Monday, September 14, 2009

Life list: learn how to cook.

Alright, so this is a fairly extended Life List item.  I'd like to think that one morning I'll wake up and realize that I've learned to cook though....

I'm not a complete dullard in the kitchen, but I'll be the first one to admit that it doesn't seem to come naturally to me.  At least not yet.

In the meantime, I'm taking baby steps with recipes.  One of those baby steps was this weekend, when I cooked some scones.

If they look a little small and flat to you, you're absolutely right.  I think next time that can be avoided by making the dough a bit thicker when I'm cutting out the scones, and flattening it with my hands rather than a rolling pin.

Here's the recipe, if you're on a 'learn-to-cook' quest like me, or if you just want something delicious to eat at breakfast, lunch or dinner (they're fabulous drizzled with honey!)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter (they're also good with 1/2 butter!)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Set the oven to 375 while mixing ingredients.  Scone batches will be baked for 11-15 minutes

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Soften butter (do not melt) and cut and smash into flour.
Add wet ingredients.
Mush together in bowl/on counter
Roll dough about 1/2 inch thick and cookie cut into circles (I used a tiny glass cup for this, very useful).

Some other tips:

Putting a sheet of parchment paper between the scones and the baking sheet with exponentially decrease your clean up time.  And the time spent swearing and ripping scones apart because they're stuck to everything.

I wasn't aware of this at recipe time, but another trick is to brush some of the left over whipping cream on top of the scones right before they go in the oven.

What recipes did you start with when you started to cook?  Are you in the middle of learning like me?  Feel free to share recipes!

Happy Monday everyone.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

As you know, I love to cook.

Aunt Deb recently gave me a book that has changed my life about cooking: Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman. It makes baking (and cooking) scientific, and liberates you from recipes by explaining the ratio of flour, fat, sugar, liquid (as applicable) to things like bread dough, pasta dough, cookie dough, etc....
Also: trial and error, read recipes for ideas, steal techniques that give you flexibility.

food for thought.

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