I found my thrill…

It’s okay, I’m still thinking about Mr. Darcy as well.

I wasn’t kidding about the scones.  And because I certainly haven’t had enough of them, I’m bringing back the blueberries.  Well, dried blueberries.  Those of you scone purists may be happier with this scone recipe than last week’s frosted version.  Also a Dorie Greenspan  (slight) adaptation, this simple base would work well with any kind of dried fruit (the original calls for currents).

The method and ingredients are very similar: cold butter, flour, a little sugar, a little cream and an egg.

Plus the fruit.

Gently shape into a couple of wheels and cut.

Not one to leave a good thing alone, I couldn’t keep myself from adding a sprinkle of turbinado sugar for a little crunch.  You could easily go plain or use regular granulated sugar.

All lined-up and read to go.

I think this recipe took maybe 10 minutes to throw together.  And then another 20 in the oven.  With a recipe this quick, why would you ever buy them from the bakery again?

Cream Scones

Dorie Greenspan, Baking from my home to yours, Houghton Mifflin Company


  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 C cold heavy cream
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 TBS unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 3/4 C moist, plump currants (or blueberries or raisins)
  • Turbinado or granulated sugar for topping if desired


  • Position rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 400 degrees.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment.
  • Stir the egg and cream together.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Drop-in butter and using your fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly (everything from oatmeal flake to pea sized is just fine according to Dorie).
  • Pour the egg and cream over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dough just comes together (it will be sticky).
  • Stir in the currents and gently knead the dough while still in the bowl (8-10 times).
  • Divide dough in half, shape into disks and turn-out onto a lightly floured work surface.
  • Cut each disk into six wedges.  If desired, sprinkle sugar over each scone.
  • Places scones on baking sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Let cool on rack.

Even Mr. Collins couldn’t ruin these: maple pecan oat scones

One of my goals with this blog is to use it as an excuse to try new things.  Expand my culinary arsenal.  Master some mad kitchen skills.  Oh?  You got it the first time? Good.  In this spirit, the next couple of weeks will be all about scones.  Now, I’m a big fan of the idea of the scone.  Just the thought of this crumbly, slightly sweet treat brings to mind images of delicate china cups, green moors kissed by a slowly tumbling fog and Mr. Darcy. Oooooh,  Mr. Darcy (no TD, not Mr. Willoughby…I keep explaining to you, he’s a bad guy…and he’s from a different story).

In reality though, it never occurred to me to try making my own until I discovered that Starbucks appears discontinued my favorite scone (at least in my neck of the woods). Apparently novelty isn’t motivation enough for me…scarcity plays a role as well.  Which brings us to my take on the pecan maple oat scone.

Dorie Greenspan does a fantastic job of laying-out her scone philosophy in her book Baking, From my Home to Yours. Here is the gist: cold butter, all ingredients ready to go in advance, touch everything as little as possible. Understood.

Very cold cubed butter is added to a sifted mixture of sugar, flour, old fashioned oats (not sifted of course) and some levaning agents.

Then, with clean fingertips or a pastry blender (I used my fingers), the butter gets gently incorporated into the dry ingredients until you’ve got a sort of sandy mixture with little peas (while apt, not a particularly palatable description).

Cream and an egg are added and the dough gets a couple of turns until it just comes together.  I then added about a cup of roughly chopped candied pecans.

The tender dough then gets turned-out onto a floured surface and shaped into a disk.

Then cut into six wedges (I realize eight wedges is easier and will do this next time).

Into the oven for about 20 minutes where they expanded slightly and turned golden brown.

Once cooled, I topped these babies with a maple frosting.  Dorie doesn’t use a frosting in the original recipe but, I have to admit, my favorite part of the discontinued Starbucks version was the frosting.  I know, making scones with frosting is sort of like saying you are a wine drinker who prefers white zinfandel.  Whatever.

Mmmm…almost as good as Starbucks. And, if served for tea,  they just might get you a clandestine but very appreciative cut of the eyes from Mr. Darcy.

Oh, and one more thing.  More of an observation on a coincidence.  Unlike Mr. Darcy’s affection for Ms. Bennett, I’ve made no secret of my own love for the Smitten Kitchen.  I love her like a fat boy loves cake.  Which is why I feel the need to point out that she also has a scone recipe up this week.  What is funny is that this isn’t the first time we’ve had similar posts within a week.  More like the third or fourth.  It would be one thing if each time the recipes had recently appeared in the popular press or periodicals. Nope.  Another entirely if it weren’t for the fact that I suspect she, like me, often cooks and photographs a recipe weeks in advance of posting.  So really what I’m trying to say here is that I swear I’m not copying!   Not to go all quantum physics on you all (doing so would first require that  understand the topic), but I do sort of believe that just maybe perhaps there is a baking stream of consciousness and that at least when it comes to pastry, there is some rhyme and reason to the chaos.

Maple Pecan Oat Scones

Adapted from Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones, by Dorie Greenspan, Baking, From my home to yours, Houghton Mifflin Company


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 C cold buttermilk
  • 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 C old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick plus 2 TBS (10 TBS) cold unsalted butter, cult into small pieces–leave in fridge until ready to use
  • 1 C roughly chopped pecans (I used candied because it’s what I had–use whatever you have)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, placing rack in center.  Line bake sheet with parchment

  1. Stir egg and buttermilk together, set aside.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into oats. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Drop-in butter and, using your fingers,  toss to coat the pieces of butter.  Working with your fingertips or pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly and sandy.
  4. Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until just blended and the dough comes together. Add-in pecans.  Then, gently need the dough by hand 8-10 times.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, divide in half and gently shape each piece into a 5-inch disk.  Cut each disk into 6 wedges and place on baking sheet (I had to do some creative placement to get all 12 on the sheet with distance in between.  You could easily do in two batches, just be sure to refrigerate the second batch while the first is cooking).  Dorie notes that at this point, you can freeze the dough–when working from frozen scones, don’t bother defrosting, just add two minutes to the cooking time.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and firmish.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

for frosting

  • 2 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • water to consistency


  1. Using a hand mixer (or by hand), add syrups into sugar and beat until combined.  Add-in extract and then slowly add-in water until you reach your desired consistency.  Top scones cooled scones.

