I wonder if you are like me. You make grand plans on Saturday night to sleep in Sunday morning. The kids have been given the ” you’re sleeping in tomorrow” talk. Aaah.. we are all set. Until 7 AM Sunday morning rolls around, and you are WIDE awake. That was me yesterday. After staring at the ceiling for half an hour, I started day dreaming about scones. A nice… hot-out-of-the-oven scone. It had to be done. I have a recipe for cranberry orange scones by Ina Garten that I use often, but yesterday, I was in the mood for something new. A quick sweep of my pantry yielded some dried apricots and white chocolate. SOLD! I mean…. everything tastes better with chocolate!
Scones sound really intimidating to make, but they are really not hard at all. Some basic rules apply, though.First, unlike cake baking where you want to use room temperature ingredients, with scones, the colder the better. This helps make them flaky, not dense. The other trick is not to mix in the butter completely. You want pea size pieces in the dough. This also helps make them soft and flaky. The easiest way to make the dough is using a food processor if you have one. A few pulses brings the dough together. A large stand mixer works well too, but since I’m still kicking it old school with a small stand mixer, I chose to use a pastry cutter. It is an awesome tool to have around if you are thinking of making pie crust or scones by hand. It cuts the butter into the flour without warming it, which you would do if you used your hands. (As a side note, I have made the scone dough by hand before. Just use your finger tips not your palms, and work quick. I also put the dough in the freezer for a few minutes before rolling out since I was worried about melting the butter with my hands. It worked out perfectly). Note that the steps I use are for dough by hand using a pastry cutter, so if using an electric mixer or food processor, click the link below for Ina’s recipe.
I’m using Ina Garten’s cranberry orange scone recipe as a base, and just changing some of the ingredients and steps. The dough produced 15 scones, so I cut the shapes out an only baked 7. I lay the other 8 on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them. Once they are frozen, I transfer them to a ziploc freezer bag. That way, when we need scones in the future, I just thaw them out for about half hour, and then bake them. They actually seem to taste better than the first batch that was never frozen.
4 Cups, plus 1/4 cup All- Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 Poud Cold Unsalted Butter, Diced
4 Extra Large Eggs
1 Cup Cold Heavy Cream
1 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots
3/4 Cup White Chocolate chips
1 egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons Water or Milk, for eggwash
1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F.
2. In a bowl, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cubed cold butter and use the pastry cutter (or fingertips) to mix until the butter is the size of peas. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl, and add the heavy cream. Mix egg mixture into the flour mixture until JUST blended. The dough should be lumpy. Combine the apricots and the white chocolate with the 1/4 cup flour (this keeps the pieces fro clumping up when you add to the dough). Add them to the dough and mix until blended.
3. Dump the dough onto a well floured surface, and knead into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin, and roll the dough 3/4 inch thick (I actually just patted it out with my hands, and skipped the rolling pin). You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough around so it doesn’t stick. Cut the dough into desired shapes. (I like triangles and used a pizza cutter, but Ina uses circles). You should get 14-16 scones.
4. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of scones with the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully cooked. The scones will be firm to the touch.
Devotion For the Day.