It is summer. The best part of summer: breezy, sunny, warm enough for a T-shirt and cool enough to leave the windows open instead of cranking the AC.
It is difficult to bake in the summertime. You have to be strategic about your choices if you’re going to commit to turning on the oven. Simple citrus and herbs will usually do it. But, I discovered today, so will florals. Specifically lavender.
And also honey. When in Chicago for my job last week, I discovered Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand, a sliver of a grocery store just a few blocks away from the Art Institute, where the only products sold are those made within 250 miles of the city. I found the most gorgeous-looking set of three honeys from Bron’s Bees and had to indulge.
And since the set included lavender honey, I knew I needed to try the lavender walnut scones I’d been dreaming about since they were posted on Joy the Baker. Even though my last experience venturing away from my tried-and-true scone recipe was admittedly unsatisfying, I couldn’t resist a recipe with toasted walnuts, crushed lavender, and so much baking powder I just had a feeling those things would stay tall and fluffy instead of disappointingly flopping over.
My suspicions were right. These scones are awesome. They are absolutely huge, flaky and buttery with plenty of give, and the buttermilk is exactly right, adding a much more interesting and unusual background to the floral lavender than heavy cream would. The toasted walnuts are just a heavy enough flavor to balance out the lightness of buttermilk and lavender.
And the glaze. Oh, it is heavenly. Especially with that Illinois lavender honey. Without the glaze, these scones are not sweet–they’re almost savory in a flowery kind of way–and although some folks might like them like that, I definitely prefer my sweets, well, sweet. On its own this glaze would be way too much, but sinking into the light scone, it is the perfect pairing.
Cut these scones huge, generously douse them with that glaze, and make yourself a cup of earl grey. Iced earl grey, of course. It’s still summer, after all–let’s not rush in winter with hot tea just yet.