Chocolate Chip-Toffee Scones

November 28, 2009

Years ago a friend with impeccable taste gave me this recipe. The first time I made them I was sure there was a typo in the recipe–no butter or egg? The use of whipped cream alone in bringing the dry ingredients together makes this an especially fast recipe–great for a house full of guests. Normally I am not a fan of chocolate in my breakfast, but these are so decadent that they are fun to make for a special treat. Today was our inauguration of the Christmas season. We will cut down a tree and right now my favorite soundtrack is playing: A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi. Enjoy!

More Pumpkin Scones

November 12, 2009

I wanted to make pumpkin scones that reminded me of my grandma’s fabulous pumpkin bread. The texture of these is a little more cakey than I like in a scones but the flavor is perfect. The texture improves if you don’t eat them hot out of the oven. I will work out the kinks and post a new recipe in the future, but in the meantime, these are my favorite pumpkin scones yet.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup cinnamon chips*

6T cold, unsalted butter

1 cup pumpkin

1 egg

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2  teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients (excluding cinnamon chips) and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cinnamon chips. In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients and knead until dough just comes together. Dough will be very wet. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop mounds of dough onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with Turbinado or Demerara sugar.  Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheet until just starting to brown, about 20 minutes.

*King Arthur or Prepared Pantry cinnamon chips are by far the best brands. They contain no creepy additives and are not overly sweet like brands you may find in your grocery store.

Maple Oatmeal Scones

November 11, 2009

Don’t get me wrong, I love many of Ina Garten’s recipes.  If there is one thing she does well it is luxurious desserts.  But she has a tendency toward abundant butter usage.  I can use butter with the best of them.  I make butter.  I use enough butter to disgust my husband, but the Barefoot Contessa?  She takes it to another level.  Here is her recipe for the Maple Oatmeal Scones.  I cut the recipe in half because I only wanted a small batch of scones but then I further cut the butter requirements in half again.  I only used one stick and figured I would add more if it looked like the dough was lacking.  Let me tell you, these are delicious.  I can’t imagine what another full STICK of butter would contribute.  So make the original if you wish or follow the modified recipe below.

SCONES
1-3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup cold buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar + milk to make 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash (You can also use plain milk.)

GLAZE
5/8 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C.

2. In the mixing bowl, stir to combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.

3. Stir together the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs. Pour into the flour-and-butter mixture and stir with a heavy wooden spoon just until blended. The dough may be sticky, but if it’s too sticky you can dust on a little additional flour.

4. Dust the work surface with plenty of flour and dump the dough. Flour your hands and gently work the dough to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pat the dough into a circle 3/4- to 1-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut the dough into 8 triangles and place them on the baking sheet.

5. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

6. GLAZE: Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes, and drizzle 1 tablespoon of glaze over each scone and quickly garnish with a few sprinkles of quick oats. The glaze sets quickly, so sprinkle on the oats immediately if you want it to stick to the glaze.

Dreamy Cream Scones

November 10, 2009

This recipe is simplistic and absolutely delicious.  Perhaps it is that I’ve been trying to make ‘healthier’ scones lately and the straight white flour was a special treat, or maybe they are just that good.  I found it via The Smitten Kitchen, a foodie blog that I adore.   Without further ado:

Dreamy Cream Scones
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup currants (I used dried cranberries, and chopped them into smaller bits)
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.

2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add currants and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper (the book’s suggestion) or b) patting the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece (what I did) and cutting until dough has been used up. (Be warned if you use this latter method, the scones that are made from the remaining scraps will be much lumpier and less pretty, but taste fine. As in, I understand why they suggested the first method.)

6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These are the scones I discovered while searching for a ‘healthier’ scone recipe that my husband would actually eat during his cycling training season and I could still indulge in and enjoy.  I originally got this recipe from Bon Appetit.  As is typically the case in my house I didn’t have half of the ingredients needed so I improvised.  What follows is my version. 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour

1 cup oat flour

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chilled buttermilk plus more for glaze

1/4 cup apple cider 

1 large egg

Coarse sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; whisk to blend. Using back of fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cranberries and almonds and toss to distribute evenly. Whisk 1/2 cup buttermilk, apple cider, and egg to blend in small bowl. Gradually add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, tossing until evenly moistened.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Gently knead 2 or 3 turns to bind. Divide dough in half. Pat out each half to 6-inch-diameter, 3/4-inch-thick round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Arrange scones on prepared sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Brush scones with buttermilk to glaze, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake scones until puffed and brown and tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Serve warm.

