When I planted lemon balm in my herb garden last year I had no idea it would turn out to be so prolific. This turned out to be a good surprise.
It came back this year three times as big as last year. Good thing I cannot get enough of putting this herb called Melisse in German in filtered water, iced tea and salads.
Consequently, I am always looking for new ways to bake and cook with it.
Recently I hosted an English language table on our herb and tomato planted NYC terrace for my United Nations spouse group. Our group runs seven different language tables a month and I like to host the English one on our terrace in warm weather.
My theme, like last year, was herbs. The concept was for members to visit, smell, taste and discuss the herbs in English. We even made some herb infused salt for guests to take home with them.
As an example of what to make with herbs, I used fresh herbs from my terrace garden to bake some treats for the event. These scones, along with my Peanut Butter Rosemary cookies were a big hit.
I had some leftover lemon chips I picked up at Baldwin's Extract Factory in the Berkshires. There was also some buttermilk in the fridge. this is how these scones were born.
The group and I were pleased with the result. The tangy lemon balm and the sweet lemon chips worked well together wrapped in a creamy buttermilk scone. I realize lemon chips are hard to come by. White chocolate chips would be a great substitution.
Lemon Balm Buttermilk Scones
With Lemon Chips
- 3 cups flour all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 2+1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk plus a few tablespoons more to brush on top
- 1 cup rinsed and finely chopped fresh lemon balm leaves
- 1 cup lemon chips or white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined.
- Add the butter into the dry ingredients and pulse until the ingredients become a crumb texture.
- Pour in buttermilk. Pulse until it forms a sticky dough.
- Pulse in the lemon balm until just evenly combined.
- Dump it out on a lightly floured work surface, knead in the lemon chips. Knead a few more times until smooth. Pat into a circle.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the scone dough into triangular pieces and lay them on the baking sheets. Or use a biscuit or cookie cutter to form shapes.
- Brush the tops with more buttermilk.
- Bake until slightly brown 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.