Friday, May 6, 2011

The Only Thing We Got Out of the Royal Wedding Was a Hankering for Scones

I've got a fun kid activity post idea, but it's going to take some preparation.  In the meantime, since things got busy after Spring Break and I haven't posted in awhile, I share with you one of my favorite recipes.  It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and we sent in some goodies to the kind ladies who manage my children a couple days a week.  I hope they enjoyed!

We love scones here.  We're not British (well, maybe way back down the line).  We weren't enthralled by the royal wedding.  But we do love a good tea party.  We've made scones from mixes, from Bisquick, and from fancy Food Network recipes.  We buy them from shops.  The very best we've had come from Market Salamander in Middleburg, VA (Resisting temptation to diverge into a road trip post.  Another time.  I promise it'll be good).  Anyway, scones: Butterscotch pecan.  Out of this world.  We also love 'em from Ukrops' (oh, ok, fine.  Martin's).  And this recipe tastes a lot like those.  Better than the mixes and the Alton Brown scientific scone-making method.

The original recipe calls for apricots, but I always throw in craisins instead because we have them on hand. I also cut them in eighths instead of sixths, because really, it's a lot of scone for one serving.  For the first time, I noticed the chocolate/almond variation, and I'm going to try that next.  With perhaps toffee chips.  Yum.  Anyway, I've made these before and been asked for the recipe, so I guess it's a keeper.  They're moist and cake-y and all sorts of good.

Cranberry Orange Cream Scones

2  cups all-purpose flour
3  tablespoons granulated sugar
3  teaspoons baking powder
2  teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In large bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt until well blended. Stir in apricots and baking chips. Add whipping cream all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
On lightly floured surface, knead dough 6 or 7 times until smooth. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 6-inch round; cut each into 6 wedges. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix powdered sugar and enough orange juice for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over warm scones. Serve warm.
Cranberry-Pecan Scones: Substitute dried sweetened cranberries for the apricots and add 1/2 cup chopped pecans with the cranberries. Double Chocolate-Almond Scones: Omit orange peel and apricots. Stir in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips with the white baking chips. Add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract with the whipping cream. For the icing, substitute water for the orange juice and stir in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Sprinkle tops of iced scones with 2 tablespoons sliced almonds.
For the lightest, most tender scones, quickly mix and shape the dough, handling it as little as possible. Use only a sprinkle of flour on the work surface.
Using whipping cream in this recipe eliminates the need for butter and eggs. The high fat content in the cream makes them very tender and rich.

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