you're not crazy about lemon or basil, this is your basic (and delicious) scone recipe.  You could substitute in anything you wanted.  It's an opportunity to be as creative as you want - or satisfy any lingering cravings for something - using delicious, flaky, buttery scones as the vehicle to do so.  Use any herb you want or have on hand.  You could throw in chopped fruit or chocolate chips.  (If you take the sweet route with your scones, add 1 tsp of vanilla along with the cream.)

I think the next time I make my lemon-thyme chicken soup, I will make these scones with thyme instead of basil.  They are really satisfying.  If you like buttery, flaky, comfort food, make these.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Lemon Basil Scones
made 8 scones using a 4-inch wide biscuit cutter

2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 heaping tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream

Put the rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined.

Add the butter and pulse until the flour turns into course crumbs (about 12 1-second pulses).

Put the mixture into a large bowl and add the basil and lemon zest and combine.

Add the heavy cream and stir until it just holds together.

Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together.

Flatten into a circle about an inch and a half high and, using a biscuit or cookie cutter or even a glass, cut out your scones.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 14-16 minutes rotating once halfway through.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

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