Orange-Apricot Scones

Apricot-Orange Scones

Apricot-Orange Scones

This post might also be called “How to be a Better Scone Baker”.  Have you always wanted to make scones, but thought they were too difficult or there was something tricky about making a perfect scone?  It’s time to get over all that and take the plunge.  With just a few simple tips, you too can be enjoying flaky tender scones.  The very first thing you must do, is stop expecting perfection.  A scone is not competing in a beauty contest 🙂   But it will be so lovely to bite into! IMG_9468 So today, let’s talk about 3 ways to be a better baker.  A few small nuggets of advice to help you build confidence in the kitchen whether you are baking scones or something else.

1.  Have a good understanding of your oven.  Not ovens in general, but YOUR oven.  Some ovens have hot spots, or areas that get hotter than the rest.  You may have noticed that a cake rises unevenly or becomes more browned on one side.  If this is happening, you need to rotate your items during baking.    The very best thing you can do is invest in an oven thermometer.  This tells you the actual temperature inside the oven, and you may find that it does not match up with what  you have set the dial to. If that is the case, you will need to adjust the length of baking time accordingly.

Perfectly baked:  firm to touch, lightly browned at the edges.

Perfectly baked: firm to touch, lightly browned at the edges.

2.  You need to follow directions. Yes, really!  It’s a must if you want good results.  Baking is a delicate balance between flour, moisture, leavening and heat.  Chemical reactions are involved that produce the finished baked item.  A recipe holds your hand as you go step by step through the process, so trust in the recipe.  Not all recipes are good ones, but most of them are,  so trust the process.

3.  Measure accurately.  To repeat my statement from above:  baking is a delicate balance between the ingredients.  If one of more is out of proportion, the whole thing ends up wrong, and there will be no way to fix it.  Flour and sugar should be spooned lightly into a measuring cup, then leveled with the flat side of a knife for an even measure.  Brown sugar is the exception.  It should be measured packed into the measuring cup, level across the top.  Liquids, likewise should be poured  exactly to the measurement line on a liquid measuring cup.  Measuring spoons should be filled, then leveled off with a knife for the same kind of precise measure as flour.  Cut sticks of butter according to the tablespoon markings on the wrapper, these are usually pretty accurate.

There are other tips for successful baking that I could share with you, but that’s enough for  today.  I’ll return to this subject another time.  Let’s make some delicious scones.  This recipe can be a master recipe for making just about any kind of scones, whether savory or sweet.  The ones I made are considered a sweet scone, but have just a touch of sweetness, relying on the dried apricots and hint of orange to add flavor.  At the end of the recipe, I list some other suggestions for add-ins that I think would made fantastic scones.  I’ll be trying them all out as time goes on…… IMG_9477

CLASSIC SCONES, MASTER RECIPE

Yield:   Makes 12 scones

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flourIMG_9449
  • 1  1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar (sweet), or 1 Tbsp. sugar (savory)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • ADD-INS  (see below)
  • 1 cup milk, reduced fat, or buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

Directions: 1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2.  Whisk the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter; or rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips.  Stir in the ADD-INS. IMG_9450 3.  Whisk together the milk (or buttermilk) and egg in a medium bowl, stir into the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.  Note:  if using a flavor extract, add it to the milk-egg mixture.

Liquids meet dry.

Liquids meet dry.

4.  Sprinkle a work surface with 1 Tbsp. flour.  Turn the dough out and sprinkle with a little more flour.  Knead three to five times, or until dough just comes together.  Divide in half and pat each piece into a 5-inch circle.  Cut each circle into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

From each circle of dough, make 6 wedges.

From each circle of dough, make 6 wedges.

5.  Bake the scones until firm to the touch and lightly browned, 18 – 24 minutes. IMG_9454

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Glaze 'Em!

Glaze ‘Em!

ADD-INS Sweet:

  • Orange-Apricot:   1 cup chopped dried apricots,  2 Tbsp. grated orange or lemon rind,  1/2 tsp. orange or lemon extract.
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed:  2 Tbsp. lemon zest,  2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • Lemon-Ginger:  2 Tbsp. lemon zest,  1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • Chocolate-Cherry:   1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped; 1/3 cup dark chocolate mini chips
  • To Glaze any of the above:  whisk 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice or milk in a small bowl until smooth.  Adjust consistency with a little more sugar or liquid as desired.  Drizzle over scones.

