Friday, August 10, 2012

Strawberry and Cream Scones

It's been a really busy and stressful time at work and I felt a baked good was in order.  Who would say no to that?  And I'm always a fan of Smitten Kitchen, so I decided to give this recipe a whirl.

I call these scones, but they're sort of a biscuit-scone hybrid, in the best possible way!  The way they're made is definitely biscuit-like (mix dry first, cut in chilled butter, add liquid).  But they use cream instead of buttermilk, and that is more like a scone.

But really, I don't care what they're called, because they are SO GOOD.    They're moist (unlike most scones), and flavorful.  I made a batch for the fiance and I to try out first, and we ate half the batch on the spot.  The second batch, for my coworkers, disappeared off my desk so fast that by mid-morning there were only crumbs left.

I used a biscuit cutter for these, only to make them equal size, but you could certainly used the scone-triangle shape for "authenticity."

If you want a special breakfast...or a tasty treat...or just want to use up some strawberries, this is the recipe for you!

Strawberry and Cream Scones
(from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes a dozen or more, depending on the size

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon  baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup chopped very ripe strawberries
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

You want to mix the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, toss in the strawberries, and mix in the cream.  There are three methods of doing this.  My favorite is listed first.

Food Processor: Mix dry ingredients in your food processor, a few pulses will do it.  Scatter the cold butter over the dry ingredients and pulse briefly, until it resembles a coarse meal.  Pour mixture into large bowl and mix in strawberries to coat them.  Then mix in the heavy cream.  Try not to overmix it!

Pastry Cutter/Knives:  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in cold butter until it resembles a coarse meal.  Mix in strawberries to coat them, and then mix in the heavy cream.  Do not overmix.

Grater:  Freeze butter.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Grate butter into dry ingredients with a large hole box grate, until it resembles a coarse meal.  Mix in strawberries to coat them, and then mix in heavy cream.  No overmixing!

When you’ve mixed it in as best as you can with the spatula, go ahead and knead it once or twice in the bowl, to create one mass. Do not worry about getting the dough evenly mixed. It’s far more important that the dough is not overworked.

Generously flour your counter. With as few movements as possible, transfer your dough to the counter, generously flour the top of it and with your hands or a rolling pin, gently roll or press the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter or cut triangles. Carefully transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each.

You can re-roll the scraps of dough, but don’t freak out over how wet the dough becomes as the strawberries have had more time to release their juice. They’ll still bake up wonderfully.
Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges and the strawberry juices are trickling out of the biscuits in places. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: Biscuits are generally best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the froze, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.