Weather: 36 and raining (which is shocking in Alaska in January) What I’m listening to:The Golden Globes
This week last year, my mother died after a painful battle with pancreatic cancer. When New Year’s came this year, I was more anxious than any before for a fresh start, eager for it to no longer be “the year that my mother died.” A new year. An easier year. A simpler year.
I got a phone call recently from far away that changed all of that – one of those phone calls that makes you feel like you were punched in the gut. I can’t tell you the details; it’s not my story to tell. But, I can say that it was painful news to hear, hard news to digest. It took me right back to the mourning of last January. Suddenly Alaska felt ever so far away from everywhere else and I wavered between wanting to jump on a plane and wanting to curl up in a ball. I didn’t feel much like eating, let alone cooking or writing.
After several days of feeling down, low-energy, and uninspired, this recipe got me back in the kitchen. Chocolate and orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations in the whole wide world. And a buttery scone was just the kind of comforting baked good I needed to help lift my spirits. Let’s make a pot of tea, bake a batch of these scones, and sit together a while, shall we? I think we shall.
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together and pour the mixture into the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir until just combined and the dough comes together; it helps to use your hands and knead it lightly (you don't want to overwork scone dough or else it won't be tender and flaky; it's ok if the dough is a little crumbly).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough into an 8 inch circle. Cut the circle into 8 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden on the edges and set in the center. Place on a cooling rack.
To make the glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice until it makes a smooth, runny glaze (more orange juice can be added if needed). Drizzle the glaze over the warm scones. Scones are best eaten fresh.
I'm so sorry to hear that you had recently received such bad news. I had no idea when you mentioned your Mom's passing that it had been so recent. I hope last Thursday was able to take your mind off of things for a little bit anyway.
This rain is awful and now that I have they day home with kids I think these scones will hit the spot. Thanks for the suggestion (found you on Pinterest) and glad I found another Alaskan out there.
Sorry about the hard times you're going through. I, too, go through bake-therapy.