Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oat and Maple Syrup Scones (tip of the hat to

I love Deb at smittenkitchen. Her writing is lovely and descriptive and down-to-earth and funny, and the recipes she chooses to showcase are, if not always simple, then certainly straight-forward and with an emphasis on Real Food. She takes risks on opening herself and her family up to the anonymous millions of Internet-world, in a really honest way that I respect. Her blog is probably the biggest influence on my own writing. Also: her kid is adorable. And you should buy her cookbook when it comes out.

So when I read her latest post, I got a Craving and I Had. to Make. SCONES. So I sent the Bald Guy out on a mission for milk and eggs (because we just got back from a short vacay and the only thing in the refrigerator at the moment is a half-container of old yogurt and a very loud echo). After much sorting and flour and kneading and general kitchen chaos, what emerged were nine light, flaky, not-too-sweet scones of the Afternoon Tea variety. I might add some dried fruit (apricot, maybe?) or other flavor/texture brightener, but really, with a little honey and some butter, these are just about perfect. And relatively easy.

This recipe ain't mine. It actually ain't even Deb's, as she acknowledges on her blog. It's adapted and then adapted again from the cookbook Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery. But I cribbed it from Deb.

Makes 8-10 reasonably sized scones.

1 3/4 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting kneading surface
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (35 grams) rolled oats
1 very heaped tablespoon baking powder
1 very heaped tablespoon superfine (caster) or granulated sugar (It could stand a little more, if you like your scones sweetish)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Scant 3/4 cup (160 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk, buttermilk, or English-style soured cream (as in, runny)
1 egg, beaten (for glazing the tops)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper (or butter or spray it with non-stick spray or something).
  • Whisk the dry stuff together in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you've never done this before, it took me a WHILE by hand - at least five minutes - of rubbing and scraping bits off my fingers and rubbing some more. Keep going. Don't leave big ol' lumps of butter in there. Also, note to self: take wedding ring off BEFORE you start...oy.
  • In a small dish, combine the milk and syrup, then add these liquid ingredients to the butter/flour mixture. By hand or with a non-metallic spoon or spatula, bring everything together to form a softish dough. I found it easier to do by hand. Plus. your hands are already messy, so you might as well. If it feels too dry, add a LEETLE more milk, but not enough that the dough is sticky. Deb quotes the cookbook here: "The dough should not be sticky at all."
  • On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough out until it is 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) tall. Using a 2-inch cutter (or a glass dipped in flour or an empty fruit salad can - those little ones work really well), cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared tray. Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg (this makes them brown and shiny and delicious) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they're lightly golden and the kitchen smells goooooood. 
  • Serve warm, with butter or jam or honey or cream cheese or...nom...I wonder if there are any left...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sweet Potato Puff Pastry Pizza

I've been recuperating from surgery for the past couple of weeks, and while some very kind people have brought over yummy dinners for the Bald Guy and me, I've really missed the creativity and flow of being in the kitchen. This is the first thing I've made worth writing about since I've been able to stand up long enough to cook.

I stole this from the February 2011 issue of Food and Wine magazine, but substituted out several of their ingredients and added some of my own - mostly because that eggplant lurking in the back of the refrigerator was about a millisecond away from becoming a science experiment if it didn't get eaten, and because I enjoy using EVERY cooking utensil in the house to make something I could have with a touch of a few phone or computer buttons.

Anyhoo. In addition to being nommy, the bits that are noteworthy (to me - maybe you've been using these ingredients for years. If so, don't tell me. My ego is fragile.) are the puff pastry crust and using sweet potato purée instead of tomato sauce. This recipe can be easily modified for vegetarian purposes, but I don't know what sorts of grains lurk in puff pastry, so y'all gluten-free people may miss out. I do have some gluten-free pizza dough mix the Bald Guy bought on a whim (Bless.) that needs to be used...if it turns out well with the sweet potato sauce, I'll let you know.

