Friday, January 1, 2016

Drunken Scones

Happy New Year.  Not sure what it is about this time of the year that makes us put alcohol in everything.  In this case, it serves the purpose of plumping up currants.  I opened a bottle of port for the cookie party and decided to put a tablespoon in with the currants to soak overnight.

Don't think you have a recipe memorized at 5am.  At some point, I realized that I had put in twice as much butter as I was supposed to for my basic scone recipe.  And I had used real butter, not margarine.  So I threw in some oatmeal to absorb it as it melted in the oven.  I eventually realized that this is the fixed version of the oatmeal currant scones that didn't come out the way I wanted them to, just with a little alcohol.

As for the "drunken" part of this recipe, it's one tablespoon (half an ounce) for eight scones.  That's less than half a teaspoon each, most of which bakes off in an oven that is hotter than twice the boiling point of water.  If you've ever had an accident with the bottle of vanilla over a bowl of cake batter, it's the same thing.

*1/4 C currants
*1 Tb port or brandy
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
*1/3 C rolled oats
1/4 C butter
2 tsp sugar
*1/3 C milk

1.  Several hours or the night before, pour port over currants.  Heat in microwave for 10 seconds.  Cover and set aside to let the currants plump.

2.  Preheat oven to 425º and line a sheet pan.  Get out a 2-1/2" round cookie cutter while your hands are still clean and you don't have to root through the box with dough under your nails.

3.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and oats.  Cut in butter until the pieces are the same size as the oatmeal.  Stir in sugar.

4.  Make a well in the middle of the flour.  Pour in milk and currants, including any unabsorbed port.  Stir to form a soft and sticky dough.  Add a tablespoon more flour if too soft to handle.

5.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and press 1/2" thick.  Cut out rounds, squishing together the scraps until all the dough is used.  Do not add any more flour.  Arrange scones (you should have 7 or 8) on baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden.  Cool on wire rack.

Difficulty rating  π

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