Savory:

  • Ham and Cheese:  1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup chopped ham, 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
  • Smoked Salmon and Dill:  1/3 cup chopped smoked salmon,  1/3 cup finely chopped red onion,  1/4 cup minced fresh dill.
  • Sun-Dried Tomato, Thyme and Asiago:   1/3 cup chopped soft sun-dried tomatoes,  1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese,  1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme

SOURCE:  Eating Well

Gingerbread Scones

Gingerbread Scones

Gingerbread Scones

By now your plans for Christmas morning breakfast are probably all set, but just in case they are not, here’s a suggestion for scones that are quick to make and will bring back memories of Christmas mornings past.  Ginger bread in another form, what’s not to like here?

This spicy-sweet combination of molasses and ginger is a hallmark of the holiday season.  So just like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”,  it doesn’t take much to put us in the holiday mood.

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Beside it’s strong, robust flavor, gingerbread also packs a punch with its unmistakable aroma.  Like many aromas, it can transport you across many years and many miles to when you were first introduced to it’s spicy goodness.

The delightfully cozy combination of spicy ginger, bold molasses, cinnamon and cloves will work their memory whether you have it in the form of cakes, cookies or scones, as I made here.

GINGERBREAD SCONES

Yield:   Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flourIMG_8642
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, separated
  • coarse sugar

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients ( flour through cloves).   Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Dry ingredients and wet ones prepared to mix together.

Dry ingredients and wet ones prepared to mix together.

3.  In another bowl, whisk milk, molasses and egg yolk until blended; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.

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4.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently just a few times.  Pat into an 8-inch circle.  Cut into 12 wedges.

8-inch circle of dough, cut into 12 wedges.

8-inch circle of dough, cut into 12 wedges.

Place wedges 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

5.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy.  Brush over the tops of the scones.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Brush tops with egg white, and sprinkle with LOTS of sugar for a crunchy top.

Brush tops with egg white, and sprinkle with LOTS of sugar for a crunchy top.

Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Do not over bake, as they can become dry.

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Best when served warm.    Especially good with a flavored butter, such as cranberry butter, or honey butter.  These make a nice addition to a luncheon or a tea.

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I really liked these scones as they are not sweet, so a flavored butter adds a nice touch.  The next time I make them I will also add some chopped candied ginger, to really emphasis the ginger flavor.

SOURCE:    A Taste of Home

 

 

 

Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones

I love Charlie Brown specials on TV.  I watch them whenever I can.  One in particular that  I love is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  The Great Pumpkin seems to be known only to Linus who waits for him every year on Halloween.  Linus and his blanket wait patiently in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to appear.  Invariably he fails to show up and a humiliated but undefeated Linus vows to wait for him again the following Halloween.

A line made famous by the  TV special is “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people:  religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin”   Well, I pretty much adhere to that rule, too, but seeing that Halloween has just passed, today is election day, and I baked pumpkin scones, I’m breaking the rule to share with you this recipe for awesome pumpkin scones.   I imagine Linus would have loved to have one while he waited for the Great Pumpkin, but you don’t have to wait that long, only long enough to whip these up and have one while it’s still warm with a cup of coffee or tea.

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PUMPKIN SCONES

Yield:  10 -11 drop sconesIMG_8448

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/4 cup all-purpose flour ( or use half white flour, and half whole wheat)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 6 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small  pieces
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free half and half ( plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones, if desired.)
  • In place of the half and half you can use 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk, plus add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to the dry ingredients.

Optional Spice Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. water

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice, and pulse to blend briefly.

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Add the orange zest and better and pulse on and off. until the mixture has the consistency of fine meal.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pumpkin and half and half, mixing just until combined.

Mixing in the pumpkin and half-and-half.

Mixing in the pumpkin and half-and-half.

3.  Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet, using 1/4 cup measure or large spoon, to divide evenly.  This should make about 10 scones. (I got 11.)   Space them about 1 inch apart.

Space about 1-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

Space about 1-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops with a tablespoon or two of fat-free half and half.

Brush tops with half-and-half.

Brush tops with half-and-half.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

4.  For the glaze:  Add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and water to a small ;bowl.  Whisk together well.  Drizzle over scones and serve warm or cold.

Drizzle scones with glaze.

Drizzle scones with glaze.

Light and tender.  Just right for a snack.

Light and tender. Just right for a snack.

