Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Blueberry Chocolate Chip Scones with an Almond Drizzle
Today was a nasty day. Lately we have enjoyed warm, Spring days wth unusually mild winds. The birds have been making nests and my garden has been flourshng. But today, I would have sworn it was still winter. It was cold, so windy that it nearly knocked me over, and the dark clouds covered up any rays of sunshine that might have been shining. It was a nasty day to be outside. (I even abandoned my daily run today, which later proved to be a poor decision when I inturn chose to eat 6 of these scones).
It might have been awful outside, but on days like this I love to be in the kitchen. It's the perfect day to bake some scones and curl up with a warm cup of herbal tea. (Today is similar to the day that I created my Strawberry Scones with a Vanilla Glaze. Bad weather days are good scone making days.) :)
I love knowing that with just a few ingredients and a little bit of time, my family and I can enjoy something that is warm, moist, crunchy around the edges and just enough sweetness to make me forget about all the ugliness outside. I hope my kids grow up to see bad weather days as good baking days too. :)
Here's how these scones start:
3 cups of all-purpose flour.
2/3 cup of sugar.
5 tsp baking powder.
1/4 tsp salt (I just eye-balled this).
2 sticks of cold butter (I prefer salted butter), cut into rough cubes.
Cut the butter into the flour mixture wth a fork, or a pasty cutter (or even your hands).
When the butter chunks have been broken down and are about the size of large peas it's done.
Now it's time to add the first "mix-in." Today I chose to use some of my homemade, low-sugar, blueberry preserves. I used about 1/2 a jar so that would translate to a rounded 1/2 cup.
Next, to keep the scones unbelievably soft and moist, add 1/2 cup of milk, (I used 2 % milk today, but anything you have would be fine. I've used non-fat milk as well as cream - both with success.)
and 1 beaten egg.
Mix everything lightly with a fork and then add the last "mix-in." I thought chocolate would be a nice addition (when is it not?). So about 1 cup (3 small handfulls) of semi-sweet chocolate chips went into the mix.
I continued mixing everything with a fork until it just started to come together. Then I lightly floured my counter and dumped out the loose batter.
I then folded the mixture over on itself 5 or 6 times - just until it came together as a solid mass, and then I flattened it out into a rough rectangle that was about 1/2 to 1 inch thick.
The scones get placed gently onto a parchment lined baking sheet
and then brushed on top with milk (or an egg wash, or cream. Whatever you have. You just want something to make the sugar stick.) - The sun came out for a second! See how much prettier food is in the sunlight?
I sprinkle the tops with sugar (just about 1 Tbsp total for all the scones). -This was the last shot before the clouds covered the sun again. :(
Then the scones get put in the fridge to firm up while the oven preheats. When the oven is @ 350F the scones go in, middle rack please, for about 15-20 minutes (until lightly browned and cooked through).
This is what mine looked like when they were done - after 20 minutes. I could have taken them out a minute or two earlier, but I was busy with my little angels. And the taste wasn't hurt at all. In fact, the crunchy parts are probably my favorite. :)
I like to tranfer them to metal racks to cool, and then drizzle them with the Almond Drizzle. (I don't have any "cooling racks" so I just use the racks from my toaster oven. I put the racks on top of the parchement lined baking sheet that I cooked the scones on. This way the parchment paper will catch any of the glaze/drizzle that falls through. (The less clean-up the better!) See the racks under the scones in the back?
The Almond Drizzle is nothing more than 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp pure almond extract, and 2 tsp of milk. Mix it all together with a fork and then use the fork to drizzle it on over the scones. (The warmer the scones are the thinner the glaze will be.) This is only meant to be drizzled lightly over the top of the scones, but if you want more of a glaze - to cover the tops completely, or even the whole scone, you will want to double the recipe.
All that's left to do is pour your warm drink of choice (today mine is vanilla herbal tea), enjoy the warm baked goodness you've just created and forget about the nasty weather outside.
Then maybe you could share. Family first and then friends. ;)
I tried one more shot, with the flash on, since the clouds have made it so dark in my house. I don't know if it's any better, but you can see the color a little better:
I hope you enjoy these as much as we all did!
Blueberry Chocolate Chip Scones with an Almond Drizzle
3 cups of flour (always all purpose)
2/3 cup sugar - plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp salt
5 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cubed
a rounded 1/2 cup whole fruit blueberry preserves (I used my homemade low-sugar kind)
1/2 cup milk (or cream)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter, until the butter is the size of large peas. Add the blueberry preserves, milk and egg. Combine with a fork lightly and add in the chocolate chips. Mix just until it comes together. Dump out onto a floured work surface. Knead (fold over on itself) a few times until it's a solid mass and then flatten it out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut in any shapes you wish. (I cut mine into 24 triangles.) Place on lined cookie sheets. Brush each scone with melted butter, cream or an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake @ 350F for about 15- 20 minutes (this will depend on how big your scones are). They should be golden brown around the edges and firm.
Cool on cookie sheets and then transfer to a cooling rack. Drizzle with glaze.
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
2 tsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Whisk until smooth and drizzle over cooled scones.