An icy, blended pina colada is a drink that reminds me of being on vacation in Hawaii, where I’ve had some of the best pina coladas (in the best atmosphere) that I can remember. It’s a combination of coconut, pineapple and rum blended up with lots of ice. Every time I have one, it takes me back to my last trip out there. And even if you haven’t been to Hawaii (yet), the tropical flavors in a pina colada can give you the feel of what it is like to sit on the beach with a tropical drink.
Of course, these Pina Colada Scones aren’t quite as cooling as an icy, blended drink – but they still do capture the flavors of the tropics. They include coconut milk, shredded coconut and dried pineapple. They’re buttery and tender, with a good coconut flavor to them and just enough pineapple to make the idea of the cocktail come through. These are “virgin” scones and don’t include any alcohol, but if you want to make them even more like the drink, you can add in a splash of rum extract to give it a hint of rum flavor.
Fresh pineapple has a lot of moisture in it that can make the scones soggy, so dried pineapple works better in this recipe because it keeps the scones light and tender. Freeze dried pineapple, finely chopped, could also be used and is another option for infusing these with pineapple flavor. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut in these and both will give you good results. I prefer to use sweetened coconut because it helps boost the coconut flavor a little bit. The scones are best the day they are made, but they will keep well for a day or two when stored in an airtight container.
Pina Colada Scones
2 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into 8-10 pieces
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
2/3 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rum extract (optional)
coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add butter to flour mixture and toss to coat. Rub butter into flour mixture using your fingertips, until no pieces larger than a pea remain and mixture is sandy. Add in shredded coconut and finely chopped dried pineapple.
In a small measuring cup, combine coconut milk, vanilla and rum extract (if using) stir with a fork until the mixture comes together.
Turn dough out onto a lightly -floured surface and divide it into two balls. Shape each ball into a disc about 3/4-inch thick and cut into quarters. Arrange triangles on prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scone with a bit of water or coconut milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, until scones are light golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.