Archive for: Scones
These mini scones were inspired by the pastry case at Starbucks, where they always have a tray of Petite Vanilla Bean Scones set out. These scones are very small, each less than 1/4 the size of their full sized counterparts, so they appeal to coffee lovers looking for a small (and inexpensive) sweet treat. I make scones at home on a regular basis, so I set out to turn this particular coffee shop favorite into a recipe that we can all make easily at home.
My Petite Vanilla Bean Scones scones have a lot of vanilla flavor in a small package. I scraped half of a vanilla bean into the scone dough while mixing it, then adding a little bit of vanilla bean (extra scrapings from the bean) and vanilla extract into the glaze that tops them. The result is that the scones have a very fragrant vanilla scent and a strong vanilla flavor, perfect for vanilla lovers and complimentary to just about any coffee or tea you might want to serve alongside them. Vanilla extract can be used in the scone dough instead of a vanilla bean, but you’ll get a more floral vanilla flavor by using the bean and the look of all those lovely vanilla bean seeds, too.
The scones themselves are tender and almost cake-like. They’re not too sweet, despite all the buttery vanilla flavor they have, so they really need that glaze on top to push them over the edge and add more sweetness and vanilla. You can pour over the glaze to coat the entire scone (place them on a cooling rack so the excess drips off) or you can give them a generous drizzle if you prefer a lighter touch with the frosting. Any way you prepare them, these little scones are hard to resist. If you can’t eat them all at once, they can be stored for a few days in an airtight container.
Berries are always a nice addition to scones, because even the most buttery scones can be a little bit dry (hence the popularity of clotted cream and other spreads as condiments) and berries add a punch of flavor as well as a little bit more moisture to every bite of an otherwise buttery scone. This recipe for Blackberry Scones starts out with a basic vanilla scone dough. Butter is rubbed or cut into a flour mixture to create a flaky dough base, which is held together with milk before whole blackberries are kneaded in.
I happened to have a lovely basket of fresh blackberries in my kitchen and added those to my scones. Frozen blackberries will work just as well, and since they’re much firmer than my fresh berries, they won’t make as much of a mess when you knead them in. Don’t worry if blackberry juice gets into the dough as you incorporate the berries: the juice will add color and flavor to your scones. I topped my scones off with a generous sprinkling of coarse sugar before baking, adding a little extra sweetness and a nice crisp topping.
These scones are best when they are still a bit warm from the oven, when the berries are still firm and that sugary topping is still crunchy. Serve them plain, with a cup of tea or coffee, or put them on your table with butter, clotted cream or even whipped cream (because those things are still excellent with berry-filled scones). If you can’t eat all of these in one sitting, they will keep well for a couple of days when stored in an airtight container, but taste better if they are slightly warmed before serving.
Maple syrup is a great ingredient to work with. It can finish off a stack of pancakes or waffles at breakfast and it can also serve as part of the glaze or marinade for a chicken or pork dish at dinner. It can lend a great flavor to baked goods, as well, and these Maple Oat Scones are a perfect example. You might not think of scones as the type of baked good that could benefit from an infusion of maple syrup, but the flavor and richness that they lend to these autumn-inspired scones will have you hooked.
These scones are delicious, with a subtle maple flavor that adds a good amount of sweetness to the scones and pairs well with the flavor of the oat. When they’re fresh from the oven, the scones have a crispness to their edges that contrasts well with the tender, soft interior of the scone. These aren’t the flakiest scones out there because the oats in the dough give them a slightly heartier, more rustic feel, but they do have a nice texture that works especially well with the flavors of the maple syrup and oats. I added a little cinnamon glaze on top of these for some extra sweetness. A touch of vanilla, instead of cinnamon, would be a good choice, to.
There are several grades of maple syrup out there to choose from. Grade B maple syrup – which has a deeper color, stronger flavor and thicker consistency than Grade A syrup – is my favorite type of maple to use in the kitchen and for all my baking projects. Grade A maple syrup will work just as well in this recipe and others, however. Don’t be tempted to substitute “pancake syrup,” which is really just flavored corn syrup, in this recipe. If you want the best results, stick with the real thing.
I have always been a fan of chai teas and often use the warm and spicy flavors found in masala chai for for inspiration when I’m looking for a way to spice things up in baking. Chai Snickerdoodles, for instance, are a favorite variation on classic snickerdoodles in my kitchen.
These scones are loaded with chai spices and have a very warm, satisfying flavor as a result. The spices I used include cinnamon, ginger, allspices, cardamom, coriander and nutmeg. You’ll get the best flavor if you check the dates on your spices to make sure they’re all fresh. The scones themselves are slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and tender inside. They are also full of small pieces of candied ginger that add even more spice to each bite. You can taste the butter right alongside all of those spices, and a hint of almond extract seems to brighten up all of the flavors. The scones are not too sweet, so I finished them off with a little cream cheese glaze.
Don’t be fooled by the long ingredient list for this recipe. The scones are no more difficult to make than any other scones, they simply include a lot of spices for flavor. I prefer to rub the butter in by hand when mixing up scone dough so I get a flakier finished product, but you can also mix this up by pulsing the butter into the flour mixture in the food processor. The glaze is optional, but adds a nice sweetness to the scones and gives them a polished look before serving. If you want to skip it, serve these scones with butter, jam or softened cream cheese – and perhaps a cup of chai tea, too!
I have a hard time resisting Rice Krispies Treats. I don’t mean the prepackaged kind that taste rather flat – I mean the simple, homemade kind that are made simply with butter, puffed rice cereal and marshmallows. There is something about those crispy, buttery bars that is almost irresistible – especially when they’re freshly made and still slightly warm – and I can see the appeal of trying to translate it into other dishes. That is exactly what they tried to do at Alice’s Tea Cup when they came up with these Rice Krispies Treats Scones. The scones include mini marshmallows and puffed rice cereal for a cereal treat-like flavor.
The scone dough is a fairly simple recipe and it makes a very tender, fluffy buttermilk scone. The addition of the marshmallows and rice cereal is what transforms these scones. When they’re in the oven, the marshmallows bake up and almost seem to melt into the scones, leaving you with delicious pockets of sweet, toasted marshmallow flavor. The puffed rice cereal bits lend a little bit of crunch and a light cereal flavor, although you don’t get that buttery chewiness that you find in the original cereal treats.
I usually knead my scone dough lightly before cutting the scones out to give them a slightly flaky texture. This dough is not kneaded, so the resulting scones are very tender. The dough is quite sticky (and can be made both in the food processor and by hand) so be sure to flour your work surface before shaping and cutting the dough to prevent it from sticking. The scones are good when they’re at room temperature, but are really best when they are still a bit warm from the oven and you get the butter, marshmallow and cereal flavors that you get in a freshly made batch of cereal treats.