1 eggplant, diced in about a 1/2 inch dice (maybe a little smaller)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (original recipe calls for pre-baked pizza crust)
A little all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten, or a little melted butter, for brushing (optional)
1 sweet potato, medium/large-ish size (or you can use "mashed sweet potatoes from a store," according to the recipe), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
About 1/4 to 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 teaspoon thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon if dried)
A little knob of butter and a little swirl of olive oil (about a tablespoon of each, give or take)
1 large red onion, very thinly sliced (recipe calls for white. I scoff. Scoff!)
1 tablespoon oregano, a little less if dried
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly
4 ounces (ish) of thinly sliced soppressata, proscuitto, or parma ham. Try not to eat the entire package while waiting for the dough to bake.
1.5 cups (or thereabouts) of shredded mozzarella
About a quarter cup shredded fresh basil leaves, if you've got 'em
(Obviously you can add or subtract as many toppings as you want. This is not a dictatorship. I'm more of a socialist monarchist, myself. SHARE, DAMNIT!!)
  • Thaw the puff pastry sheet according to package directions.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Toss the eggplant in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a cookie sheet or pan and roast for about 20 minutes, or until just turning golden-brown (and not burnt. Ooops.) Take out of the oven and transfer to a bowl or something to cool. 
  • Lightly flour your kitchen counter or pastry board. Be sure to include your feet in their felt slippers (that flour will never come off), the front of your jeans, and the cat for good measure.
  • With a rolling pin (or, you know, a can of soup or a large juice glass or the cat), roll out the puff pastry rectangle until it's about 10 x 15 inches or thereabouts. If the pastry dough comes separated at the pre-perforated folds, just dampen your fingers with a little water and pinch it back together. It will be fine. Don't freak out. 
  • Fold the edges in about a half-inch to form a raised rim for your pizza. Brush those neatly folded edges with a little egg, for a glossy brown shine (if you're into brunette pizzas). Prick the inside of the neat geometric shape you've just created with a fork a bunch of times so it doesn't puff up too much in the middle while it's baking (mine puffed anyway, but I squished it with the weight of the ingredients). 
  • Transfer your puff pastry rectangle to a cookie sheet (I used parchment paper to keep it from sticking) and bake for about 10 minutes until the pastry's golden-ish and nearly baked.
Meanwhile (back at the ranch)...
  • In a large saucepan, boil the sweet potato until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain and transfer sweet potato to a food processor and process ('cause that's what you do with a food processor) until smooth. Add a bit of fat-free plain yogurt if it's too dry, up to 1/2 cup. Season to taste with thyme, salt and pepper. 
Meanwhile MEANWHILE...
  • Heat up that butter and oil in a skillet until nice and melted, over medium heat. Add your onions oregano and sizzle, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook until the onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes (mine took about 5 minutes. Watch that sucker like the proverbial bird of prey!) Add the balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has evaporated, about 10 minutes (again, mine took about 5 minutes to get to a nicely caramelized, glossy, balsamic-y state).
Now. After dirtying nearly every dish in your kitchen for what is essentially a convenience food, you're ready to assemble your pizza!
  • Spread the sweet potatoes over the pizza crust. Add the onions. Then the eggplant. Arrange pepper slices, then top with basil leaves, cured meat product and mozzarella. You can use a schmancy pizza stone, or you can bake directly on the oven rack (um. I will not come clean up your oven if you use this method.) but I just used the cookie sheet the puff pastry was baked on originally, and it turned out fine. Stick the pizza in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until bubbling and golden in spots. 
  • Eat. Eat Eat! Nom!
Extra bonus photo because I couldn't choose and because this shows the pretty pattern of the peppers (and because don't you think it looks vaguely like a WinDoze logo? Creepy how marketing gets in your head...)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bald Guy's Birthday Cake

It was BG's birthday yesterday. He turned 45. BG's aged remarkably well (I keep looking for the portrait stashed in the back of his closet, but all I find are mis-matched socks and shoes he no longer wears). It's a big year for us - we're planning for lots of transitions, not least of which is moving back to the States; BG's graduation from undergrad, retirement, and beginning grad school; beginning a family (hopefully); resolving some health issues for me; renovating the house BG grew up in...the list seems endless of all the things we hope to accomplish this year. And knowing that the surest way to make The Great Whoever laugh is to make plans hasn't slowed us much (although it's kept me awake at night).

With all that going on, BG has said that he would have forgotten about his birthday had I not reminded him. There's just too much else going on to pay attention to one silly little birthday, says he. Nonsense! say I! Birthdays need to be acknowledged, and celebrated, and written in the Book of Days because they are important occasions, no matter what the number. It's your natal day! The Day of You! Celebrate with cake!

"Devil's food cake?" BG asks hopefully.
"Er, sure," says I and scuttle off to the Internet to find a recipe...

This cake is particularly gooey and nommy and chocolate and OMG SO NOT LOW-FAT. Do not even think about trying to make this anything other than what it is, which is to say, ridonkulous, as the kids say, for you.

