Many years ago now, I was thirsty while shopping in a Japanese grocery store (in Columbus, Ohio – I miss it there, sometimes). I took a look in the refrigerated case and there, beckoning, was some beverage I’d never seen before: Milk tea. I take my hot tea with just milk, so I was intrigued. I picked it up, and I’ve never looked back. Since buying smallish imported bottles got expensive fairly quickly, I decided to try to make my own milk tea at home.
I’ve been doing this for about 10 years occasionally, but in the past year or two, this has been a fairly regular afternoon beverage choice for me. I do love hot tea, but – especially when it’s nearly 80F in February – sometimes a nice, icy, cold drink option is preferable.
I’ve been talking a lot this year about my plan to implement family tea time (or coffee hour; I really can’t decide what to call it). I wanted to get back in the habit of baking, and I also wanted a way for us to reset in mid- to late afternoon. Afternoon is kind of the worst. So I’ve been baking a lot, and it’s been making me happy. One of my favorite easy recipes is this one, for simple cream scones; it’s adapted from King Arthur Flour’s website.
Scones, if you’re not familiar, are kind of similar to lightly sweet (American) biscuits. They should be soft and tender, and are best eaten freshly warm out of the oven. I like mine with just the barest hint of sweetness, so that it’s not overkill when I top them with jam. (We stock up on Bonne Maman Quatre Fruits at Costco, when they have it.) I think scones with additions like blueberries or dried fruit or even, deliciously, chocolate chips, are a bit of a different matter; they should still be flaky but I don’t tend to split and top those, so sometimes I use a bit more sugar in the first place.
Cream scones (and all scones, really) are also dead simple to make. Truly. You only need one bowl, and you can turn the dough out directly onto the baking sheet – lined with parchment or a silicone mat (this is an affiliate link), of course – so there’s barely any washing up to do. I feel like I’m talking Britishly in this post. It’s not intentional. My three-year-old was telling me we needed to buy a picnic rug so I think we may all have had too much Peppa Pig as of late.