If you follow my blog than you know that I reside in a pretty great neighbourhood. A quick look through my Hello! Neighbor tours and you will see that the streets are teaming with creative types everything from writers to designers to photographers to artists. A great number of these people are stay at home mums or working mums just like myself. Somehow in between school drop-off and hockey lessons and making dinner and ballet recitals they still manage to find time to do something creative for themselves. Today I’m happy to have two of those talented people guest posting on the blog – Kristin Sjaarda (who most of you already know) and Rachel Gruet. Rachel is a baking aficionado and occasional writer who is happily baking and eating her way through her current predicament of what to do Next.
I’m someone who thinks a baked treat doesn’t have to have pumpkin in it just because it’s late Fall. So when my friend Kristin Sjaarda suggested I bake something with black fruit in it for her to photograph for Emma’s blog, I was intrigued and immediately got down to business.
Should I bake a plum tart? Already a baking blog favourite. Something with concord grapes? Forget it–the skins get caught in my teeth and that’s just downright awkward. What about beautiful, luscious black figs? Almost out of season. So I settled on scones. There’s no better comfort food to cozy up with on a damp and chilly morning; a cup of rewarmed coffee within reach–but I can live with that and have been since I ran out of capsules for my Nespresso machine. Just add melting chunks of dark chocolate and Axl Rose crooning November Rain on my iPod and I won’t be leaving the house until Spring.
Blackberry and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones (Adapted from How Sweet it Is) – makes about 16 scones
Ingredients3 1/4 cups flour 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cups cold butter, cut into pieces 1 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups blackberries 6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped melted butter for brushing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Using your fingers, cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla, just somewhat combining, then gently fold in chocolate and blackberries, keeping the blackberries as relatively whole as possible. Don’t worry if a few get crushed–the purple-black juice will only add to the beauty and deliciousness of the scones. Stir with a spoon until a dough forms, using your hands to bring it together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently, adding a bit more flour if sticky.
Divide in half and pat into 7 inch round circles. Brush each dough round with melted butter. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges, or use a biscuit cutter to make smaller rounds.
Bake for 12-14 minutes (wedges) or 9-11 minutes (rounds).
Thanks Rachel and Kristin. I think I might actually head into my kitchen and make these today. I just happen to have some leftover buttermilk in the fridge!
All images by Kristin Sjaarda.