Under the covers, you sleep. In a warm bed, cozy as can be, you dream about all the things that do not seem possible when you are awake. Not only are these situations and abilities attainable but they happen with such ease and precision that it seems unnatural. In sleep, you are transported to magical places. With each dream, such fantasies and tales come to life. They spiral out of control and shoot up straight to the sky. The unpredictable takes place and you somehow forget about all your troubles and fears. There is no place or room for nightmares in your dreams. Luscious lands, abundant with riches and love are all around you. In dreams, you are never without. Food is piled high, like something right out of Willy Wonka. Oh how you dream about obtaining a golden ticket of your own and eating your way through chocolate rivers and edible hills and valleys. All the while short orange people with green hair are dancing around you as you devour everything and anything in sight. Food, food, food galore. Bubble gum that tastes like all the meals you love so much. Plants and trees that are not only edible, but deliciously delectable.
Suddenly, you begin to hear something. You cease from drinking the chocolate river. Put down the candy flowers and leaves, and stop to listen. You can’t quite make out what this peculiar sound is. The noise is somewhere far off in the distance, muffled and yet you cannot shake the feeling that you’ve heard it before. This particular sound has stopped you in your tracks and cemented your feet to the ground, rendering you immobile. Try as you might you cannot move. All of a sudden your body feels like it’s being pulled upward, stretching, and vacuuming you through a portal. Everything around you, the chocolate river, the candy plants, trees, leaves, and dancing oompa lumpas are just a blurred spiral, now. A vision that once was, but no longer there, just blurred streaks of color. As everything is moving rapidly, the sound is getting closer. Louder and louder, you make it out to be an annoying buzzing sound. But what in the world can it be? BUZZ. BUZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZ. You start screaming, tossing and turning, using all of your body strength to stay with Charlie and his new factory.
Your eyes open, to the bright light that is filling your entire room. You start to familiarize yourself with all your belongings. You’re entangled in your soft and warm bedding. You realize that you’ve been laying down, head on a pillow, and it all starts to make sense; you’re awakening from a deep slumber. Angry at the alarm clock for waking you up from such a lovely dream, you hit it with an unnecessary force to make the noise stop. Silence. You’d like nothing more but to stay in bed, snug as a bug in a rug dreaming about tasty landscapes and chocolate rivers, but alas you must get up. You begin to think about how in the world you’ll get through the day when all of a sudden your nose catches something distinctive and enticing. The smell of baking bread. You jump to your feet, and run out of the room like a bat out of hell. Stumbling and tumbling, you make your way to the staircase and take two at a time to get to the bottom. Your nose follows the wafting smell and places the source at the kitchen. You enter the kitchen, enthusiastically and lively, and make a B-line for the oven. Your heart starts to jump for joy as you realize that cheddar-dill scones are baking away, and what’s more, they are just about done. Glancing at the timer, you see that one minute is left, so you reach for a plate and a fork. 5-4-3-2-1-ding. With oven-mitted hands you carefully remove your newly discovered treasure, plate yourself two and go off into the sweet oblivion that is just-baked morning scones. Somehow your day has started off on the right foot. Yup, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Here’s a closer look at the ingredients.
Before we start making these incredible scones. I have a little show and tell photo for you. Piggy Wiggy the spatula has sort of expanded his fame.
Okay now that that’s over, let’s get started, shall we? We need a bowl. What? I know, so many unanswered questions. What kind of bowl? How big? What’s it for?
A mixing bowl.
Let me be more specific and say a large mixing bowl, preferably attached to a handy dandy mixer. It’ll make your life a lot easier, I promise.
Attach the mixer with the paddle attachment.
To the bowl, add the all-purpose flour.
Add the baking powder.
Throw in some salt.
Okay, okay, don’t throw it in, you can lightly add it. I guess that’ll work as well.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Essentially, you could just sift them into a bowl. But I have an aversion to sifting for some reason. I like to live on the wild side, and not sift from time to time. And by time to time, I mean all the time.
Why dirty another gadget when I can just turn on the mixer?
See how easy that was.
And now for the butter!
Rich, cold, yummy, golden butter.
Yup, you read that right, three sticks. 1-2-3.
If you happen to be like me, and always have bricks and bricks of butter in the fridge, it’ll look like this. This block is equivalent to three sticks.
Make sure the butter is very very cold. Cube it.
Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients.
We’re basically crumbling the butter into the dry ingredients, until it forms pea sized lumps.
Do not over mix the butter. The little nuggets of butter all throughout the dough, is what allows the scones to rise and get fluffy.
Start the mixer on low, and allow the butter to crumb.
You’ll know the butter and flour is “crumbly” enough when you can form a ball in your hand, and it semi-sticks together.
Or you can just look at the handy-dandy picture below for reference.
What did I tell ya? Looks like course crumbs right?
I think its time for some wet ingredients. The scones are looking a little dry to me.
We are going to need some eggs. How many you might ask? Well, that’s such a great question. We need 4. Yup, 4 eggs.