 

SOURCE:   old recipe from the Hartford Courant

 

Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Knowing what to eat for breakfast when you are dancing in a competition is difficult.  It’s important to eat foods for energy, but equally important  to avoid foods that will make you feel full or sluggish.  In any hotel a full breakfast is always available, but it is not my habit to partake of them.  Instead I usually bring along simple foods that I can eat quickly with some coffee while I am getting ready.

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These scones  were the ones I made to take along on my trip.  They met my requirements for easy to eat, nutritious, low in fat, and a good source of energy.

Most scones fall into one of two categories:  the English version which is very dry and crumbly, a platform for slathering on jam and clotted cream; or the Americanized version that folds the cream directly into the batter, along with a hefty measure of butter and sugar.  Either way you’re starting your day with about 500 calories, and that’s way too much for me.  So I was on the hunt for a recipe for a lightened up scone that would still provide a fruity, whole-grain, buttery  biscuit.   I found it in this recipe.

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The key is part-skim ricotta cheese.  It has a richness similar to that of whipping cream with a fraction of the fat.  Whole wheat pastry flour is worked in, and some of the butter is replaced by heart-healthy canola oil for scones that bake up light and fluffy.  Dried cherries are plumped up in orange juice for a flavor boost, and nutty almonds add crunch.  If you wish you can use half the ricotta, whipped with vanilla and citrus zest, to dollop on the freshly baked scones in place of clotted cream or butter.   I felt that having one of these crumbly, cake-like biscuits early in the day got me off to a good start.

CHERRY ALMOND RICOTTA DROP SCONES

Yield:  Makes about 10 sconesIMG_7912

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. fat-free buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4.5 ounces whole-grain pastry flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3.4 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Combine cherries and juice in a small microwave-safe bowl.   Microwave at HIGH 1 minute; let stand 5 minutes.  Drain;  discard liquid.  Finely chop cherries.

3.  Combine ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, rind, and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture.  Add 1/3 cup buttermilk and canola oil to remaining ricotta mixture, stirring until smooth.

Combine vanilla and orange zest with ricotta cheese.

Combine sugar, vanilla and orange zest with ricotta cheese.

4.  Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups;  level with a knife.  Combine flours, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender.

Add cherries and almonds; toss.  Add buttermilk mixture; stir just until combined.

5.  Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 3-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.  Combine egg and remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk, stirring with a whisk.  Gently brush top and sides of dough with egg mixture.

Brush tops with buttermilk-egg mixture.

Brush tops with buttermilk-egg mixture.

Bake at 425*F. for 15 to 16 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the pan and cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Bake till golden brown.

Bake till golden brown.

6.  Beat the reserved ricotta mixture at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy.  Serve with warm scones.

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As a finale to this recipe, I’m including here the photos I’ve been waiting for that show me dancing rhythm dances.  This costume has a lot of fringe that moves with the dancing, and shows the judges that you are using your hips correctly.  This will be the end of my show and tell about the competition,  I promise.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Coconut Lime Scones

Coconut Lime Scones

Coconut Lime Scones

By now it’s no secret how much I like coconut, and I have been having a craving that just won’t quit.  Just when I think I’ve reached the end of my coconut obsession, another recipe pops up,  I start to salivate, and then you know what happens….I bake!

 

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I’m head over heels for coconut and seem to have gone bonkers for it.  I just hope you are not bored by the number of recipes I’ve  posted that contain coconut, because here is another one. These scones contain a match-up of coconut with lime and they are incredibly good.  Their texture is not quite as crumbly as some scones, leaning more toward cake-like, but served warm from the oven, plain or with raspberry jam they are perfect.  You can also serve them for dessert with fresh strawberries or coconut sorbet for a special treat.  My idea for dressing them up was to make a glaze from confectioners’ sugar and lime juice .    I hope you enjoy these scones.

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You will note that the recipe calls for heavy cream in the dough and for brushing the tops.  I thought that with the butter they contain, more fat from the cream was not needed, so I substituted buttermilk and still got a very tender scone.  Since these are made primarily in the food processor, you must be careful not to over-process the dough or the scones will not be tender.  If the dough seems wet, that’s OK, work in extra flour by kneading lightly on a floured surface.

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cream for brushing tops

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425*F. and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or silicon mat.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pulse it together just to mix.  Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter has been cut into the floor and you have a coarse crumb. Add the lime juice and about 2/3’s of the zest and pulse.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the 1/2 cup cream (or buttermilk) and egg.  Add it to the mixture and pulse until you have a dough that comes together but is still crumbly and wet.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface, and using the extra flour, work it into the dough and pat the dough into a round disc. Using a floured knife cut into 8 wedges.

