This past week, my lovely little niece Jubalee was born.
At the exact time of her birth, I was having lunch with my family at a nearby cafe. We had been waiting patiently at the hospital, but the nurses told us to go get lunch as it would be hours until Jubalee made her entrance. After all, she was already 10 days late…why not stall a few more hours? But, of course, she decided to arrive while we were having lunch. Life is funny that way.
We quickly made our way back to the hospital to meet the little one. My sister was a champion (16 hours of labor!), but her and the baby are happy and healthy. Jubalee has a full head of black hair, powerful little lungs, and the cutest chubby pink cheeks. I may be biased, but I happen to think I have the cutest nieces on the planet.
So, after a long day of driving, waiting, cooing, picture-taking, baby-gazing and the like, we finally headed home. I was exhausted, but my heart was full. It was a really wonderful day.
When I got home, I did what any normal person would do after a long and emotional day: I baked raspberry scones. I probably should have collapsed onto the couch and zoned out in front of the television, but I just couldn’t help myself. Call me a little crazy, but I find that cooking (and baking) is my favorite form of relaxation. For whatever reason, I’ve found that when I step into the kitchen, my outlook on life changes.
So after the birth of my niece, I cooked. I celebrated her entrance into the world by making a whole host of goodies, including these raspberry scones. The reason I’m writing about the scones now – as opposed to the other goodies I made that evening – is simply that they were my favorite creation of the evening. They were simple, flavorful, and a joy to bake. The dough came together easily, the scones cooked quickly, and when I finally sat down to relax – I munched happily on warm scones and all felt right with the world.
Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup (plus a little more) fresh raspberries
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup heavy cream
Optional: Raw or large grain sugar to sprinkle on top of the scones.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. In a large bowl, whisk together the white and wheat flours, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Add the butter and use a pastry blender (or knives, or fingers) to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in raspberries and use the pastry blender (or knives) again to break up the berries into smaller chunks.
Add the ricotta and heavy cream to the flour/butter mixture. With a spatula, stir together until a loose dough has formed (the mixture will be thick and wet). Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl.
With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter or surface. Flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square (about 1-inch tall). With a large knife, cut the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges.