My Favourite Things

This post has been transferred from my previous blog. If you're visiting here from MlleOiseau, I'm happy to welcome you to my new space!

I love scones. I love them all. But most of all, I love smitten kitchen's recipe for Dreamy Cream Scones. All I had to do was read, mesmerized, as she describes, "these scones are the height of scone perfection, a pastry dream-come-true..." Yes, yes, yes. Tell me more!

This is how I do them. My fiance and I have changed the "inclusions" to make a few varieties of our own, and I'll leave a list at the end of this post of the ones that have succeeded, and those that have failed. (Failed? Scones? Not possible!) I've averaged a batch of scones every week since I've started baking them, so I warn you now, these are addictive!

Step one, according to SK, is to whisk together two cups of flour, three tablespoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon baking powder. Then, cut in five tablespoons unsalted butter. I just started using a pastry knife, and to be honest, I hate it. It just doesn't work well, and I paid far too much for this useless unitasker. Wash your hands and pinch the butter into the flour the good old fashioned way; it works just fine. You're aiming for a crumbly mess that resembles "coarse meal", like this:

Chop up your inclusions. SK says she used half a cup of dried cranberries. I always push a little further, to nearly 3/4 cup. Today I'm using our favourite pairing, dried cherries and chocolate chips, chopped to manageable bits:

Mmmm, I can taste them already. I always do the rest pretty quick, so that I don't just start snacking on the dough. Add one cup of heavy cream and stir it in until it becomes impossible to stir. Then, once again, wash your hands and knead the dough until it comes together:

Pat it out to be a little less than one inch thick, and cut into triangles. You can also punch them out with a biscuit cutter, but accoring to SK the second batch don't turn out as nice, because the dough has been overhandled. I usually make a disc and cut eight wedges, but this time I wanted them to be just a bit smaller, so I winged it. They're not as pretty. Oh well!

SK suggests baking at 425F for 11 minutes, until golden brown and delicious. Since my rented oven is possessed, I bake at 415F for 10 minutes, and pull them out promptly:

What's left? Try and wait for them to cool enough to eat -- it helps if you distract yourself by brewing some coffee. You could also peruse the following list of other flavour combinations we've tried, and begin dreaming up your next batch!

Maple Walnut: Toast half a cup of walnuts and toss with a tablespoon of real maple syrup. Again, add in place of the cherries and chocolate chips. After you've patted the dough out into a disc, but before you cut it, press brown sugar over the top of the dough. This gives them a little bit more sweetness, and a really pleasant crunch.

Orange and chocolate: I added the zest of one orange to the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) and again chopped a handful of jumbo chocolate chips into more manageable sizes before adding. While baking, I mixed 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice to 1/2 cup powdered sugar to make a simple glaze. After letting the scones cool for 5 minutes, apply the glaze sparingly (or not, your choice).

Lemon poppyseed: I added 1.5 tsp lemon zest and 1.5 tbsp poppy seeds to the dry ingredients (flour, salt, etc.). No "inclusions" were added. I used 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 cup powdered sugar to make a bright, citrusy glaze. After baking, I dunked the cooled scones top-first into the glaze, and allowed to dry on a cooling rack.