Brush tops of the scones with the 1-2 tablespoons cream (or buttermilk).  Bake for 10 minutes until slightly golden around the edges.  Let the scones cool for a few minutes and firm up before removing them from the pan.  While they are cooling, make the glaze.

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In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar  and lime juice   Whisk together to get a thin glaze.  Drizzle over the tops of the warm scones and sprinkle with remaining zest.

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SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe by Heathercristo. com

 

Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

Candied Orange and Golden Raisin Scones

As I’m sure you know by now I really love scones. I’ve never eaten a scone I didn’t like, but if they include dried fruits or ginger that scone and I will be friends for life. So this particular recipe had me at “candied orange” and when you add golden raisins and then soak all that in orange liqueur overnight before baking, then let me tell you these are the best scones imaginable.

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They become crisp and golden with a light, flaky interior. The fruit offers a slightly chewy contrast. Orange zest and Grand Marnier, or any orange flavor liqueur, flavor the scones. Slather them with butter and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast. But really they could be dessert. The other aspect of this recipe that got me was the total yield is around 15 or 16 scones. So you can bake once, and freeze half of them to enjoy at a later date. These scones keep for 2-3 days in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Flaky and tender inside.

Flaky and tender inside.

CANDIED ORANGE AND GOLDEN RAISIN SCONES

Yield: about 16 2-inch round scones

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zestIMG_6578
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • coarse salt
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg, separated
  • fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Stir together candied orange peel, raisins, orange zest and liqueur in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.

2. Preheat oven to 350*F. Whisk flours together in a large bowl. Transfer half to a processor and add butter. Pulse to cut in butter (the largest pieces should be the size of small peas.) Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt to remaining flour in bowl; whisk to combine. With pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the flour-butter mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Whisk together cream, whole egg, and egg yolk. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, and pour in half of cream mixture. Draw dry ingredients over wet ingredients with a rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl to incorporate all dry crumbs. Add remaining cream mixture, and gently mix just until incorporated–do not overwork dough.

4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and press dough into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle dried fruit mixture evenly over dough. With a short side facing you, fold rectangle into thirds, as you would a letter. Rotate dough a quarter-turn clockwise. Roll out dough to a 6-by-9-inch rectangle, folding and rotating once more.

5. Pat dough into a 1 1/4-inch-thick rectangle with floured hands, and cut out as many rounds as possible with a floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter. Gather scraps, reroll once, and cut out more rounds ( you should have a total of 16).

Note: In order to avoid rerolling scraps and cutting twice, I rolled my dough out to approximately 6-inch-by-10-inch rectangle, then with a sharp knife cut out 2″ squares, getting a total of 15.

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6. Place scones 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly beat egg white and brush tops; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh from the oven and smelling delicious.

Fresh from the oven and smelling delicious.

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SOURCE: Martha Stewart Living

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones.

Cherry Scones.

When you want a baked treat for brunch or afternoon tea, this scone recipe will fit the bill.  I made these for the first time recently, and we couldn’t wait for them to cool before having one.  They were so flaky and tender, they just fell apart in our hands.  The dried cherries lend just the right amount of sweetness.  These are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, for breakfast, brunch, snack, afternoon break;  anytime at all is the best time to enjoy one.

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If you want a good basic scone recipe to rely on, this one is it.  You could replace the dried cherries with so many other dried fruits like cranberries (change lemon zest to orange zest),  apricots, golden raisins, snipped dates, etc.

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CHERRY SCONES

Yield:  Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 2  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2  1/2 Tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 Tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing scones  (You may substitute buttermilk or light cream, but heavy cream will give you a richer scone)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat;  set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add butter and pulse 3 to 6 times until mixture resembles a course meal.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in cherries and lemon zest.

Add dried cherries and lemon zest to dry ingredients.

Add dried cherries and lemon zest to dry ingredients.

3.  In a small bowl, beat together egg and cream.  Add to flour mixture; stir gently with a fork until mixture just comes together.  If dough seems too dry, add a splash of cream;  mixture should not be too sticky.

A very "shaggy" dough, but it will come together. Add a drop or two of cream if needed.

A very “shaggy” dough, but it will come together. Add a drop or two of cream if needed.

4.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Shape dough into a 6-inch circle, about 1 inch thick.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal wedges.

Cut dough into 8 wedges. Brush with a little cream.

Cut dough into 8 wedges. Brush with a little cream.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet; lightly brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

5.  Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  These scones are best eaten the day they are made.

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Enjoy with coffee or tea.

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SOURCE:  MARTHA STEWART.COM

Fresh Cranberry and Oat Scones

Once daylight savings time is over and we’re back to Standard time, the days seem shorter with darkness coming before dinner time.  Whose idea was this any way?  I don’t really need the sun shining in my eyes, waking me up at 6am., nor do I appreciate it when it starts getting dark when I want it to stay light outside. Where’s all the day light we’ve been “saving”?   This whole time change thing makes me grouchy.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

To get me over this hissy-fit I needed something good to eat.  Something baked, delicate and crumbly.  Something sweet, but not too sweet, with good-for-me-and-you ingredients.   Into my laboratory/kitchen I went and in about 45 minutes we were having these scones with a cup of coffee.  They didn’t bring back more day light but they did help me to get over the “grouchies”.  If you’re having a “mood” these scones just might help you too.

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CRANBERRY AND OAT SCONES

Yield:    Makes 10 scones

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tbsp. frozen butter

    A variety of "healthy" ingredients.

    A variety of “healthy” ingredients.

  • 1/2 cup milk (regular, almond, coconut are all OK)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped in a processor
  • 2  2/3 cup flour ( or flour and oats combination)**
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 large eggs

**  In place of regular flour I made up this combination:  1 cup whole wheat flour, 2/3 cups oats, 2/3 cups oat flour, 1/3 cup potato flour.  Also I used almond milk instead of regular milk soured with lemon juice.  Either works just fine.  You could also use buttermilk and omit the lemon juice.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 *F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.

2.  Mix milk with lemon juice, and keep in refrigerator to chill

3. Coarsely chop cranberries in a food processor and reserve.

Chop 1 cup fresh cranberries.

Chop 1 cup fresh cranberries.

I have a small 2-cup processor that works great for small amounts like this and saves getting out the big processor.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour (s), baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest…..

Mix zest of 1 orange into the dry ingredients.

Mix zest of 1 orange into the dry ingredients.

Grate butter on the large holes of a box grater.  Add to flour and toss gently to integrate.

Use a box grater to add small bits of frozen butter to the dry ingredients.

Use a box grater to add small bits of frozen butter to the dry ingredients.

5.  Whisk 1 large egg into the chilled milk and fold into the flour mixture.  Fold in cranberries.

6.  On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times till it just comes together.  Do not over work it.  Form into a disc.  Roll out to 3/4 – inch thickness.  Cut with a 2-inch round cutter.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Reroll scraps and repeat.

Roll out dough and cut with 2-inch cutter.

Roll out dough and cut with 2-inch cutter.

7.  Brush tops with remaining egg and sprinkle with oat flakes and natural sugar.

Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and  oats.

Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and oats.

8.  Bake till golden, about 18 minutes.  Watch carefully, they brown up quickly.  These freeze well.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

SOURCE:   Adapted from Everyday Foods

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

I do love pumpkin!!!  So I’m wondering why it is that I seem to bake with it only in the fall.  I know fall, October and pumpkins just go together, but pumpkin is available- the canned variety–all year long.  Are you like that, too? I think it might be that pumpkin’s bright splash of color matches the vivid colors of autumn around the country.  And as the landscape turns drab, pumpkin is still there giving us a lift.

Right now I have about six recipes lined up that include pumpkin,  so if they turn out well, I think you’ll be seeing the results of my baking in the coming weeks.

This recipe is one of the first I tried.  Mainly for two reasons:  1) I haven’t made scones in quite a while and these sounded really good to me, and 2) the recipe needs only part of a can of pumpkin, so I can make something else with the remainder.  A sort of two-for-one deal.  I try to match up recipes that each use only part of a can, so no pumpkin goes to waste.  Otherwise I freeze the part I didn’t use for a later date.

IMG_5097

This recipe did not let me down in the least.  I knew that my expectations were met when they came out of the oven, a deep-gold color and with an aroma of all the spices they contain.  Besides the cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg, I included some crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips to take their flavor over the top.   These are way-good.  :D.  Make them soon and see if you don’t agree.

