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Perfect Vanilla Scones

August 18, 2014

Vanilla Scone | Espresso and Cream
My sister-in-law, Ali, is one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. She married into the Hofmeyer family two years ago when she married Joe’s brother, Jason, and I think I can speak for the whole family when I say that Jason found a fantastic wife in Ali.

Some of you may also remember that when we were pregnant with baby #2 Ali and I were supposed to be due only 6 days apart from one another. We spent a lot of time texting back and forth that first trimester and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that our miscarriage was devastating and difficult knowing how to navigate the waters while she was still pregnant and I no longer was. To Ali’s credit, she was so gracious and compassionate in those months following, always careful of what she posted on social media while our wounds were still fresh and sharing just enough with us but not too much so that it would hurt even more.

In the months following our miscarriage I desperately wanted to figure out how to be happy for both of my sister-in-laws and their pregnancies while also mourning and grieving our own loss. Joe and I have clung to the verse, “Laugh with those who laugh, mourn with those who mourn,” and I wanted nothing more than to be able to do just that with our family. I found that doing things in spite of my pain was the most healing; I think the phrase I actually used was, “Every time I can be happy for someone despite my sadness, it’s like I’m saying a big ‘Screw you!’ to the devil, who wants to steal my ability to be joyful for others and make me bitter”.

BabyShowerPhoto
Part of that process included sending the maternity clothes I had purchased to Ali and planning to throw her a baby shower in Minnesota later in the summer. Of course, at the time I would have never imagined we would be pregnant again by the time the shower rolled around, but there was something remarkably sweet about throwing a shower this weekend, celebrating Ali and Jason’s baby girl, remembering our own lost little one and feeling so thankful and joyful for the life that God has blessed us with in His own timing.

The spread at the shower included scones with an assortment of toppers such as jam and butter. Of all the breakfast pastries I suggested making, Ali’s vote went to scones. Her only request? They needed to be dense and slightly crumbly and crisp around the edges, not fluffy and cakey like some bakery-style scones in the states.

I tested a lot of recipes in the weeks leading up to the shower and realized that there are a lot of people who have no idea how to make a proper scone. Finally, when I was totally frustrated with scone recipe testing I consulted Desserts by the Yard, one of my favorite baking books. Sherry Yard never fails to come through for me, and this time her scone recipe totally knocked it out of the park. If you’re looking for a truly lovely scone, I would highly recommend this recipe. They soften a bit the next day, so make them the day of for best results!

Vanilla Scones 1 | Espresso and Cream

Perfect Vanilla Scones
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir until well-combined. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to break the butter up into small pieces. Then, once the butter has been broken up into small pieces, use your fingers to flatter the pieces of butter into thin discs.
  3. In a small bow, stir together the heavy cream, milk, egg and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Use your hand to knead the dough gently 2 to 3 times or just until dough comes together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and shape into a rectangle 1-inch thick. Cut into 12 small squares (about 1½ by 1½ inches or so) and place on baking sheet. Dust with additional sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until scones are rich golden brown around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Cool completely on wire cooling rack.

 

Ginger Spice Scones

April 11, 2011
Whew. 
I hope you had a slightly more relaxing weekend than I did and are returning to your schedules refreshed and wide awake. After spending a couple days with Joey and my mom at my apartment, I took off on Saturday, with Nutmeg in tow, for a bridal shower for my best friend up in Minneapolis. It was a whirlwind trip to say the least, but even a few hours with those you love is more than worth the time in the car.
On the kitchen front, I’ve been baking and eating scones. Over the years, I’ve made a few scone recipes and eaten even more. Most of those scones have been less than memorable. Dry, crumbly, and unhealthy. 
These scones are different. They’re light and fluffy (thanks to a hefty dose of baking powder and soda) despite their stellar whole-wheat nutritional profile. Maybe, for some, they are too light to be considered a true scone, but for breakfast lovers like me, they really hit the spot. Of course, when I get my hands on a jar of sugar-free fruit preserves, I spread the stuff on everything in sight. Scones are no exception. 
Have a scone. And a happy Monday!
Ginger Spice Scones
Ingredients
*1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a combination of 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour)
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1 tablespoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/3 cup butter 
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup milk
*Sugar-free blackberry preserves an Greek yogurt (optional) 
Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. With a pastry blender, blend in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
*In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine. Turn onto floured surface and knead a few times until mixture comes together. Roll dough out into 1/2-inch thickness and cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass. 
*Transfer scones to baking sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp around the edges. Cool on wire rack. Serve with blackberry preserves and Greek yogurt, if desired. 
Happy Baking!
Madison

Oatmeal Scones with Coconut Glaze

June 23, 2010

As much as I may enjoy a busy, fun filled weekend every now and again, this nonstop travel and craziness has got to stop. Returning home from work last night, I was so tired that I completely forgot about dinner. Trust me, that never happens. So I celebrated the longest day of the year by getting the year’s longest night of sleep. Eleven hours later I feel like a completely new person. Not to worry, this new person still likes to eat and blog.

Scones were never a part of my childhood. I don’t have stories of waking up to the smell of scones or my mom teaching me to make them. The first time I remember eating a scone was in college at my friend Emily’s house. Emily lives on an acreage in Minnesota that looks like something out of a magazine. The house is country-chic beautiful and surrounded by fruit trees, chickens, and goats. Her mom is a do-it-all type that happens to make very delicious raspberry scones. Raspberry scones made with freshly picked raspberries. After that trip, I was sold on scones.

I’ve made scones before, but they’ve usually ended up tasting like rocks. Call me crazy, but I don’t think scones are supposed to taste like rocks. On the bright side these Oatmeal Scones with Coconut Glaze taste nothing like rocks, quite the opposite actually. They are crispy around the edges and light inside and the coconut glaze serves to add extra moisture. While eating one, I found they mysteriously tasted a bit like carrot cake. Don’t ask me how or why. Maybe I’m just imagining things and need some more sleep.

Oatmeal Scones with Coconut Glaze 
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2005
(Printable Recipe) 
Ingredients:
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*2/3 cup whole wheat flour
*1 tsp. cinnamon
*1 Tbsp. baking powder
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats
*1 1/2 sticks butter
*2/3 cup milk

*1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup milk
*1 tsp. coconut extract
*1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)

Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*In the bowl of a food processor, combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add oats and pulse for 30 seconds. Add butter, cut into cubes. Pulse 15 times, until butter forms coarse crumbs no larger than the size of a pea. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
*Add milk to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms and dry and ingredients are just combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form into a large rectangle. Cut into triangles and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until scones are lightly golden.
*Meanwhile, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and coconut extract. When scones are slightly cool, drizzle glaze over the scones. Sprinkle with coconut.

Happy Baking!

Madison

Chocolate Chip Pecan Scones

September 22, 2009

This morning I woke up rather groggy, wishing coffee had the power to make you look as awake as it made you feel. I had every intention of being well-rested today, going to bed early so I could catch up on a bit of much needed sleep. All was well until around midnight, when I woke up hungry. Staring at the ceiling, thinking about my midnight cravings and trying not to give in to any of them, the scones I made a couple days ago were on my mind.



In keeping with my belief that all breakfast pastries can, and should, be made a bit healthier whenever possible, I have loosely adapted a scone recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. They are made entirely with whole-wheat flour, a bit of butter, brown sugar, pecans, and skim milk in place of cream. I don’t think the all-purpose flour or heavy cream will be missed, and your waistline will thank you.



Ingredients:
*2 cups whole-wheat flour
*2 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*4 Tbsp. butter
*2 eggs
*1/3 cup skim milk
*1/2 cup chopped pecans
*1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 425.
*Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry mixer until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in eggs, one at a time, then add in milk, pecans, and chocolate chips.
*Roll onto floured surface into 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or squares with a knife.
*Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crisp on the outside.
Makes 10 scones

Sorry for the short post. A long day is ahead of me and I have to run. Enjoy!

Madison

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