It's easy to count your blessings at the Thanksgiving table. That exact moment when you look around at your friends and family, dressed in their best, the table set with fine china and crowded with heaping platters of your favorite foods, you know that you are so very lucky. It's so much harder to count your blessings the week after Thanksgiving. That Sunday night, when you (um, me) have six loads of laundry to do, and you have to make lunches for the week (me again), and the baby has eaten yet another two-week old Cheerio from the carpet reminding you it's high time to vacuum (ok, also me), it's a lot harder to take a minute to look around the utter chaos and count your blessings.
That's the funny thing about blessings. They don't often announce themselves with a neon sign or with a giant blinking arrow overhead pointing, "Blessing here." And so instead, I crankily tweet about the nuttiness I encounter on public transit on my morning commute. I sigh about how we eat more than our fair share of frozen pizza (we're partial to Red Baron, in case you're curious). I complain about little man's changing sleep patterns which often lead to him waking me up for playtime at 4 a.m. And I grumble about how my baby hair is back with a vengeance.
And so this past Sunday, after the happy pandemonium of many, many loved ones gathering for Thanksgiving, eating many a decadent meal, and chattering way too much, I found some time to bake in silence and truly reflect on the many blessings in my life. And as I measured the flour and sugar for these Blueberry Toasted Almond Scones, I forced myself to admit that enduring the nutters on public transit was a small (and entertaining!) price to pay to commute to a job I loved. Blessing! Little man's grin was still awesome, even at 4 a.m. (but little man, if you're reading this, I'm sure your grin is doubly awesome, say at a more reasonable 6 a.m.). Blessing!
And as I cut in the butter, I was forced to admit that I am blessed that my poofy, out of control hair (complete with mocking baby hairs) has made a triumphant comeback after I lost handfuls of it everyday post-baby and was convinced I would soon be bald. I toasted the almonds and mixed them into the dough, along with a few drops of fragrant almond extract. After years of having to carry my laundry to a common washing room, and having to run back up three flights of stairs at least three times because I forgot the detergent, softener, and/or quarters, I am blessed that we now have a washer and dryer in our house. I carefully added the blueberries and gently dumped the dough on the floured counter. So so blessed to finally have a kitchen with more than 1/2 a counter.
And so, I baked these scones, bursting with juicy blueberries and toasted almonds. And as I watched my family eat the entire batch in one sitting, I recognized that perhaps the biggest blessing of all was that Red Baron makes a mean frozen pizza!
2 cups flour
1 tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast almonds on a hot, dry pan on the stove until lightly golden and crunchy.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter with the pastry blender. Mix in blueberries and 1/4 cup of toasted almonds. In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream, egg, and almond extract. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Gently knead 4-5 times until mixture comes together. Divide dough in two halves.
On a floured counter, roll each half into a rectangle (approximately 6 inches by 3 inches). Cut in half vertically, and then cut the two resulting squares diagonally so you have 4 triangular wedges. Repeat with other half of dough. Place wedges on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat (Silpats are totally a blessing!). Brush wedges with cream and top with remaining 1/4 cup of toasted almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Eat quickly while warm because blessings like freshly-baked scones don't stick around!
Yields about 8 good-sized scones.