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HARVEST PUMPKIN SCONES

Yield:   12 scones

Ingredients:

Whole allspice

Whole allspice

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice**
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 to 2 cups minced crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips, or chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs

    Ground fresh allspice

    Ground fresh allspice

  • coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping

**  I use whole allspice and grind it fresh as needed.  The flavor is so much stronger and better than when you purchase the already ground variety.

Directions:

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

Mix together all the dry ingredients.

2.  Work in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers, just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly;  it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

Some larger pieces of butter are ok.

Some larger pieces of butter are ok.

3.  Stir in the ginger and/or chips, if you’re using them.

Mix in crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips.

Mix in crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips.

4.  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

Mix together the eggs and pumpkin.

Mix together the eggs and pumpkin.

5.  Line a baking sheet with parchment;  or, if no parchment paper on hand, use the baking sheet without greasing it.  Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

6.  Scrape the cough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half.  Round each half into a 5 – 6 inch circle, about 3/4’s-inch thick.

Divide dough into two 6-inch circles.

Divide dough into two 6-inch circles.

7.  Brush each circle with a little milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

Brush with a little milk or cream.

Brush with a little milk or cream.

Coarse sugar (left), cinnamon sugar (right).

Coarse sugar (left), cinnamon sugar (right).

8.  Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.

Cut each circle into 6 wedges.

Cut each circle into 6 wedges.

9.  Carefully separate the wedges from each other just a little, with about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.

10.  For best texture and highest rise place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425*F

11.  Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Isn't that a beautiful rise?

Isn’t that a beautiful rise?

12.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.  Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature.  Reheat briefly in the microwave, if desired.

A pretty golden color.

A beautiful golden color.

P. S.  If you’re making your own pumpkin puree from a fresh roasted pumpkin be aware that fresh pumpkin has a lot more liquid in it than canned, and should be drained throughly.  You may use a colander, lined with coffee filters, or several layers of cheesecloth.

SOURCE:   King Arthur Flour

Honey-Date-Thyme Scones

Honey-Date and Thyme Scones.

Honey-Date and Thyme Scones.

Today I just had to bake something.  It didn’t have to be sweet; I simply wanted something hot and flaky fresh out of the oven.  I rationalized that if there was no sugar in it,  made with part whole wheat flour, and included honey and dates, how could it possibly be bad for me.   And also because they contain the herb thyme, these scones are technically savory, not sweet.  I will have one when they come out of the oven, the rest will be saved for breakfast(s).

IMG_3947

I don’t know why I’m obsessing so much about this and feeling guilty, the weight is coming off as planned, but I don’t want to hit a plateau and then say to myself, “that’s because you ate the scones”. Guess I’ll just have to chance it, because the aroma of these scones baking makes them too good to pass up.  Soooo, if you’re on a diet journey like I am and you’re craving something really good, but also good, i.e.. healthy, for you, give these a try.  And try not to feel guilty!

HONEY-DATE-THYME SCONES

Yield:  12  3″ scones

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour, (see below for a substitute)**
  • 1 stick salt-free butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp.  Honey,  overflowing
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus 12 small sprigs for decorating

**In place of self-rising flour, use 3 cups regular all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt.  I used half white flour and half whole wheat flour, i.e. 1 1/2 cups of each.

Directions:

1.  Grease 2  baking sheets or line with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350*F.

2.  Measure out flour in a large bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter till coarse crumbs form.  Stir in thyme leaves.

3.  In a smaller bowl combine milk and honey and stir with a whisk to blend well.

4.  Add liquid ingredients to dry and mix lightly,  do not over mix.  If the dough remains shaggy and doesn’t come together add a drizzle of milk until it just holds together.  Stir in the dates.

5.  Turn out onto a floured board and knead 2 -3 times.  Roll out to  1 -inch thickness.

Roll out to about  1/2-inch thickness.

Roll out to about 1-inch thickness.

Cut out with a 3 – inch biscuit  cutter and place onto prepared baking sheets.

6.  Brush the tops of scones with a little milk or cream and lay a small sprig of thyme on top of each one.

Cut out with biscuit cutter. Brush tops with milk, and garnish with sprig of thyme.

Cut out with biscuit cutter. Brush tops with milk, and garnish with sprig of thyme.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 350*.    My scones were perfectly baked at 20 minutes.

Browned and flaky, fresh out of the oven.

Browned and flaky, fresh out of the oven.

Serve warm with  a little butter to melt into all the crevices.

Serve warm with a little butter to melt into all the crevices.

SOURCE:    slightly adapted from   lepirate.com  (blog)