I wish the photos had turned out better, but my camera battery was dying, so the focus was doing strange things, and there is only so long one could blow at a candle before one gets wax everywhere and runs out of breath. But the image is too good not to share:

This recipe is from chef and author David Lebovitz's blog about Parisians, desserts, and the sweet ex-pat life - but this devil's food cake about as American as it gets. I haven't tweaked his recipe much, so I should emphasise that this isn't my own recipe - but if I make it again, I may use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the cakes and drizzle a little Kahlua or other liqueur over 'em before I assemble the final product, or add some tiny mini-chips to the batter to boost the chocolate for my sweet Bald Chocoholic.

For the cake:
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising) (I used regular all-purpose flour and it turned out fine)
 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup strong coffee (or water)
½ cup whole or low-fat milk

For the ganache frosting:
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup water (or cream)
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1. Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Butter two 9″ x 2″ cake pans. Mr. Lebovitz suggests lining the pans with parchment paper. I thought that was far too faffy - until I tried to remove the suckers. I was using buttered non-stick pans, and the durn cake was still a pain to get out. So if you've got parchment paper and can be bothered with such things, you may want to line the bottoms of the pans. If not, butter it extra good. You're not counting calories with this anyway.

3. Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium-large bowl. By "sift," you can use a sifter specially made for...sifting, but you can also stir the stuff up with a fork 'til it's nice and blended. Most flours come pre-sifted these days, so you're really just combining the dry ingredients well and adding some air in.

4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. [Note: I used one-a-them stick mixers, and let me tell you - use a BIG bowl with HIGH sides. Otherwise you'll be picking bits of sugary butter out of your hair and the coffee maker and the spice rack and the counter and quite possibly the ceiling. Trust me on that.] Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. (If using a standing electric mixer, stop the mixer as necessary to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is getting mixed in.)

5. Mix together the coffee and milk. Resist the urge to drink it because you are addicted to coffee. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.

6. Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

7. To make the frosting, melt the chopped chocolate with the water (or cream) in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

8. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk them into the chocolate until completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Cool until spreadable, which may take about 1 hour at room temperature. I should have waited longer, as my frosting was really liquidy still. You can try to stick it in the fridge for a few minutes if you're in a hurry. You don't want it TOO stiff (or it will be unspreadable) but not too goopy, either.

To frost the cake (You know - in case you need directions for this part):
Run a knife around the inside of each of the cakes which will help release them from the pans. Tilt one cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper from the bottom and invert it back onto a cake plate. Spread a good-sized layer of icing over the top. Top with the second cake layer and spread the top and sides with the remaining icing as decoratively as you want.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's the little things - Taiwanese sesame cucumbers

This week I've been concentrating on appreciating the things I usually take for granted. It's been a long, cold winter, and it's not over yet. If I don't concentrate on ordinary miracles at least a little bit, the season creeps into my bones and my spirit, and I tend to take it out on myself and my loved ones.
This week, in no particular order, I noticed:
  • The true and unconditional affection of Fearless Fraidy Cat, as he snuggles up to me in a warm blanket of orange fur. I know that it's when he stops purring - completely at ease on my lap, totally asleep - he's truly at home. And I made that home for him.
  • Our comfortable bed, with its down comforter and nice sheets, and the husband who went out of his way to find those nice sheets, for us, because he loves the home we've created together.
  • The sharp air in my lungs as I run - each step longer than the last, heels pushing me along the pavement. The fact that it gets a little easier each time I run. I can climb Otley Road to the Cooperative grocery store now without looking at my watch every two seconds, hoping against gasping hope that time is up.
  • The brilliance of an orange peel against the glittering gray of the pavement, glowing in the evening light
  • A briefly, blindingly clean kitchen (which lasts about a nanosecond in our house - best to appreciate it while you can)
  • The quality of the early morning light on the plowed fields, as viewed from the train window on my way in to York
  • The City of York in general - the ancient mixed with the modern - the opportunity to walk, on my way to a training class, past the medieval city walls, over an 18th Century bridge, through Micklegate Bar, with a view of the 14th Century towers of York Minster.
  • Clean, pure water and the feeling of it as it hits my stomach
So it's with this spirit of appreciating the small things that I made the following, cribbed from the November 2010 issue of Food & Wine magazine, with thanks to Boston chef Joanne Chang for sharing her family's recipe. Serve this little pickle alongside just about anything - I found it especially good paired with pork. And later with tilapia. And again with a turkey sandwich. Nom.

I got lazy and didn't process the sesame seeds. It turned out fine, but looking back, I can see why they did it [picks bits of sesame seed and red pepper out of teeth]. I also halved this recipe, because with just the two of us, that would have been a lot of pickle.

