15 March, 2016

Baking Away the Mud Season Blues

Nothing is more depressing than Mud Season.

For anyone not from the NorthEast, mud season is that period in New England in late winter/early spring when dirt roads and hiking trails become muddy from melting snow and rain.  And for those lucky enough to live in less rural areas, it is also characterized by giant puddles on the side of paved roads, from large piles of snow melting, with no place to drain off to.

Driving on these muddy, slippery ruts becomes an X-game event.  And for those who lose, it can mean a towing bill to get your car out of the ditch (I speak from experience!)

The remedy to all this dreariness is something cheery, like Gingerbread Scones.  They smell yummy and taste even better, particularly topped with a little indulgent whipped cream.

Gingerbread scones
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½  tsp. baking soda
  • ½  tsp. salt
  • ½  tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼  cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • ¼  cup milk
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • Coarse sugar
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center.

In a small mixing bowl whip the egg yolk slightly, then stir in the molasses, and milk. Pour the wet ingredients all at once to the center of the flour mixture. With a fork, stir until combined (mixture may seem dry but that's okay).

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough 10 to 12 times or until nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough into a 7" circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Using a thin spatula, arrange the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Brush with egg white and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar.

Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Serve as is or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

NOTE: These scones freeze well. Simply cool  completely and wrap each one, individually, tightly in foil; place in freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place as many frozen, foil-wrapped scones as desired in a 300 degree F. oven and heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until warm