I generally gravitate towards scones that have fruit in them, whether it is fresh or dried fruit, because I like the sweetness that you get from it against the buttery background of the scone. But that isn’t to say that all my scones have to have fruit in them, and I suspect that these Toasted Almond Scones will be a hit in your kitchen even if you’re usually a scones-with-fruit type of baker. And I say that with confidence because they are definitely a hit in my kitchen.
The scones are made with almond meal and slivered almonds, both of which are toasted before going into the scone dough. Toasting the nuts and the nut meal intensifies the almond flavor and makes the scones taste richer and more complex than they would with untoasted nuts. It doesn’t take long to toast everything, but you do need to let all the nuts cool completely before making your scone dough because you don’t want warm nuts to melt the butter. I also added a splash of Amaretto liqueur, which has a sweet almond flavor, to add yet another layer of almond flavor to the scones. If you don’t have Amaretto or prefer not to use any spirits, you can substitute in a 1/4 tsp of almond extract instead.
The scones smell wonderful when they’re in the oven and will definitely fill your kitchen with the scent of toasted nuts and butter. You don’t need to worry about the toasted almonds burning in the oven because the baking time for the scones is short. The scones are light, tender and moist on the inside. They have a great almond flavor to them and are only lightly sweetened. You can serve them as-is or with a smear of your favorite butter and jam. If you want to dress them up a bit and add a little extra sweetness, you can also whip up a glaze with confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla or almond extract to drizzle on top before serving.
Toasted Almond Scones
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup almond meal
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp Amaretto liqueur (or 1/4 tsp almond extract)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the slivered almonds in a medium skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring regularly, until almonds are light golden and toasted. Set aside to cool.
Place the almond meal in a medium skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring regularly, until almond meal smells nutty and takes on a very light golden color. Set aside to cool.
Combine flour, cooled almond meal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter and cut or rub in to the flour mixture until butter is broken up into pieces the size of a pea or smaller and mixture is sandy.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine milk, amaretto and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until dough starts to come together. Add in toasted, slivered almonds and continue stirring until dough comes together. If dough is too dry, add in an extra few teaspoons of milk. Dough should be moist and slightly sticky.
Pat dough into a large disc about 3/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut disc into eight wedges. Arrange on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until scones are lightly browned.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Makes 8 scones.