Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plain scones

Well, technically I guess they're raisin scones.

Plain scones (with raisins)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon orange zest

1/4 to 1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 to 1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup half and half
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or one vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheets with parchment.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest and salt into large bowl. Add butter and cut in with a knife, pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal. Plump the raisins in a half cup of water (1 minutes in the microwave). Drain and stir into flour mixture.

Whisk cream, egg, vanilla, and honey in a small bowl until thoroughly blended. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Gather dough into ball and knead lightly. Roll out dough on floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps; reroll and cut out additional scones. Place scones on prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart. (Or, divide dough into two, roll out into discs and cut into wedges.)

Bake scones until golden, about 20 minutes. Makes about 16 to 20 small scones. Serve warm with butter and honey.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I've been baking them! I've just been using old recipes! Here's an new one:

Cherry-vanilla scones
based on almond-glazed cherry scones from Loving My Domestic Life

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup cold butter

1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp brown sugar syrup* (more if you like your scones sweeter, but not more than 4 1/2 T)
3 T plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla or seeds from 2-3 fresh vanilla beans, (depending on how much you want to increase your mortgage so you can afford the beans)

3/4- 1 cup fresh cherries; stemmed, pitted, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients and cut butter into dry mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives. Mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the liquid ingredients until well mixed and fold into dry ingredients. You may need to knead it lightly to moisten it entirely.

Divide the dough into two equal portions, and form them into discs, about 8" x 1/2". Press the cherries onto one disc, and then lay the other on top, gently pressing them together with your fingers. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll this "sandwich" into a 10-12 inch disc, turning once, and being careful not to push the cherries through the dough.

Cut into 8 equal wedges (a pizza cutter works brilliantly for this).

Bake for approximately 15 minutes

* to make the sugar syrup, put 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of brown or evaporated cane sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (to keep it from recrystalizing) in a small sauce pan. Bring to a light boil then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. You may need to put it on intermittent heat, or on a burner ring to keep it from burning. Do NOT walk away from it. Boil it down to 1/2 cup. Will keep in a closed jar for months, as it is essentially molasses.