Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Delicious Works of Art from The Scone Artist

It seems these days every kind of seemingly ordinary dish is getting a gourmet makeover.  Cupcakes are now artisan cupcakes with fancy upscale flavours and prices.  We have Chicken wings with flavours like Caribbean Jerk or Green Thai Curry.  We find cookies and brownies with ingredients like dark cacao and hemp seeds.  And then there's the scone.  The Scottish/Dutch cousin of the American heavy dough buttermilk biscuit that's long been paired with tea, occasionally with icing or raisins & cinnamon inside, it's often viewed as a dry triangular carbo that has been pushed aside in favour of other items.  However, recently I had the opportunity to enjoy some moist, round, drop-style scones that had such mixes as dark chocolate and blackberries which have made me rethink this venerable carbo snack.

Sample of Rachel Teichman's Drop style scones
The Scone Artist is the home-based baking business run by Rachel Teichman in the Meyerland Area.  Rachel is doing for scones what others have done for cookies, brownies and cupcakes  And all this is despite the fact that scones are not considered pastries. A scone is a single-serving cake or quick bread. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent, and are baked on sheet pans. They are often lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed, though some are savoury--made with cheese, onions or other non-sweet add-ins. The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea (late afternoon snack meal). It differs from a teacake and other sweet buns, which are made with yeast. Scones can be drop style round or sector/triangular in shape.  Rachel has gone in with the attitude of opening Scones up, considering no potential add-ins off limits!

Per her website:
Mom and avid baker, Rachel Teichman, has brought her lifelong love of baking to life as a business. Her at home kitchen is brimming with new and unique scone ideas, and she is always up for a challenge. She has brought her art and business backgrounds together with her love of chocolate, to create The Scone Artist, a playful take on the royal scone! Her favorite scones include chocolate, cinnamon and bananas, but she can't wait to see what you choose! 
Sounds good to me!  And just FYI:  many of Rachel's Scones Have artist-related names (Van Gogh, Gaughan, Pop Art)--which is just another sign of a creative mind at work.  Love it!  You can also choose your own add-ins, which I think is really cool!

Oldenburg and Pollack Scones from The Scone Artist
I've had all kinds of scones--many of them have been very dry and heavy, heavily glazed, and at times not having much in the way of add-ins, and other times being too heavily glazed.  Rachel's are noticably moist and chewy, they have plenty of add-ins and the ones I had did not have any glaze, and didn't really need any.  She offered to let me try a couple of different kinds of scones, and I went with three--The Oldenburg (cheddar cheese, cream cheese, scallions & nutmeg), The Pollock (Melted chocolate and blackberries) and a make your own with M & M's. I picked up my order from her--a dozen mini of each of the Oldenburgs and Pollacks, and a few M & M scones for the kiddos.  And let me tell you, these are not those old dry scones you get at some chain coffeehouses.  These scones were moist, brimming with the add-ins.  The Oldenburg reminded me a little bit of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits (the only thing that's good at Red Lobster I might add!) but moister.  Very good stuff, we ate them with dinner and were a fabulous complement to our meal.  The Pollock combine  two things I love to mix--berries and chocolate.  These were true dessert quality scones.  No they're not flaky like a croissant nor are they puffy like doughnuts, but the rich chocolate and blackberry add-ins were fresh, great quality and I give props to Rachel for making a very good product.

Rachel offers a good variety of products, and can even color coordinate sprinkles to a theme of an event if you wish.  Her pricing schedule is reasonable and she offers free delivery in Central Houston.  You can contact her at her website or email her at thesconeartist@gmail.com or phone her at 858-922-0145.

Personally I'm glad to see a creative baker like Rachel Teichman, who reloacted to Houston from California in order to be able to make a better life for her family and build her business in a climate that is open to small home-based start-ups.  I want to thank her for inviting me to try her scones, and I advise y'all do so as well! So if you're a fan of the scone, a fan of creative baking and a fan of small businesses, please check her out and give her wares a try.  Tell her that Hank On Food sent you!

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

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