3 seedless cucumbers, chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes (why? I don't know.)
1/2 cup toasted sesame oil (I used plain sesame oil, and I probably cut it by more than half - a little sesame oil goes a LONG way)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 scallions, coarsely chopped (I didn't have scallions. Ah well.)
  • Cut cucumbers lengthwise into eights, then cut them crosswise into 2-inch-long sticks (In other words, make them into little spearses).
  • In a large bowl, combine the sesame oil, vinegar, and a large pinch of salt. Add the cucumbers and toss well. Let stand for 10 minutes, tossing a few times (for any English readers who are cringing at the thought of tossing in the vomitorious sense, just stir the damn things).
  • In a mini food processor, combine the sesame seeds, crushed red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (that's a lot of salt. I recommend starting with 1/2 teaspoon and then up the quantity to taste). Process until the sesame seeds are coarsely chopped. (Or crush these ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Or skip this step altogether.)
  • Add half of the mixture to the cucumbers and toss (ew) well. Arrange the cucumbers on a platter (or leave them in the same bowl you're stirring them in, like I did. No need to get all fancy. It's a freakin' pickle). Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seed mixture and the scallions. Serve. With or without toothpicks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup

I like soups. The Bald Guy probably gets sick of all the myriad variations of something-swimming-in-liquid dinners I prepare, especially in winter. Enter Food & Wine magazine - joy in the morning! Soups galore! I like to dissect each issue (that and Cooks Illustrated are my magazine candy). The January 2011 issue has an interesting section on Nordic food - I know, an odd juxtaposition of words there, "Interesting" and "Nordic," but as Trina Hahnemann, the chef on display in this article, notes, the natural diet of the Scandinavian region is "very healthy and could help people lose weight." I don't know about that bit, but this soup is pretty tasty.

This recipe is pretty much straight from the magazine - I didn't modify it much, other than substituting a chicken stock cube for vegetable stock and dried thyme for the thyme sprigs, because that's what I had in the house.

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pearled barley
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water
10 thyme sprigs (or 2 T. dried thyme)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound baby spinach
1 t. grated nutmeg

Heat oil in a large (LARGE) pot. Add onion, leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley. Add the vegetable broth and water, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the celery root and parsnips and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderately low heat until the barley and root vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in the spinach and nutmeg and simmer another 5 minutes. Season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

*I suspect that the American concept of leeks is very different from the British version, which tends to be a couple of inches in diameter, with thick, tightly wound concentric leaves. If you have robust leeks, you may want to slice lengthwise down them and then slice thinly crosswise. Or do as thou wilt. You have been warned.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stilton Quinoa Bake - a loosey goosey recipe

It's not unusual for me to make up a recipe out of the necessity to get rid of things in my fridge. In this case, the food in question was a vast amount of quinoa I'd cooked for another purpose, for which only a tiny amount was used. D'oh! Quinoa overload! Little curly-cue bits everywhere! Ack!
Also: we had Stilton cheese. Mmmmmmm...cheeeeese...

(Of note: this recipe is not low-fat)

For those of you who aren't fans of stinky moldy cheese, you can make this bake sans the Stink. But it won't be Stilton Quinoa Bake. It'll be Some Other Cheese Product Quinoa Bake.

As this recipe is totally made up and I've only baked it once, ingredients and cooking times are, at best, approximate. Feel free to substitute at will. Because Stilton cheese is such a strong flavor on its own, I didn't spice this dish up with a lot of extra seasoning - just a little nutmeg and paprika, plus salt and pepper to taste. The parsley adds brightness and cuts the richness somewhat. I used these cute little ramekins with glass lids that showed up randomly in our house, but you could use a regular casserole dish - I'd lower the temperature slightly, expect it to take longer to cook, and watch it like the proverbial bird of prey to make sure the top gets browned and the inside is fully heated through.

Leftover cooked quinoa (or rice). I had about 4 cups.
A knob of butter (did I mention this recipe is not low-fat?) - about 2 tablespoons or thereabout
A spoonful or two of all-purpose flour (about 2 tablespoons)
Some cream or milk. Maybe approximately a cuppish.
Some Stilton cheese (or other stinky well-melting cheese) - maybe about 1/2 cup, crumbled, with a little more for the top.
Bread crumbs. I cheat (!) and use the Italian Bread Crumbs that come in the blue cylindrical box. You could be schmancy and make your own, or panko bread crumbs would give some nice extra crunch.
A little paprika, a little salt and pepper, a dash of nutmeg
Parsley. A couple of tablespoons. Preferably fresh. Finely chopped.

