Archive for: Scones
My pantry is always stocked with dried fruits and nuts, and while I often reach for fresh fruits during the spring and summer, those dried fruits are a great standby so that I always have something on hand to bake with. These Cranberry and Walnut Scones are the result of a little pantry-raiding on my part, since I had a few bags and wanted to use them up. The scones are studded both with sweet-tart dried cranberries and buttery walnuts, which are a nice combination and one that I don’t see often enough.
I usually make my scones with buttermilk because I like the tangy, buttery flavor that it gives to them, but I made these scones using heavy cream. Heavy cream is higher in fat so it makes for a scone that is very tender, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth quality to the interior. The scones are also not too sweet, which not only allows the dried cranberries and nuts to pop out, but also allows you to taste the rich cream in every bite you take.
I cut my scones out with a round biscuit cutter that was about 4-inches in diameter. When you use a cutter, as opposed to making “drop” scones, your scones will tend to rise up straighter and more dramatically than if you simply dropped large balls of dough onto the baking sheet like cookie dough (although they will still be tasty with that shortcut). If you don’t have a round cutter, you can use a different shape, or simply cut the dough into triangles using a sharp knife once you’ve rolled it out. The scones should be a light golden brown when they are done, but the baking time may vary slightly depending on the size of each of your scones.
Scones are an easy afternoon treat to make. They don’t need many ingredients and don’t take long to put together. I also like the fact that a basic scone recipe is so versatile and can include just about anything that I have in the kitchen – and sometimes I find inspiration for a new combination just by looking through my pantry. These Dried Apricot, Ginger and White Chocolate Scones are a perfect example, because they feature a combination of three things that I just about always have on hand.
The scones include dried apricots, candied ginger and white chocolate. The apricots have an earthy sweetness to them that pairs very nicely with the spice of the ginger. I added white chocolate for a little extra sweetness, but the white chocolate also lends a nice dairy note to the scones. It’s a combination of ingredients that I think would be good in many different types of recipes (and one I’ll use again in the future!), but it works well here because all three ingredients are dry and easily incorporated into the dough.
The dough is straightforward, with butter cut in to a mixture of flour, sugar, salt and leaveners. The finished scones are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside (baking them to a dark gold, as I did here, gives them a beautifully caramelized exterior), with a nice hint of butter and vanilla. Most of the flavor comes from the mix-ins, so you’ll see all three elements shine as you eat them. I chopped my apricots and ginger into relatively small pieces, but fee free to leave then chunkier to give your scones clearer pops of color, if you prefer.
These are excellent the day the are made, but will keep quite well for another day or so when stored in an airtight container or bag.
When I make things with an apple flavor, I typically reach for whole apples and either cut them into pieces or grate them to get them down to size before incorporating them into a recipe. Applesauce is a pantry staple that I almost always have on hand, but don’t usually think of reaching for when I want an apple flavor. Applesauce lends a milder apple flavor than a piece of apple because it has a bit more moisture in it and no (or few) chunks of apple where the flavor is concentrated. It still has a nice apple flavor, however, and it is easy to work with and can add a lot of moisture to a recipe.
These Applesauce Drop Scones may seen like an unlikely place to see applesauce. Many scones are on the drier side, while these are a bit softer, moister and a little cakier. There are some chopped walnuts thrown in for crunch, too. The applesauce definitely contributes to the moistness in these scones, and it also adds that nice apple flavor. I highlighted the apple by adding in spices that are usually featured in apple cider – cinnamon and allspice – which gives the scones a nice cidery-note and an autumn feel. They’re also very easy to make and taste delicious when served warm with some apple butter.
This dough is soft, which is why I opted to make drop scones with the dough. Drop scones are made much like drop cookies, where the dough is placed on the baking sheet in rounds, rather than rolled and cut into shape. Take care not to overbake these, or the soft scones could dry out a bit too much during baking.
Coconut and lime make a great, tropical combination in many different drinks and desserts. They also make a good match at breakfast, even though I’ll admit that it was a drink that inspired the creation of these Toasted Coconut and Lime Scones! The scones are made with toasted coconut and have a warm, buttery flavor to them thanks to the buttermilk in the dough. They’re just slightly crisp on the outside, with a moist interior where you can really taste the coconut. They’re topped with a bright and zesty glaze made with fresh lime juice, lime zest and confectioners’ sugar, which adds some extra sweetness to the scones and turns them in to something special.
It is easy to toast coconut at home for these scones, and toasting the coconut adds a little bit more coconut flavor – as well as a little bit of texture – to these scones. Coconut can be toasted in the oven or on the stovetop, but it can also be toasted quickly and easily in the microwave. I prefer to use sweetened coconut in this recipe because the scone dough itself isn’t too sweet, and a bit of sweetness highlights the coconut more. Fresh lime juice is going to give you the brightest flavor in the glaze. Fresh lemon juice is a good alternative, though I would definitely make the effort to go track down a juicy lime to put these scones together.
You could make these scones in any shape, from traditional triangles or biscuit-cutter rounds, to the slightly more unusual rectangles that I made. I love the clean and somewhat modern look of these rectangular scones, and the added bonus is that they are extremely easy to shape and cut. Whatever shape you make, just make sure that the scones are all about the same size and the same thickness to ensure that they cook evenly.
Rocky Road is a popular ice cream flavor, and the combination of chocolate, marshmallows and nuts is so well known that it can be used to make a lot more than just ice cream. For instance, these Rocky Road Scones will be instantly recognizable to fans of rocky road. They are chocolate scones with mini marshmallows, walnuts and chocolate chips. Definitely not your usual breakfast fare!
The scone dough is made much like other scones, with butter cut into a flour mixture to give the finished scones a light, flaky texture. I recommend sifting the flour mixture for this recipe because it contains cocoa powder, and you don’t want to get unincorporated lumps of it in the dough. Mini marshmallows add some extra sweetness and walnuts add a nice crunch, while those chocolate chips up the chocolate factor considerably. Walnuts could also be substituted with almonds, if you prefer almonds to walnuts in your rocky road.
These scones have a great, brownie-like chocolate flavor to them along with that light texture of a regular scone. They’re moist and not too sweet, so they still seem like a good breakfast or brunch treat, rather than a straight dessert. They are best when they are still slightly warm and fresh out of the oven, while the marshmallows are still soft. If you can’t eat them all at once, however, they will keep well for a day or two when stored in an airtight container after cooling.