Sunday, October 19, 2014

strawberries and cream scones


Somehow people have this misconception that scones are difficult and tedious to make with little or no corollary satisfaction. And by people I mean me. It's not like they're brownies am I right. But anyways, this week I had my first attempt at the "difficult" triangular devils, and to my surprise they were nothing of the sort. These scones were moist  and buttery with a delectable creamy crumb and sweet pockets of fresh strawberries laced throughout. If you're a non-foodie that's code for "you will not be disappointed if you make this right now!"



Keep reading if you want to learn my patented (not really) 5 Step Scone Making Method: Dry, Butter, Wet, Form, and Bake. As always the ingredient list will be at the bottom of the post. 




1. The Dry. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk it all together until the mixture is homogenous and especially until you cannot see any lumps. 


2. The Butter. Prior to preparing your dry ingredients, and prior to you starting this recipe, you should have cubed and chilled your butter in the freezer. Sorry for the recipe inception but I'm way too lazy to switch the paragraphs around. Once it's ice cold, use your fingertips to work the butter into the dry ingredients. The resultant blend should be sand-like in texture and cool to the touch. 


3. The Wet. What makes these Strawberries and Cream Scones creamy is the cream that will be our liquid. Drizzle the heavy cream over the flour and butter mixture and gently bring it together with your fingertips. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the entire mixture is moistened and barely comes together. I mean barely! You do not want a very wet dough or else the scones will be dense and will not get their signature dry crumbly texture. 


Whether there is a scientific reason or not or just because that's how it's been done, scones have been traditionally made into triangles. My theory is that squares and circles hadn't been invented when the first scones was created and it just stuck. Nevertheless my favorite part about eating a scone is nibbling on the edges and or dipping it into coffee. There's just nothing like a dry crumbly scone tip that gets you going in the morning. Add the cubed strawberries and gently combine. Some of the strawberry juice with run into the dough, but as long as you stay gentle the dough should be easy to handle. 


4. The Forming. Turn the scone dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly dust the top of the dough as well. Pat the dough into an approximately 8-inch circle and cut 8 triangles. Use a spatula to help you transfer the triangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not be afraid of using flour. The only way to mess this dough up is if you don't use enough flour and your dough sticks and then you blame the official unofficial 5 Step Scone Making Method for failing you when really you failed yourself. Do not be afraid of flour. The more you Chow. 


5. The Baking. Preheat the oven to 425F. In the meanwhile beat an egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Brush the tops and the sides of the scones with the egg wash. The final touch, the touch that I think makes all the difference, sprinkle with a little coarse sugar. I'm using raw sugar but whatever you can find that is coarser than white sugar will work. Bake for 12-15 minutes, definitely check after 12, or until the tops are golden, the edges are golden, and the strawberries have exploded and caramelized. Cool on the countertop and then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 


I suggest eating these warm with coffee, but if you really want to impress the family and friends, take a minute to make a super easy glaze to drizzle on top. Because we did put lemon zest inside the scones I thought I'd make a lemon glaze, however, in retrospect I should have gone with a simple vanilla cream glaze to accentuate the Strawberries and Cream theme. Do as I say and not what I did. To make the glaze just add powdered sugar and literally a drop of cream and a drop of vanilla extract. If you prefer a lemon glaze omit the vanilla extract and substitute the cream with lemon juice. 


There you have it guys, Strawberries and Cream Scones. I know it's autumn but somebody mow the lawn cause it's tasting like Wimbledon. I hope I see you all soon or in the comments. Use your beautiful minds to help me improve this blog or about future Chow Creations, I always like to read what y'all have to say. And as always,

Chow!




Recipe

2 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
the zest of one lemon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, preferably cut into cubes and chilled before use
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 teaspoon milk, or until the mixture is slightly moistened
1/2 cup diced strawberries, thoroughly washed and dried

1 egg lightly beaten mixed with a tablespoon of water for egg wash
sprinkle with coarse raw sugar

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