  • Preheat oven to 400 or so and grease up a casserole dish or ramekins. 
  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, keeping your spoon moving the whole time, until the flour's all nicely mixed in with the butter and there are no lumps, creating a roux
  • Slowly stir in the milk, again keeping the spoon moving, making sure no lumps are hanging around.
  • Add in a handful of Stilton, a little paprika, a dash of nutmeg, and most of your parsley, stirring until the Stilton's well mixed in with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fold in the quinoa and stir gently to incorporate.
  • Pour the Stilton sauce-quinoa mixture into your baking receptacle. Sprinkle with a decent layer of bread crumbs - probably about 1/2 cup - and whatever Stilton you have left over.
  • Bake covered with a lid or foil for about 20 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned on top, about 10 more minutes. Because the quinoa and sauce are already cooked, watch your cooking time. You really only need to heat it through and brown on top. 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining parsley on top. Let sit for a few minutes to settle, then serve hot.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lemony Thumbprint Scones

I don't always like Bon Appetit magazine - the recipes tend to be over-inflated with too many steps, ingredients that aren't easy to track down (at least in North Yorkshire, England), and (strangely) weird short-cuts like using pre-packaged or processed foods. It's like their test kitchen doesn't exist on a normal plane of existence - or their editor takes naps at inappropriate times.


The recipe for Double-Lemon Thumbprint Scones in the September 2010 issue is actually pretty wonderful - with the small exception that you really don't need to grate THREE large lemons to get 6 teaspoons of zest. Also: you don't need to cut the scones so big. If you want to reduce the calorie count to something a little more manageable, use a 1 1/2 inch diameter cookie cutter instead of the recommended 2 1/2 inch cutter - or do what I did and use an empty little can from a fruit cup, with the bottom cut out*. As the recipe helpfully suggests, the trick with scones is to mess with them as little as humanly possible. Mix the ingredients just enough to combine; knead just enough to bring the dough together; and pat or roll the dough just enough to get it flat enough to cut into circles. The resulting scone is so light, so fluffy, so melt-in-your-mouth delicious that you'll have trouble not eating the whole pan yourself.

I was lucky enough to have a jar of home-made rhubarb-strawberry jam from Alaska, but if you're not blessed with friends who grow or catch things, squish them into jars, and send them thousands of miles to you in a package along with a pretty card, you can use whatever sorts of preserves you have abandoned in the back of your fridge or cupboard. The husbandface suggested using poppy seed paste next time. Hrm. I think he's just angling for me to make these again...

I added a couple of ingredients, but you can stick with the original five-ingredient recipe if you don't feel like rummaging through the cabinets or trekking to the store.

2 or 3 large lemons
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy whipping cream (double cream in the UK)
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon orange flower essence (optional)
2 tablespoons (about) cherry, raspberry, or strawberry preserves

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Line large heavy-duty baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Finely grate enough peel from lemons to measure 6 teaspoons. Squeeze enough juice from 1 lemon to measure 1 tablespoon (do something creative and interesting with the other denuded lemons).
  • Whisk flour and 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl to blend. Add 1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon almond extract and 1 teaspoon orange flower essence (if using), plus 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel. Stir gently to combine all ingredients.
  • Gather dough together and turn out onto lightly floured work surface (this will be a little tricky, as it really doesn't stick together very well. If the ingredients are totally not coming together, add a little ice water, just a wee bit at a time (like, maybe a teaspoon) until you can form a very loose, scrappy dough.
  • Knead briefly - 4 to 5 turns only. Pat or roll out dough to 1 inch thick round (if you're going to cut smaller scones, pat out a little thinner - like, 3/4 inch or so) and cut out rounds using a 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inch diameter cookie cutter or biscuit cutter dipped in flour. Re-roll dough scraps gently and cut out as many scones as you can get out of what's left. 
  • Transfer all your little dough rounds to that baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Now for the fun bit (this would be good to do with kids): using your thumb or the back of a melon-baller, push down center of each scone to make a deep indentation. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon preserves into indentation of each scone.
  • Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, and 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Brush top of scones generously with lemon glaze. Bake scones until golden and a toothpick poked into one comes out clean - about 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer thumbprint scones to rack and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature (if they last that long).
*Cutting the bottom of your impromptu cookie cutter out (as well as the top) stops suction from forming from the trapped air and makes it easier to pop your little dough rounds out. Make sure you use a can opener that leaves smooth edges, or be very careful with any sharp edges created. This is kind of a one-use trick, as cans can and will rust if you're not really careful when you dry them, and Whiff of Rust is not really a flavor you should strive for.