Sunday, December 4, 2011

Festive Gingerbread spiced Scones

Firstly, apologies to all my followers out there and casual web passers by as I acknowledge that I have been swamped and haven't been blogging as I should have. Yes, confession is good for the soul, so there it is, but my excuse is a good one. Really. Thing is that the response to my new book 'The Shamrock and Peach' has been overwhelming so I've been run off my little tootsies trying to keep up with the requests and the book signings, which all mounts to good things! So, there it is...and now that I'm back in the groove I will return to the blogisphere for more Irish goodness.

So this is Christmas (to quote John Lennon) and we are once again in the season of 'everything'. It seemed to start especially early this year, which is understandable given how hungry people are for business in this economy, but switching lights on 2 weeks before Thanksgiving? C'mon! But, look on the bright side, it's December, the lights are twinkling, the neighbors are competing, the parking lots are a-filling and what are we to do? Well, fear not for I have a great little festive recipe for you to consider as you plan those Christmas parties and family get-togethers. So, here it is:

'Festive Gingerbread Spiced Scones with Citrus Clotted Cream'.


Ginger and cream are a scrumptious combination any time of the year, but I especially love to serve them for tea and at parties around the Christmas holiday season. The aromas of the spices as they bake in the oven are both heartwarming and festive, and are perfect to bake up and serve just before those relatives or guests arrive at your home. That gingerbread aroma will make the guests feel relaxed as they enter and make your home seem welcoming and filled with the warmth of Christmas. Seems like a winning combo, huh?

Gingerbread is an Old World recipe that has somehow become synonymous with Christmas in America as every child builds gingerbread houses and bakes gingerbread men this time of year to please the ‘big man in red’, so let me invite you to get out the spices, warm up the oven, don that awkward snowman sweater and make delightful treats that will please random visitors and distant family members who come to your parties no end!

May you have a continuing wonderful Christmas season, until next time,

Judie the Irish Foodie

(oh, and if you would like a superb Shamrock and Peach Recipe sheet in PDF format, then let me encourage you to go to my new food blog over at Wordpress where I'm now making these formats available for download...absolutely free!! Follow the link below:)

Gingerbread scone ingredients (makes ½ dozen):
• 1 lb. (4 cups) self-rising flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 2 oz. (¼ cup) dark brown sugar
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. ground powdered ginger
• ½ tsp. nutmeg
• ¾ tsp. cinnamon
• 6 oz. (¾ cup) butter (cold and cut into small pieces)
• 1 egg (beaten)
• 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) buttermilk
• 2 fl. oz. (¼ cup) molasses
• egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water or milk)

How to make them:
1. Preheat your oven to 425° F.
2. Sift the flour with the baking powder then combine the remaining dry ingredients together in a food processor or a large mixing bowl.
3. Cut the cold butter into the mixed dry ingredients then rub the mixture together with your fingertips or add them slowly to a food processor to form a breadcrumb-like texture.
4. Beat the buttermilk, egg, and molasses together in a small bowl and combine with the dry ingredients, mixing well.
5. Turn the resulting dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin until it’s about ¾” thick.
7. Cut the scones out of the flattened dough using a 1” biscuit cutter.
8. Brush dough scones with egg wash and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
9. Bake 12–15 minutes until well risen and golden brown on top, turning the baking tray halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
10. Best served warm. Serve sliced in half and slathered with clotted cream.

Clotted cream ingredients (makes just over a cup):
• 3 oz. cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
• 1 Tbsp. fine granulated sugar
• zest of 1 lemon, or orange
• pinch of kosher salt
• 8 fl. oz. (1 cup) heavy whipping cream

How to make the cream:
1. In an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, lemon zest, sugar, and salt.
2. On low speed, combine the heavy whipping cream into the mixture, being careful not to over-beat, until cream mixture becomes stiff.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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