By now, we all know how important it is to stay at home and practice responsible social distancing, whether you’re a cancer patient, a caregiver or even just a mom, dad, son or daughter. But as the weeks of reduced outings and minimal contact with the outside world have turned into months, many of us are facing a new problem: What exactly are you supposed to do with all of this down time, now that every leaky faucet has been fixed, every creaking door hinge oiled, and you’ve got a solid start on writing the opening chapter of your autobiography?
When your to-do list has shrunk to nearly nonexistent and even your puttering has lost its direction, consider breaking out the mixing bowls and indulging in an elaborate baking project. Immersing yourself in a recipe that you would normally never find the time for has two potential benefits.
First, it (obviously) directly increases the amount of sweet, scratch-baked treats you have available to eat. But perhaps even more importantly, baking can be a meditative act of self-care, at a time when little else about the world seems to make any sense. Take the time to lose yourself in a recipe you’ve never tried before, precisely and meticulously measuring ingredients in a process that is straightforward, and which will yield the same results each time. Work through the steps; focus only on the task at hand. And when you’re done? Serve a plateful of these delicious scones to the people who you love, because after all, feeding others is one of the most satisfying and life-affirming things we can do for one another.
Strawberries and Cream Scones
Makes 8 Scones
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 2/3 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine all purpose flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, baking powder, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add chunks of chilled butter, kneading with hands (or with paddle of stand mixer, if using) until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add cream and stir until mixture is moist.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead dough slightly, being careful not to overwork the dough or melt the butter with the heat from your hands. Knead in strawberries, then form dough into a round disc. Brush top with beaten egg and top with remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Cut into eight wedges, then separate wedges and transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until golden brown.