I'm lucky to live close to a well-stocked, community library that has an inspiring selection of cookbooks.
I often bring home an armful, flip through them, and then usually make a recipe or two, or three.
Recently, I checked out "Breakfasts & Brunches" by The Culinary Institute of America. I loved the book and the recipes in it so much that I ordered a copy from Amazon.com.
I'm providing you with its recipe for Ham & Cheddar Scones, one of my favorites from the book so far. Delicate, tender and crumbly, the scones are studded with diced ham and cheese, flecked with scallions. They were nothing like the doorstops some scones can be.
The cheese gets bubbly and oozes to the outside. I also like that I can freeze the dough overnight, and bake the scones the next morning.
HAM & CHEDDAR SCONES
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup medium-diced ham
1/2 cup medium-diced cheddar cheese
1/2 cup scallions
2 cups heavy cream
Cut two, 10-inch circles of parchment paper. Use one piece to line a 10-inch round cake pan. Reserve the second piece.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the ham, cheese and scallions, then toss together with the dry ingredients until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Add the cream and stir by hand, just until the batter is evenly moistened.
Place the dough in the lined cake pan and press into an even layer. Cover the dough with the second parchment paper circle. Freeze the dough until very firm, at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with parchment paper.
Thaw the dough for five minutes at room temperarture; turn it out of the cake pan onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into 10 equal wedges and place the individual wedges on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake the scones until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Serve scones warm or at room temperature. They should be eaten the same day they are made or frozen for up to four weeks.