You guys, I spent at least 30 minutes trying to think of a different was to say just how excited I am about this scone recipe! I realize I say this often when it comes to my baking, but I truly mean it, every single time. You see, I find incredible joy in creating recipes, and testing them for weeks, months and even years sometimes to create the perfect bake. The effort in this case was so worth it, as this Mandarin Orange Vanilla Bean Scone is magical. Not too dry, but not too wet either. Not too sweet, but just sweet enough. Best of all, the mandarin orange and vanilla flavors, which were inspired by a certain sleuth, are balanced, without overpowering each other.
Oh you guys, this bake is just beyond. A rich bread is cubed and soaked in a luscious creamy pumpkin custard, baked to golden perfection and then saturated in a sweet caramelized tres leches bath.
“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
― George Eliot (Letter to Miss Eliot, Oct. 1, 1841]”
While baking is a constant in our family, my hectic work schedule doesn’t allow for much daylight baking time. It’s quite often in the middle of the night or sometime at dawn, when the children are sleeping, that you’ll find me in the kitchen kneading. So the holidays offer the greatest gift of all, time with my family. On a recent holiday eve, I asked the kids what bake they’d like for breakfast. I was thinking of the usual suspects on their request list such as coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, cream biscuits, croissants, etc. At that moment, my son’s face lights up and he screams “DOUGHNUTS!!!” The excitement is contagious and almost immediately, my daughter exuberantly exclaims, “YEAH DOUGHNUTS!”
I love bread. I really, really do. I have been baking it in some form or fashion for over 35 years, starting out as a child on a stool next to my beautiful mama. So my bread making and eating infatuation began early in life and this challah bread was one of the first bread recipes that my mom taught me how to make. Needless to say I have never lasted more than five minutes on a carb free diet!