What Anticipation Tastes Like
I think my favorite flavor of the holiday season is ginger. Christmas wouldn’t taste or smell like Christmas without spicy notes of ginger and cinnamon wafting through the house and lingering in the kitchen.
A pinch of ginger is the perfect way to dress up favorite family recipes, both sweet and savory, for the holidays. The scent of ginger transports me, reminding me of Christmases past while promising something delicious in the present tense. Ginger introduces a subtle tension: warm spice nestled against cool freshness, bitter balanced by sweet. Ginger is what anticipation should taste like, the touchstone of the season.
With a nod to seasonal anticipation I adapted the recipe for a family favorite, Buttermilk Scones, by adding a ginger-heavy blend of aromatic spices and a sweet touch of molasses. The recipe is a good one. The execution, however, was slightly, well, wanting. As often happens all did not go exactly as expected. As you can see in some of the photos my fragrant Gingerbread Scones turned out a little dark (read black) on the bottom.
That’s how it goes sometimes. You can let it get you down or you can accept it and move forward. This batch didn’t turn out as picture perfect as I may have liked but that doesn’t mean they weren’t beautiful in their own right and it doesn’t mean they weren’t delicious. These fragrant scones are something to look forward to on a cold winter morning or as a teatime or after dinner treat. Next time I will just remember not to bake them on a dark pan and to check them a few minutes earlier.
2½ cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease baking sheet. Mix flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt, in a large bowl.
Cut in butter until the mixture resembles course meal. Stir in the buttermilk, molasses and most of the egg (reserving just a little to brush onto the top of the scones). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Dough will be moist.
Pat dough out into a circle 1½ inches thick. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Cut into wedges. Brush top with reserved egg; sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake until Golden Brown, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with butter or whipped cream and a steaming cup of coffee or Earl Grey tea.