Crack them each into a bowl, and give it a good whisk. Whisk like you’ve never whisked before. And just when you think you’ve whisked enough, stop. And then whisk again.
Okay so all that excess whisking is totally unnecessary, you’re right, hey but its fun.
Once all of the eggs are completely whisked, slowly and methodically, add them to the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs, as the mixer is running on low. Mix until just incorporated.
Next up: Very cold heavy cream. Again, cold ingredients are your friends in this recipe. “Room Temperature” is the pure enemy today.
Add the heavy cream in a slow steady stream, as the mixer is running. Mix, just until combined.
The very second, no sooner and no later, when everything appears to be wet and together, stop the mixer!! Do not over mix at this stage. No one wants tough, flat scones, right? I know I don’t. Do you? Well, if you mix the heck out of this dough, that’s what you’ll get.
And now for the two stars of this whole show.
Cheddah. That’s cheddar for all you non-hipsters.
Let’s start with sharp cheddar cheese.
There’s is NOTHING better than cheese.
Well, maybe a nice crusty piece of bread.
But put them together and you get the world’s most tasty, irresistible snack. Those two ingredients could solve all of life’s problems.
Trust me. It’s true.
Okay. Focus Jon. Focus. Back to the scones.
Cut the heavenly block of cheese in half.
I know, I know. We only need half, sadly. It should be illegal to not use the whole brick.
Save the rest for a snack for later. Make tiny cubes with the half you plan on using.
Place in a bowl.
And now, let’s turn our attention to star numero 2; Dill.
Give it a good chop chop chop. And add it to the bowl.
A little trick to make sure these ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout the dough, is flour.
Add a tablespoon to the bowl.
Give it a good toss. Use your hands, why not?
The time has come to add it to the dough. Remember the scone dough from earlier? I know it’s difficult to remember, because of all the delicious cheese and dill action.
Add it to the dough. Go ahead. Resist the urge to eat it. Sure it’s mixed with flour, I would still eat it. But I can’t, it needs to become delicious scones.
Allow the mixer to gently combine all the ingredients together.
At this point we’re done. Grab a plate….
OH we have to bake it first! Put that plate back! We’re not ready just yet. What were you thinking?!?! Don’t get ahead of me.
Lightly flour a kneading surface. Anything will work. A countertop? Sure. A wooden cutting board? Why not? A table top? Definitely.
Turn out the dough onto the floured surface.
If you need help removing the dough from the bowl, grab a spatula. It’ll help you. It’s your friend. Spatulas are there to assist you.
It’s their job to scrape and scoop.
Luckily mine just happens to be the world’s best spatula.
Watch as Piggy Wiggy places the scone dough onto the floured surface. Stand back. You’ll be amazed. Feast your eyes.
I don’t know how he does that. It’s like magic.
All in one swift movement.
Okay, time to knead. Just a light, gentle knead for a minute to make sure the cheddar and dill are incorporated well.
Okay, it’s time to whip out the rolling pin.
Roll out the dough into an even square that is 3/4 of an inch thick.
Cut the giant square into four smaller squares.
Then cut each square in half, on a diagonal. You’ll end up with 8 large triangles.
Then cut each triangle in half, and you’ll end up with 16 smaller triangles.
Place the scones onto two baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.
How great do they look? And they’re not even cooked yet.
We have to get a closer look.
Must wait till they’re baked.
Must wait till they’re baked.
Must wait till they’re baked.
They need an egg wash. Why you might ask?
Well, because the egg wash helps the scones get brown and crusty on top.
Start with an egg.
Crack it into a bowl. Add a splash of water. Give it a whisk.
And presto, you have an egg wash. That easy! Use it for all your baking needs…..well almost all.
Okay, once the egg wash is well whisked, grab a pastry brush.
Brush the tops of each scone with the egg.
Bake the scones in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
As soon as they are done, remove and allow to cool on the sheet pans for a few minutes.
After a few minutes, transfer the scones onto a wire cooling rack and allow to finish cooling. OR you can eat them at this point, warm and flaky.
Marvel at their pure deliciousness.
Melted gooey cheese.
Flaky buttery layers.
Well, what are you waiting for? Serve yourself one. Or two. Or three.
Nothing in life is better than this simple pleasure. A delicious scone, littered with dill and cheddar cheese, can put a smile on anyone’s face……
….Well, just about anyone. Hey what can I say? It got me smiling, that’s for sure.
Go on and make some right now! This very second. You wont regret it. The only regret you’ll have is that you didn’t make enough.
The only solution to this little problem is making two batches. Yea, go ahead, make two batches. Enjoy!
Taken from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbook.
- 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 extra-large eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/2 pound extra-sharp yellow Cheddar, small-diced
- 1 cup minced fresh dill
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine 4 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss together the cheddar, dill, and 1 tablespoon of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it for 1 minute, until the Cheddar and dill are well distributed. Roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch squares and then in half diagonally to make triangles. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked. Allow to slightly cool before eating. Serve warm. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Reheat before eating. Enjoy.