When my family goes to the Strip on Saturdays our first stop is usually Cafe Raymond, a little place between the chocolate store and I think a floral shop. Their breakfast has gradually managed to replace Pamela's on our regular Saturday morning at the Strip schedule - while they are both wonderful, I can't go to Pamela's without getting banana chocolate chip hotcakes. At Cafe Raymond I want to try everything on the menu (which is on a cute chalkboard above the counter, more points in its favor). Also, there is hardly ever much of a line, even on a Saturday - I think people stick to the next few blocks of Penn Ave (Penn Mac, Reyna's, Wholey's, Lotus, etc.) and don't realize the cafe is over there just a few steps away from the main drag.
My mom's go-to pastry at Cafe Raymond's is the rosemary walnut scone, which is nothing like the scones I made this morning except they both have rosemary in the ingredient list. I'd recommend going to the cafe to see what I mean. These scones, made from a recipe in Emeril Lagasse's Farm to Fork cookbook, are very light and flaky and flavorful.
|Scones before going in the oven|
|"Stop it and take me to the dog park."|
|Out of the oven|
|This one split in half perfectly. I ate it out on the deck with butter and honey. VERY tasty... and not the only one I ate this morning.|
Usually I change a recipe a lot when I use cookbooks, but I stuck pretty close to this one. My only changes were using powdered buttermilk because that's what was in the fridge and adding about a tablespoon more orange zest. And I didn't bother with a rolling pin; I just pressed the dough into a larger rectangle with my own floured fingers. Next time I think I would add a little more pepper. My sense of smell is kind of weak so normally I don't notice these things, but baking these scones made the kitchen smell amazing.
"ROSEMARY BUTTERMILK SCONES"
from Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh by Emeril Lagasse (2010)
Yields 12 scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 425o F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and black pepper. Add the orange zest and rosemary, and combine with a fork. Add the butter and work it into the the flour with your fingers, a pastry blender, or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (A few large flat pieces of flour-coated butter in the mixture are okay - they'll contribute to the flakiness.)
3. Add the 1 cup buttermilk and stir with a fork until the ingredients are just moistened. Gather the dough together and press it gently into a rough ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together (with floured hands, if necessary). The dough may still be a crumbly mass. Knead the dough gently six to seven times; then use your hands to shape it into a rectangle measuring about 7 by 4 inches. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into 10 1/2 x 7-inch rectangle, 3/4 inch this. Use a knife to divide the dough into three sections by cutting it at roughly 3 1/4-inch intervals along the length. Cut each rectangle in half. You will have 6 squares. Cut each square into 2 triangles.
4. Set the triangles on the prepared baking sheet, and brush them with the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Serve warm.
The verdict from my mom is not enough rosemary and therefore cannot compare to Cafe Raymond's rosemary walnut scones! I still really like them and plan to serve them at the bed and breakfast I will open in Newfoundland when I turn 60.