Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week 4: Cheddar and Dill Scones

Treadmills are boring, boring, BORING. I can't read when I'm walking or jogging on one, so the only thing that improves the experience for me is snagging one of those funky machines at the Y that comes with its own little television set. Naturally, I tune into the Food Network. There's hardly a better incentive for working out hard than spending half an hour watching Paula Deen.

I tread into more dangerous territory, so to speak, if I catch one of Ina Garten's shows instead. She makes her share of rich treats, too, but I don't find her exasperating like so many of the other Food Network celebrities. Maybe it's her calm manner, her style of entertaining, or her Hampton digs. If I spend a half-hour with Ina, I don't want to work out, I want to go home and cook. And I want to cook something buttery and worthy of the calories.

If you are in the mood for a savory treat, and you have a good-sized bunch of dill (as I did this week), Garten's scones are worth a try. I considered lightening them up a bit -- they contain a copious amount of butter -- but I was seduced by the recipe and kept it as written. I guess that means I'm heading into the Y for another workout session soon.

Cheddar and Dill Scones
(Adapted from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Makes 8 large scones.)

2 cups plus 1/2 Tbsp flour, divided use
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp cold butter, diced
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
4 ounces finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh dill (leaves only)
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk, for egg wash

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Have on hand a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Combine the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle the butter on top and pulse until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Mix the eggs and heavy cream together and add to the flour-butter mixture, and pulse just to combine. Mix the cheese, dill, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of flour. Add the cheese mixture to the dough and pulse until it is almost incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for about 1 minute, until the cheese and dill are well distributed. Roll the dough into an 8-inch square, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into 4-inch squares, then cut each square in half diagonally to form 8 triangles. Brush the tops with the egg wash.

Move the scones to the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is lightly browned and crusty. Serve warm.


  1. Try audiobooks (on CD, cassette, MP3, or downloaded to the eReader or similar technology of choice) if you like to read while working out.

  2. I suppose ... but I secretly like the opportunity to watch mindless TV.