Irish Soda Scones

March 16, 2018

When I moved to New York City after college, I worked at Cartier, in their flagship store on Fifth Avenue.  It was a great job, although I was too young to appreciate how lucky I was to have it.  Fashion was my first love and I wanted to work at a magazine.  I had some promising leads, the best being an interview to be one of three assistants to Bazaar's then-editor-in-chief, Liz Tilberis.

I didn't get it, losing out to someone who spent junior year abroad with one of the other assistants. How unfair!  This was the beginning of my crash-course on how New York City works; it's all about who you know, silly!  I regrouped and decided to go in a slightly different direction. I still loved magazines, but instead of styling models, I wanted to style platters of food.  Back then, Gourmet was at the pinnacle of American food magazines, with Martha Stewart Living and upstart, Saveur, right behind. Food styling wasn't a career anyone had heard of at that point and maybe the barriers to entry would be lower?  I left Cartier, went to culinary school and interned at Saveur. I made the transition from fashion to food and never looked back.

I was a decent baker before culinary school but couldn't cook to save my life.  In order to become the food stylist I wanted to be, I needed cooking skills, too.  I learned them, and now I'm also a good cook.  Baking is my default, though; it's something that feels natural and easy to me.  I go through spurts where all I want to do is bake in my spare time and I'm in one of those right now.  In the last week I've made gingerbread cake for a friend who came to dinner, crumb cake for a neighbor who helped me out of a jam with my car, and today, scones for Saint Patrick's Day.

Every once in awhile I think "what would have happened if I stuck with fashion instead of food?"  I'll never know, of course, but I do know food is a universal language, something we all have in common.  The ability to cook and bake has given - and will continue to give - me a way to say thank you and I love you to all the important people in my life.  Based on that, I'm very happy with my choice.  

Irish Soda Scones
Martha Stewart Living March 2018


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
½ cup dried currants
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
¼ cup grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt. Cut butter into small pieces; work into mixture with your fingers or pastry cutter until dough resembles coarse meal. Add currents, caraway seeds, and buttermilk; stir until just combined.

Scoop ¼ cup-size mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 3 inches apart; bake until bottoms are golden, 15 - 20 minutes. Let them cool on sheet. Meanwhile, combine confectioners’ sugar, whole milk and orange zest. Drizzle over scones; serve.





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