Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Husband's Favorite Scones

Let me start by saying that I can't take credit for this recipe.  In fact, this came from my husband's aunt and it is a favorite among my husband's family.  Shhh, don't tell them that I have made a couple very minor changes.  I have made these on several occasions and they always get rave reviews!  The dough can be made and rolled out the night before, wrapped in cling wrap, cut and baked the next day.  This saves time when making them for breakfast or to take to a morning event.  Also, the glaze is the most important part of this recipe.  You can NOT leave it off!

4 cups, plus 1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks) cold butter, diced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dried fruit or chocolate chips
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbsp water, for the egg wash
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until butter is in pea-sized pieces.

The butter cut into the flour mixture in the mixer.

If you don't have an electric mixer, simply combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and cut the butter into it until it is in pea-sized pieces.  Even though I have a mixer, I prefer to do it by hand with a pastry blender so that I have better control over it.

A pastry blender, in case you're wondering what that is.

The butter cut into the flour using a pastry blender - I feel like I have more control over how it turns out when I do it by hand.

 In a separate container, combine the cream and eggs (I use a measuring cup; measure the cream first, then just add the eggs.  This way you only have to dirty one extra dish.); quickly add them ot the flour mixture.  Combine until just blended; do not overmix!

If you look closely, you'll see that there's still a little unmixed flour.  I'm not concerned; it will get mixed in when I add my fruit.

Toss the fruit or chocolate chips with 1 Tbsp flour; add to dough and mix quickly.  The dough will be a bit sticky.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to 3/4 -inch thick.  Since I usually make it the night before, I roll half of it as a time, because it's much easier to wrap and move the smaller "disks" of rolled dough.  If you're baking it right away, you can go ahead and roll it all at once.  Cut the dough into 4-inch squares, then cut each square in half diagonally to make triangles, or if you're rolling it out into 2 pieces, you can just cut it into wedges, like a pie.

I form it into a large patty before rolling it out.

Place on a baking sheet or stone (if using a baking sheet, line it with parchment first) and brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.

If you look closely, you can see chunks of butter in the cross section of the scone - that will create a tender, flaky crumb.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the outsides are crisp and lightly browned and the insides are fully baked.  Move to a wire rack to cool.

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.  Slowly add additional milk until the glaze reaches a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the baked scones.  Makes 14-16 large scones.  Enjoy while they are still warm and fresh out of the oven or reheat them in the microwave before eating!

I am usually generous with the glaze.  I may even be known to make extra glaze from time to time (ok, so all the time). 

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