It’s about that time of year.
It’s about that time of year when I go into hermit mode and don’t leave my apartment for days (unless it’s for the mail. Or ice cream). It’s about that time of year when I wonder if the sun is ever going to show its face again (though I did see it for a few hours this afternoon… glorious day!). It’s about that time of year when TV marathon binges and big bowls of popcorn are in order. It’s about that time of year when I contemplate whether wearing long johns as clothes is socially appropriate. It’s about that time of year when my hobbies consist of cuddling, drinking tea, eating Mexican food and baking fluffy, biscuity scones of the savory sort.
In case you haven’t caught onto me yet, I am a big sweet-savory girl. When I have something sweet, I need something savory to balance it out, and vice versa. And when something is both sweet and savory, well, I just eat more of it. It’s a way of life.
So after a few too many rounds of scooting these sweet cookies into my mouth, I decided it was time to tip the scales in favor of savory. Also, I just kind of wanted a biscuit. Enter these scones.
I call them scones simply because of their shape, but really, if you cut this dough with a biscuit cutter (which is totally cool and socially appropriate) it magically becomes a biscuit. It’s a little denser and fluffier than a normal biscuit, thanks in part to the addition of soft ricotta, but it still renders those buttery flakes and layers. The green onions give it some savory kick; the sea salt and smoked paprika on top help it along, too. It’s crumbly and yet not dry in all the ways a good scone should be (notice how I’m really trying hard not to say the word that starts with ‘m’ and ends with ‘oist’) and it makes an excellent companion for a hot cup of joe or tea — or hot chocolate, if you suddenly find yourself needing a little sweetness again.
It also makes an excellent companion for an apartment hermit in her long johns who’s been watching one or five episodes of this, this or this in a row. I mean, it’s only this time of year for so long, anyway, right? Might as well make the best of it.
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day! You should make these scones for your valentine for breakfast and these cookies for dessert.
Yields: 8 fluffy scones
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika for topping
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in scallions and ricotta cheese. Add milk and stir until just combined and a shaggy dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Carefully pat down ball into a 1-inch-tall rectangle; divide into 8 equal pieces. Carefully transfer scones to an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and smoked paprika.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden brown and puffy. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before serving.