When spending your vacation at a house on the water, you’d better not forget to pack your bathing suit, sunscreen, aloe vera for when you inevitably get burned regardless of the sunscreen, boogie board, frisbee, Stephen King or Emily Griffin novel (pick your poison), kitchen tongs and measuring cups/spoons. You’re probably thinking those last two don’t scream ‘sand between the toes,’ but if you have access to a kitchen, these tools will make life much easier and breakfast much more delicious.
I learned from my mom that you should always travel with tongs.* The reason being, she told me, you never know what the kitchen supply situation will be. With this in mind, I decided that because of my baking obsession I should also always travel with measuring tools. You see, some vacation rentals are equipped for a chef, while others are equipped for a stack of take-out pizzas (no knock there, love me some take-out pizza). Luckily, even if you’re staying in the latter, you can make delicious homemade treats because, with just your hands, you can be quite the little bakeshop.
You’ll already be all sandy after the beach; why not also get a little flour on your hands while making some blueberry buttermilk scones with cinnamon sugar butter? The butter—oh the butter—may be my new little obsession. It is SO easy to make, and with just just three ingredients, you can have this addictive sweet spiced spread at your disposal in no time. I’m going to start making it by the pound.
Your cohorts will thank you when they’re slicing through the sweet, juicy blueberries in the light, buttery scone and smearing it with the cinnamon sugar butter. They may actually volunteer to make you a piña colada for your hard work. (Our little secret will be how easy the ‘work’ was, but go on, accept that island drink reward ;-))
* For clarification: this applies when you have a kitchen to work with. I did not, for example, bring tongs to Las Vegas for a girl’s weekend. That would be strange. Probably not all that surprising, but definitely strange.
blueberry buttermilk scones with cinnamon sugar butter
Adapted from M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, 2007
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16–18 minutes
Total Time: 30–35 minutes
Makes 8 large or 16 medium-sized scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg lightly whipped with 1 tablespoon water (for brushing)
A dash more granulated sugar for sprinkling
Cinnamon sugar butter (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Add butter and mix with your fingertips or with a pastry blender until it reaches a coarse meal and the butter is in pea-sized pieces or just smaller. Add buttermilk and mix until almost combined. Mix in blueberries until everything is just combined.
- Transfer dough to a floured board (divide into two parts if you’d like smaller scones). Roll into 1-inch thick rounds for larger scones or into 3/4-inch thick rounds if you divided the dough and are making smaller scones. Cut each round into 8 wedges and place slightly separated onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg mixture, sprinkle each lightly with sugar and bake for 16–18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm, split in half with a smear cinnamon sugar butter.
cinnamon sugar butter
makes 1/4 cup
1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature (I use salted, but if you use unsalted, add a dash of salt)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, stir together butter, light brown sugar and ground cinnamon until completely combined and fluffy. Chill and serve.