Friday, November 16, 2012

Cinnamon Clove Scones with Raisins

Just about every part of the Cinnamon tree  is fragrant. I like using the Cinnamon Bark because it is the most potent and more complex than the Cinnamon Leaf. The common name of Cinnamon can also be Cassia Bark. Cassia is more readily available because it comes from China (meaning cheap cheap cheap). The Cassia Bark tends to be more potent that the Cinnamon Bark. Most of the what we see ground in the U.S. is Cassia Bark. True Cinnamon can actually be hard to find. If the country of origin is from Madagascar or Sri Lanka, then you know you have true Cinnamon. Many parts of the world bar Cassia from being labeled Cinnamon so customers know they are either getting Cassia or the Cinnamon Bark. Cinnamon Bark was discovered by Dutch spice traders in Sri Lanka.  It is a great digestive, high antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, and carminative properties.

Clove Bud is another plant where every part is aromatic. We also have Clove Leaf which is not as strong as the Clove Bud. Clove Bud is a native of the Molucca Islands aka Spice Islands. Before indoor plumbing people would carry around spiceballs of an orange or apple with cloves stuck all around.  It helped with the smells when you walked around the streets. Those are still used today to make spiced cider.In the third century BC one of the Han emperors in China ordered all courtesans in his court to place a few clove buds under their tongue to make their breath smell sweet. During the Byzantine time, a vessel of clove was the ultimate gift. The plant was highly coveted by the Dutch and Portuguese. They both tried  to keep it as a monopoly until the French were able to get away with a few seedlings. Clove and Cinnamon are two spices that are potent and need to be used conservatively especially using the essential oil.

Cloves are good to help tame the strong onion scent. Good in meat dishes as well with desserts. True Cinnamon is good in a lot of desserts and a great accompaniment with chocolate. Also good in a variety of meat dishes and gives beans an extra something too.

I thought I would post a recipe that is a great bread dish and good with a stew.

Dry Ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour 1/4 cup for bench flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 Tbs. of baking powder
1 Tsp. of salt
8 Tbs. of cold butter

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup of applesauce
1 cup of sour cream
5 drops of cinnamon essential oil
3 drops of clove essential oil
2 egg
1 cup of raisins
2 Tbs. milk

In a medium size bowl add the 3 cups of flour with the other dry ingredients. Stir together.
Cut in pieces of the butter with pastry cutter, fork, or hands until butter resembles peas in the flour mixture.

Combine wet ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are well blended.
Add the wet ingredients a little bit at a time to flour mixture. Combine until it starts to form into a ball. (May not use all the liquid.)

Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Flour hands and knead dough a few times over a floured surface with the bench flour. Do not over work it. Roll out dough 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of glass to cut round shapes. Lay on greased baking sheet. Put in preheated oven at 425 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 16-20 scones.

Happy Cooking!