I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
I’m not much one for pressuring other people in the grocery store about what to buy. Over the years, I’ve become more informed about where my food comes from, and that leads me to make choices that may be different from mainstream America.
Occasionally, I’ve been accused by my midwestern brother-in-law for being a food snob, choosing to buy organic over non-organic, whether it be produce or a cookie. I’m okay with that. Especially when it comes to produce.
I know organic produce doesn’t mean I’m safe from things like salmonella. I still wash the heck out of it. But in my own experience, and just this past week, in my sister’s, sometimes, organic food just does taste better.
Case in point: Strawberries. Strawberries are just coming into season here in San Antonio, thanks to Poteet, our own little strawberry haven of South Texas. However, you actually have to go to Poteet to get those strawberries, so at the grocery store, we’re still finding the California imports.
Two weeks in a row, my sister bought run-of-the-mill, $4.99 quarts of strawberries. They smelled wonderful. But they had no taste. No pop, no wow, and certainly no juicy texture. If I could tell a strawberry, “I’m just not that into you,” – it would be these strawberries.
I hadn’t seen an organic stash of them at the nearby H-E-B, but then suddenly, this past Monday, there they were. I smelled their heady fragrance two aisles away. Ava and I were grocery shopping together, and I waved the box in front of her nose. “Oooooh!” she said. “Those smell SO good, Auntie!” (She’s taken to calling me Auntie, and I have no idea why.)
We grabbed the box and headed for home. That night, after dinner, the kids were clamoring for dessert. I grabbed the box of strawberries from the fridge, and waved them under Chellee’s nose too. She let out an appreciative “mmmmm!” and then I got to washing and de-stemming.
My first bite of these strawberries – ecstasy. This is what strawberries taste like. The kids ate fresh strawberries for their dessert, no sugar or whipped cream required.
I chopped the rest of the strawberries finely, with a plan for these scones already in hand. Their destination? David’s school’s teacher break room.
I’ve made a point, while I’m here, of baking for all the “places” in my family’s life.
I don’t ever get to do that from New Jersey, so it’s been a joy to provide Ava’s preschool with fresh blueberry muffins, Chellee’s fellow nurses with much needed cupcakes, and Jeremy’s fire squad with macaroons and banana nut muffins.
Adding just the right touch of sweetness, I created an orange juice glaze that plays perfectly off the strawberries. The tart sweet glaze adds a slight crunch to the outside of the scones, and requires only two ingredients: orange juice (I even used low sugar Trop 50) and powdered sugar.
Once glazed, these strawberry scones look like something straight out of a Starbuck’s bakery case. You’ll be the talk of the office, let me tell you.
Scones couldn’t be easier. I say that over and over again. For these scones, I decided to grab a bottle of Green Valley Organics Plain Kefir we had in the fridge and go to town. If you haven’t heard of Green Valley Organics, get on it. Their yogurts, kefirs, and sour cream are phenomenal.
I love that not only do they use organic farming practices, but there are no growth hormones – ever – and all of their products are lactose free. (In addition to this being great for me, someone who is slightly lactose intolerant, lactose free dairy products last f-o-r-e-v-e-r before going bad. Bonus!)
In addition to being incredibly creamy and perfect for breakfast, they’re perfect for baked goods too. I could easily have swapped in a cup of their Honey Yogurt for the Plain Kefir. You really can use whatever you have on hand, but I recommend using the best quality ingredients you can.
I will say that the verdict from David’s Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Pittman, (Hi, Mrs. P! Thanks for being awesome!) is that the teachers were saying they’d never had a scone before that wasn’t dry and crumbly.
These scones are definitely not that. They’re moist, slightly sweet, and incredible with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.
Fresh Strawberry Kefir Scones with
makes 32 mini scones
For the Scones
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashion oatmeal
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Plain or Vanilla Kefir
2 large eggs
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) frozen butter
1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
For the Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
For the Scones
In a large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to fully combine and aerate ingredients. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and kefir, making sure egg yolks are completely broken and combined with other ingredients. Set aside.
Using a box grater, grate frozen butter completely and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, distribute the butter through the mix.
Add the kefir mixture to the dry ingredients and butter. You can use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine, but I find after the initial mixing in, it is easier to use my hands.
When there is no more spare flour at the bottom of the bowl and the entire dough mixture seems moistened and fully mixed, add the strawberries and mix again, making sure the strawberries are well distributed throughout the dough.
Mold the dough so that it is one large ball. Using your hand as a guide, divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
Flour a flat surface, then take one quadrant of the dough and drop it onto the flour. Flip it over so that both sides are well floured. Flatten and turn, patting so that the dough makes a disk about an inch in thickness. Using a butter knife dipped in flour, cut the disk into 8 triangles. Place each triangle on the baking sheet.
Repeat this process until all four quadrants of dough have been turned into mini-triangle scones. I was able to put approximately 16 scones on each baking sheet.
Bake each tray for 15-18 minutes. The scones should be golden brown. Allow to completely cool.
For the Glaze
In a small bowl, place 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of orange juice directly to the powdered sugar, then stir repeatedly until the two ingredients are completely combined to form a thick glaze, roughly the consistency of kid’s craft glue.
On completely cooled scones, use a pastry brush to brush glaze directly on to each scone liberally. Alternatively, pour the glaze into a ziptop bag. Remove all the air and seal, then cut a tiny hole into the corner of the bag.
Using a zigzag pattern, pour the glaze over the scones.
Allow to set overnight. In the morning, the scones will have a slightly crunchy exterior, like the glazed scones at your favorite coffee shop.
Disclaimer: Green Valley Organics did not sponsor this post nor ask me to write it. I have been a longtime fan of their products, purchasing them on my own for over a year. I have not been compensated for this post, though I did receive a sample of products as a gift from a friend.