2 cups all-purpose flour ( you can do half wheat, half all-purpose if desired)

 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup raisins/cranberries/desired add-in

1/3 – 1/2 cup (80 – 120 ml) buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using canned pumpkin make sure there are no spices or sugar added)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.  The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.   Stir in the mix-ins, if using.  In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 11/2 inches thick.  Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).  Place the scones on the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  

Makes 8 scones.

Oatmeal Currant Scones

November 2, 2009

These are similar to the Orange Currant Scones posted previously but the oatmeal adds interesting texture and flavor. They aren’t quite as dense as other oatmeal scones and on days I feel bad about letting my 3 year old eat a scone for breakfast, the oatmeal in this makes me feel better. Slightly.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar plus additional for sprinkling

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

Finely grated zest from 1 large navel orange

2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus additional for brushing

1/2 cup dried currants

Special equipment: a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt into a food processor, then add oats and pulse 15 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with small (pea-size) lumps, then transfer to a bowl.

Stir together zest and buttermilk. Toss currants with oat mixture, then add buttermilk, stirring with a fork just until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 6 times.

Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round, dusting surface with more flour if necessary. Cut out as many scones as possible with cutter, dipping it in flour before each cut, and transfer scones to a lightly buttered large baking sheet. Gather scraps into a ball, then pat into a round and cut out more scones in same manner.

Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, and transfer to a rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Orange Currant Scones

November 2, 2009

These are a great, tasty scone. The recipe makes quite a few—I often cut it in half and reduce the butter to 6T. Some recipes such as this one call for making the scones in a mixer or food processor. I find this unnecessary as they are so easy to make by hand and then there are fewer dishes to wash up.

4 cups all-purpose white flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into bits

3 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest (from about 2 navel oranges)

1 1/2 cups dried currants

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk

2 large eggs

1/4 cup granulated raw sugar (turbinado or Demerara)

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and zest and beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in currants. In a bowl whisk together buttermilk and eggs and add to flour mixture, beating just until a dough forms.

Preheat oven to 350°F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On each sheet arrange six 1/2-cup mounds of dough about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle mounds with raw sugar and chill 15 minutes.

Bake scones in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets half-way through baking, until light brown, about 20 minutes.

Basic Cinnamon Chip Scones

November 2, 2009

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1T baking powder
2T sugar
1/2t salt
6 T butter
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup buttermilk
1 egg
½ cup cinnamon chips

Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter. Mix wet ingredients and add to dry; stir to bring dough together, then knead a few times to make a nice dough. Add in chips and knead to incorporate. At this point you can either prepare them for baking as in the previous recipe, or you can just pull off mounds of dough and place them on the baking sheet for a more rustic looking scone. Bake at 425 for about 12 minutes.

*While you can find Hershey’s cinnamon chips by the chocolate chips in certain grocery stores, they are not available everywhere for some reason. King Arthur’s chips are far superior, do not contain additives and you can order online through their web site, so no one has an excuse for not making these.

1C unbleached all purpose flour
1C whole Wheat flour
2T sugar
1T baking powder
2T wheat bran (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2T ground flaxseed meal (same brand as above)
1t cinnamon

Mix all of the above together then cut in

7 T unsalted butter

mix in 1/2 C king Arthur cinnamon chips

Mix together the following and then add to the flour/butter mixture:
1 egg
1/3 cup heavy cream + 1% milk to equal 1/2C total
1t vanilla

**If the mixture is not coming together readily, just add milk by 1/2T until you can form it into a knead-able dough.

Mix and knead until dough comes together. Form into 2 balls and flatten each into a disk. Cut into wedges. Bake on parchment lined sheet at 425 for about 12 minutes. Makes about 8-10 scones depending on size.