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Scones to Sugarplums!

Dec 12, 2009
Hi everyone, and welcome to the Sifaka World Blog!

I'm your culinary host and over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be posting a series of recipes that will bring some serious holiday yum to your tables. Each recipe is kid-friendly and will be completely from scratch. I know what you're thinking! "Wha? Kid-friendly? From scratch?! But, but..this crazy rabbit chef can't be serious!"Oh, I'm serious alright. Cooking is easy, really. Anyone can do it. Craig Claiborne, one of America's greatest chefs, said, "Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love." I've always loved that quote. Mostly because it's entirely true.

Before we start, you should know that all of my recipes have been tested and approved by kids. Even the ones you might think are weird. Some recipes are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Others are what I like to call challenge foods, but all of them have been given the seal of approval by a large group of kids.

To make mixing and handling easier for small hands, I've scaled the recipes to one or two servings.

For kids, as with all my recipes, the first ingredient is a grown up to help with anything hot, sharp, or just plain too difficult. So make sure you have an adult with you before you start cooking.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Scones

Today's recipe is a favorite of all the kids who have taken my real world classes over the past couple of years. My little friend Sarah makes them at home with her mom all the time! Maybe, if we're lucky, she'll pop in here and leave a comment--perhaps a cooking tip or an idea for a recipe variation?

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 /4 cup nonfat buttermilk

2 Tablespoons chopped, dried cranberries

2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

How It's Made
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a whisk to lightly blend.

3. Add the butter and orange zest, and using your fingertips only*, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal.

4. Add the buttermilk and mix using a fork until the dough forms a shaggy mass.

5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Add the cranberries and walnuts and gently knead the dough until the berries and walnuts are incorporated (the less time you spend doing this the better because the more you handle dough the tougher it gets).

6. Flatten dough with your hands until it is about 3/4-inch thick and cut into desired shapes. (I like triangles or squares because there's no re-kneading involved, which results in a more tender dough than circles or other shapes that leave lots of scraps.)

7. Place scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown.

*The reason for using only your fingertips while cutting the butter into the dry ingredients is that we want to keep the butter from melting and your fingertips are the coldest parts of your hand. If you use the palms of your hands you're likely to end up with a dough ball when what you really want (before adding the liquid ingredients) is a bowl full of crumbly crumbs.


  1. Anonymous said... This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    December 17, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

  2. Deb said...

    I would not have guessed I could make scones. Can't wait to try. Deb

    December 17, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

  3. Sarah said...

    Chef Lisa is great, I've been cooking with Lisa for about two years and boy do we have fun in the kitchen. I won first place with the cranberry scones in our local fair. One of my other favorites are Chicken wontons and egg drop soup. Enjoy, Sarah

    December 21, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

  4. Julie said...

    Chef Lisa is the best! My daughter has always loved anything to do with cooking. She would rather watch the Food Channel instead of anything else, even Spongebob!
    Her enthusiasm and knowledge of cooking has grown tremendously since meeting Lisa and becoming one of her students. She even gives me tips now in the kitchen, and she just turned eight! I have also learned quite a bit from Chef Lisa, especially in finding creative ways to cook for my family. We are looking forward to seeing her recipes and seeing her in Sifaka World.
    Go Chef Holmes!

    December 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM  

  5. Chef Holmes said...

    Hi Sarah and Julie!

    I'm so glad to see you here :) Keep coming back, I'm posting some recipes and will be sharing stories about our backyard chickens soon!

    December 29, 2009 at 6:49 AM  

  6. Chef Holmes said...


    Anyone can make scones! The kids in my classes make scones all the time, and as you can see from Sarah's comment above, she even won at the county fair with the ones she made! I think she was only 9 at the time.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

  7. samantha said...

    I did it!!! they taste like biscuts though lol.

    January 2, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

  8. Chef Holmes said...

    Yay Samantha! I'm so proud of you! They do taste like sweet biscuits, so guess what? You did it right! :)

    Great job!

    (If you took any pictures forward them to me and I'll post them!)

    January 2, 2010 at 6:22 PM  

  9. Anonymous said...

    iv fed animals befor

    February 6, 2010 at 6:18 AM  

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