Hiya! I'm back--just in case you noticed the lack of Unwritten Recipes in your life lately. Ha ha! According to some very impartial input, the bridal shower tea party I threw for my daughter-in-law-to-be this weekend along with my mom and sisters was deemed a huge, rip-roaring but still elegant and dainty success and we are now officially only 4 weeks away from the wedding!! Yikes!!
After agonizing for weeks over what to make and what to cut and a lot of griping about it to all of you, I feel obliged to post the final menu (if you're not interested in the minutiae that is my bridal shower planning life, spare yourself and scroll down to the recipe below). If you're still with me, here goes: Platters of finger sandwiches adorably decorated by my very loyal and talented staff (aka my sisters, my kids, my nieces and even my daughter-in-law to be) filled with this Strawberry Chicken Salad, My Mom's Egg Salad, cream cheese and cucumber and smoked salmon and cream cheese on assorted breads like this No-Knead Everyday Brioche, another homemade white slicing bread I promise to share soon, homemade choux puffs (also sharing soon and so easy to make and impressive looking), this Sheet Pan Quiche which did not cut particularly well but tasted good (lucky for us, lots of leftovers), these muffins but with blueberries instead of rhubarb and strawberries, homemade strawberry vanilla jam and blueberry/blackberry jam (will share soon) homemade faux clotted cream (so easy!), Tartine's Lemon-Currant Buttermilk Scones, Apricot Scones (will tell more about these below) a big fruit salad (courtesy of my mom), assorted teas and coffee and iced tea too since it was a steamy 87º outside.
There was also (ahem) a little assortment of cookies: Maple Pecan Thins, Jammy Butterballs (I think these were everyone's favorite), Lemon Drops, Lemon Cornmeal Cookies, these amazing Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies that are the new love of my life, Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies (swoon-worthy-will share these soon too), Maida Heatter's Pennies from Heaven and my sister Jenny's Lemon Cherry Biscotti. What no cake?!!
Ok, I went overboard, but look at how adorable they are with those cute labels my sister Ali made!! Now, please, please come to my house and get some cookies because we are still shedding for the wedding!!
In any case, so much fun was had by all--particularly the toilet paper bridal gown portion of the afternoon--boy were the guests good sports!
Now, after spending the last week baking cookies, bread and scones the last thing I thought I would post today was something baked (really it's salad we all need around here) but these scones were very beloved and one of the few things that was actually not leftover, so I took this as a sign.
Guys, these are light, soft, and full of delightfully chewy and tart little pieces of apricot. They bake up quickly with a minimum of effort and would be a wonderful addition to any brunch or lazy weekend breakfast (does anyone really have those?!!) They'd also be terrific with an afternoon cup of tea. And they are now shower worthy too. I think you're going to love 'em! Bake up a batch and let me know. I will now be heading for a much needed stint on the elliptical, especially considering I have another dress fitting this week!!
Makes about 16 regular sized scones or about 32 minis
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 12-18 minutes (depending on size and thickness)
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided (you might need a bit more)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350º and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk together well. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add in the apricots and toss to coat them well.
3. Combine the 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream and the vanilla and stir to blend. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until the mixture is moist and sticky. You may need to add a bit more cream if it seems too dry. When the ingredients are combined, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times just to bring everything together. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about 3/4 inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut out the rounds in whatever size you like and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more until the dough is all used up (you could also not use any cookie cutters at all and just roll the dough into a large rectangle and cut out triangles of dough for a more rustic scone).
4. Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of heavy cream.
5. Bake for 12-18 minutes, until the scones are golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will look sort of pale on top but that is ok. Transfer to wire racks to cool and serve as is or with butter and jam. These are best on the day they're made but also pretty terrific a day or two later, especially if you reheat them in the oven for a few minutes.
Note: Recipe adapted from Tea Time Magazine.