Callie’s Cabin: Rustic berry-nut scones for the holidays (recipe) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Callie’s Cabin: Rustic berry-nut scones for the holidays (recipe)

Cal Orey
Callie’s Cabin

A few weeks ago, I was chilling in a hot tub after swimming. A tourist and I engaged in a conversation. When I shared my recent experiences at tearooms in Canada, her interest soared.

She said, "My friend wants to open up a tearoom on the South Shore. What do you think?"

There was a pregnant pause as I thought, "Gee, she stole my idea!"

But as time passed, I arrived at the conclusion a tearoom may attract tourists in the winter for hot tea and summer for iced tea, but during off season a tearoom would be like an empty tea cup or two. And I told her that, speaking from experience and my heart, well, sort of.

But just because a tearoom may not be in the cards for the South Shore doesn't mean you can enjoy vanilla petite scones at Starbucks or munch on homemade scones. So, since I bought fresh berries and walnuts, they were used in this tearoom chat-inspired recipe. It's truly easy to make, will please folks of all ages and gender (not just fussy women) because they are countrified and well, real food.

Blackberry-Walnut Holiday Scones

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2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted (a bit extra for cutting board)

¼ cup granulated white sugar

1 cup low-fat buttermilk, premium brand

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ stick European style butter, cold, cubed

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup blackberries, fresh (or blueberries)

2 teaspoons orange or lemon rind (optional)

½ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (for sprinkling tops after removed from oven)

In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in butter, nuts and berries.

On a floured cutting board mold the dough into a circle. Place on a plate and put into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Remove and slice the circle like a pizza into six triangles. Place on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake scones in a 425 degree oven for 18 minutes or until bottom of scones are light brown. Do not overbake. Dust with sugar. Makes six medium scones or 12 mini sized ones.

Using cake flour gives these scones a light texture. The fresh berries is a naturally sweet delight as we near wintertime. The powdered sugar is a nice touch and most of you hope it's foreshadow for snowy days ahead.

These scones with nature's berries and nuts are a sweet pleasure to eat and share any time, day or night. Pair it with a cup of cocoa topped with whipped cream and a candy cane or a cup of hot ginger, peppermint, pumpkin spice or chamomile tea.

Because they are rustic mountain-style food and not a perfect and dainty cookie cutter shape, you'll enjoy them all the more whether you're a local or tourist.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.