Scones Have My Heart
I love scones. The strange thing is that I often forget this. When I'm thinking about something to bake or a treat to share, I don't usually think of scones. I blame Starbuck's for this. Too often I've hastily grabbed one of their scones in a fit of low blood sugar even though I know better. They can hardly call them scones.
And then I'll make a batch of cream scones, the recipe Kelly shared with me a few years ago after discovering it in her Sur La Table cookbook. I'll make a batch, thinking to myself how incredible it is that flour and salt and baking powder and butter and cream--simple basic ingredients--can come together so beautifully. I do it by hand with a pastry blender, trying to be quick so as not to overwork the dough, and within a half hour, I'm seated with a cup of tea or coffee, scolding myself for not making these everyday of the week.
Sunday my mom and I watched an episode of Unique Sweets, and Darling Coffee Bakery did the most brilliant thing. They made their scone dough and split it so as to have two mounds to roll out as rectangles, making one slightly thicker than the other. Then they made a scone sandwich by adding a thin layer of jam and fresh fruit to the thicker half and topping the beauty with the other half. You can find their recipe here, but I kept the tried and true recipe I've come to love, Sur La Table's Cream Scones. Hop over to either site for an original recipe, or follow the one I've made only slight adjustments to below.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into tiny cubes
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (add to the cream)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional - mix in with the cream)
1 egg for egg wash (after pouring out the cream, add the egg white to the cream dish, then mix well to make a nice creamy egg wash)
A good amount of of turbinado sugar
Tip: To keep things extra cold, put your mixing bowl (metal, if you have one) in the freezer, as well as your pastry blender or any other metal tool you might use, such as a large spoon.
Blend together dry ingredients well in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the cubes of butter over the top, and using a pastry brush, cut butter in until mixture has pea-sized pieces. Pour cream mixture over the top and quickly mix. Use a spatula to scrape edges and bottom and help dough come together. Cut dough into two pieces, roll each out to a rectangle making one thicker than the other. Top the thicker piece with a layer of lovely jam (I used a gifted home-made pomegranate jam) and fresh fruit (blueberries worked beautifully). Cut into squares or use cookie cutters (heart, for Valentine's Week of course) to make the scones extra sweet. Brush each with egg wash then top with a generous amount of turbinado or raw sugar.
Bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 16 minutes until the tops are perfect golden brown. Let cool slightly, and then serve those beauties!