The other night, we had just gone to bed when the cat discovered one of his jingly ball toys. He loves those silly little things intensely, and was soon chasing it happily around the house, crashing into various walls and pieces of furniture while the ball jingled merrily away. He has a bad habit of sleeping all evening and waking up around 11 pm for playtime. If he was one of my children I would make every effort to fix this habit, but, as it is, I just smile, close my door and go to sleep.
It’s not so easy for Carl. For someone who can work with music on and kids shouting, I was surprised to learn he cannot fall asleep with a ball jingling. In a rare and risky move, he suggested I get out of bed to find the cat and offending bell ball and put an end to that nonsense. I did a quick, unthorough cycle of the main rooms (with my contacts out and blind as a bat, mind you), and returned unsuccessful.
Me: He’s not doing it anymore so I can’t find him if there’s no sound to follow. *snuggles back into blankets*
Carl: *As bell begins to jingle almost immediately* Fine. (Gets out of bed, tracks down cat in bathtub with jingly ball, removes ball.)
A few minutes later, we heard the thumping and bumping start up again as the cat ran himself in happy circles, without the jingling.
Carl: *dramatic sigh*
Me: Let me guess, you want me to get up and take his tail?
Dripping sarcasm on almost-sleeping spouses…that’s gonna require an apology breakfast.
Thankfully Carl is in the business of forgiving and forgetting, and I am in the business of making really good scones. Since I didn’t have dried cranberries on hand to make his very favourite scones, I had to improvise. Not being big on dried cranberries myself, I actually like these even better than their inspiration. Vanilla and cinnamon are one of my favourite combinations, both for eating and for scenting our home.
Kristopher loves scones as much as his daddy, and, being practically a professional thanker, he showered me with thanks and compliments every time one of these appeared in front of him. Theo is learning well from his big brother, and can hold his own in the “words of affirmation” department. I’ll definitely keep them.
All of which to say, these were a hit, and have become part of the regular scone rotation, and one more small weapon in my food apology arsenal. One day, when I learn to think before I speak, I may completely give up baking. I think we all know it won’t be anytime too soon ;)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup COLD butter, cubed
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup buttermilk (or soured milk: ½ Tbsp lemon juice + 1 cup milk)
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- GLAZE (optional): ¾ cup icing sugar + 1 milk + ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until crumbly.
- Stir in white chocolate chips.
- In measuring cup, whisk buttermilk with egg and vanilla; pour over flour mixture. Stir with a fork to make a soft, ragged dough.
- With flour-coated hands, press dough into a messy ball. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently about 5 times while gathering it into a smoother ball (your fingers are going to get messy!) Pat/press dough out to about ¾” thickness and cut with 2" - 3” biscuit cutter, re-rolling dough as necessary, working quickly to prevent the butter from getting too warm. Place scones on prepared baking sheets about 1” apart.
- Bake at 400º until bottoms are light golden, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.
- In small bowl, combine icing sugar, milk and vanilla to make an icing of drizzling consistency, adding more milk if necessary. Drizzle over scones with a spoon or the tines of a fork.
Too funny – in our house it is me who has trouble sleeping so 2 days after we got our cat I put another litter box, food and water in the garage and that’s where our cat spends his nights. :-) They are totally nocturnal aren’t they?
They are! We tried the garage, and got a completely shredded weather stripping for our trouble…he just scratches endlessly at the door and we still can’t sleep. He likes to sleep (when he eventually does) somewhere near his people :)