Vive l’bleuets!

Yes.  We are still talking about blueberries.  And happy Bastille Day while we are at it.

I’m always game to try a new cookie recipe and so set this one aside last fall after it appeared in September’s Bon Appetit Magazine to rave reviews.  Who knows why it took me this long to get to it.

The recipe is for blueberry and cream cookies from Momofuko Milk Bar in New York.  It begins with a sort of, well, milk-crumb-streusel concoction.  Now, I know that Christina Tosi (Chef at the Milk Bar) pretty much walks on pastry…but I also think she has a thing for dried milk powder.  To date I’ve tried two of her recipes and both call for this rather elusive ingredient.  After scouring several specialty stores, I finally found it at a Bristol Farms (ironically, the closest grocery store to my house and of course was the last place I looked).   Provided the bakery’s success however, I’m inclined to start adding milk powder to all kinds of things…

So, milk powder, sugar, a little cornstarch, some smelted butter and a couple other ingredients get blended together and then baked.

Until it looks like crumbs.  Don’t let the lack of lack of visual remarkability fool you.  This stuff is kind of cool and definitely makes what is to come more interesting.

The dough-base for these cookies is suspiciously like chocolate chip cookie dough.  Only milk scrabble and beautiful dried blueberries (or bleuets if you are French) (or baluberries if you live at our house) are substituted-in for chocolate chips.

The dough is very thick and with its five cups of flour, the recipe is huge.  I halved it here and had plenty of yield.

Out of the oven these cookies are attractive.  However, the fun real fun begins when someone bites into one, tastes the streusel and says…’what is that ingredient’ (you know, in the good way).

Of course I have to admit, these would still be really good…and a lot less time consuming should the milk scrapple be omitted.

Blueberry and Cream Cookies

As printed in Bon Appetit Magazine (September 2010) by Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, New York New York

for streusel


  • 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Combine milk powder, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and coarse salt in medium bowl; toss to mix evenly. Add butter; stir with fork until clusters form. Spread mixture evenly on prepared sheet. Bake until crumbs are dry and crumbly but still pale, about 10 minutes. Cool Milk Crumbs completely on sheet. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

for cookies


  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk Crumbs (click for recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried blueberries

Special Equipment

Stand mixer with paddle attachment.


  • Combine butter, both sugars, and corn syrup in large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. Add eggs; beat on medium-high speed until mixture is very pale and sugar is completely dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat on low speed just until blended, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add Milk Crumbs; mix on low speed just until incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer. Stir in blueberries just until evenly distributed (dough will be very sticky).
  • Using 1/4-cup ice cream scoop for each cookie, drop dough onto 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled until baking time.
  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line 2 large (18×12-inch) rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Transfer 6 chilled dough scoops to each sheet, spacing at least 4 inches apart (cookies will spread). Bake cookies, 2 sheets at a time, until golden, reversing sheets halfway through baking, 20 to 22 minutes total. Repeat with remaining chilled dough, cooling and relining sheets between batches. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Baluberry Muffins

In general, words and phrases that have been purposely spelled incorrectly (usually as a means of kitschifying said word or term) earn a blanket boycott from me.  I don’t care how good the pancakes at the Koffee Kart in Manhattan Beach happen to be.  I refuse to step foot inside the place.

There is one exception. Embarrassing as it is to admit (and it’s okay, you can laugh), in our household we call blueberries baluberries.  After the Balu the cat.  You know, the Kitchen God (who happens to be sitting in my lap as I type this post).

I told you it was okay to laugh!

Anyhow.  I wait all year for baluberry season when they finally become inexpensive enough to cook with.  And one of my favorite recipes using this delicious little berry is Martha Stewart’s blueberry recipe from her Baking Handbook.  I know Martha’s recipes don’t always work.  But trust me, this one does and with some minor adjustments here, I think I’ve made it perfect.  Or, at the very least, baluberry worthy.

We start with a secret technique that will keep the berries from migrating to the bottom of the muffin tin.  After you’ve washed and allowed the berries to dry, add them to a collander and dust a couple of teaspoons of flour over them shaking the sieve so that all the berries get an even coat.

My twist on the recipe: buttermilk and lemon zest (and kitty whispers).

Once the muffins are in the oven, it’s nappy time.

And it what seems like no-time, you’ve got a batch of pretty amazing baluberry muffins.

See!  Evenly distributed berries.  Cool or what?

No.  I’m not serious about the kitty whispers.  Come on!

Baluberry Muffins

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (Clarkson Potter  Publishers, New York)

Makes 1 dozen


  • 8 TBS (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 C fresh blueberries
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C buttermilk (mild would work just fine)


  1. Preheat oven to 375, place rack in center of oven.  Either fill muffin pan with liners or butter and flour each muffin mold.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Working over the bowl with a sieve or collander, toss the blueberries with 1 1/2 tsp flour.  Set blueberries aside in a separate bowl.
  3. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add-in the eggs one-at-a time, mix-in vanilla and lemon zest.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in flour mixture and mix until flour is just combined.
  6. Add-in milk and combine.
  7. With a spatula, gently mix-in blueberries.  Divide batter into pan.
  8. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes-out clean (about 30 minutes).