In the Dry Gables stories, John Bernard Bauer — a stone mason, sculptor, and now writer — remembers all the stories of his home town: Dry Gables, South Dakota. In “A Single Stack of Stones,” his first story, J.B. tells of how he helped his mother find her way home by carefully building a stack of stones to guide her.
Inspired by J.B.'s stack of stones, this week's recipe will help you make your own stack of rocks — the edible kind!
“Rock cakes” may sound a bit like something that would send you to the dentist, but don't worry — it's really just the British name for drop scones. And by using the clever trick of freezing these rock cakes on individual squares of parchment, as set out below, you can make up a big batch when you have time, and bake them off as needed.
Tender, buttery, and bursting with fresh berries, these cakes are a perfect way to welcome someone home — just like J.B.'s stack of stones.
Double Berry “Rock” Cakes
(Makes about 1 dozen)
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
½ teaspoon almond extract
⅓ cup milk
1 scant cup (about 100 grams) chopped strawberries
½ scant cup (about 50 grams) blueberries
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Cut the butter into cubes, and add it, along with the sugar, to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until pale and fluffy.
Meanwhile, gently whisk the eggs. When the butter and sugar are combined, slowly add the eggs with the mixer running. The mixture will look very gloopy at this point.
Once all the eggs are added, mix in the almond extract. Making sure the mixer is on low, add in about two-thirds of the flour, then the milk. Pull the bowl off of the stand mixer and gently mix in the rest of flour and the berries by hand.
Scoop the batter onto a parchment covered bake sheet in about ⅓-cup portions.
Freeze the scones for a few hours, then snip apart the parchment paper they're on so that each scone has a little square of parchment still attached. Put the scones into a freezer bag and keep frozen until you're ready to bake them.
When you're hungry for a scone, pull one out of the freezer bag together with its piece of parchment. Pop the parchment and scone onto a baking sheet without thawing and bake at 375° until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.