Sunday, April 6, 2008

Party Scones!

My thesis has been successfully defended. After being grilled by my thesis committee for an hour and a half, they asked me to step out of the room so they could make their decision. The moment I stepped out the door, I burst into tears of relief. I've never been so glad something so stressful was over. But, I've also never worked that long or hard on something so intellectually taxing. It was an overwhelmingly wonderful feeling.

Many of my friends and colleagues in the Boise State English Master's program all successfully defended their thesis's this week as well. Congrats, everyone! To celebrate, my friends A and J threw a great party. The party was pot luck, and I really had no clue what I was going to bring. (Don't you just hate the potluck planning pressure [PPP] sometimes?) A and J's parties are usually packed with people (mingling and moonwalking) and no one wants to balance a precarious plate on their laps, so I knew one thing: finger food was a must.

When I got home via bus on Friday afternoon, Kent had taken our car and left his cell phone at home, so my plan to take the car and grab some groceries for a pot luck dish was thwarted. PPP elevated considerably at this point. I brainstormed what I could make with ingredients I had on hand, and I created these savory scones.

I love scones for how quickly they come together, and how versatile they are. Scones are also ultimately comforting (especially after an emotionally stressful week) because they have a crumbly, yet melt in your mouth texture perfect for slathering on butter or veggie cream cheese. Flavorings are completely adaptable. But here was my inspiration on the fly:

Rosemary-Sage Cheddar Scones

4 cups all purpose flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 t. fresh rosemary, minced
1 t. fresh sage, minced
dash cayenne powder
fresh ground pepper to taste (about 30 grinds)
2/3 cup butter-flavored Crisco
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus extra for topping)
1 1/3 cup milk (plus extra for topping)
1 T. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut Crisco into dry mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Add milk and mustard and mix lightly with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently just until a coherent ball forms. Divide dough in half, and gently pat each half into a 7-in round. Brush lightly with milk and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Place scones on greased baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with vegetable cream cheese. Makes 16.

P.S. When I arrived at A and J's party, the scones were still warm from the oven. I was in such a rush to get my fresh baked scones there, I forgot to take a picture of the final product!


sconelover said...

Holy foodie heaven, this scone recipe is a glorious, glorious thing. Sarah brought them to my potluck and they were the hit of the party. A savory treat that kept everyone coming back for more. They left me wondering if there was an addictive chemical in them because I could not stop eating them, but no, they are chem-free and full of sconey-goodness. After the party, my boyfriend insisted that I beg Sarah for the recipe and alas, here I am at her blog. Thank you Sarah! Now for the yum!

Diane said...

Sooo...don't hate me, but I totally sent the link with your winning (runner-up is still winning in my book!) recipe to Ona and asked her to send it out to the department....because you're awesome.