Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Apricot-Cream Cheese Scones

For breakfast or afternoon tea the scone is my choice. Sweet but not too.

I told my daughter she would have these for breakfast her eyes lit up. We'll let's get real, I needed to get up at 5:30 to make them or at least measure them out the night before. So instead, I baked while she was in school and a nice fresh scone will await her upon her arrival.

This recipe is in my recipe files and it comes from the King Arthur Flour company.
It is a tender scone due to the addition of cream cheese.

Scone Recipe

4 1/4 cups flour, all purpose
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-8 oz package cream cheese, very cold
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks, very cold
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 lg egg
3/4 cups milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
coarse sugar or powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and cream cheese.

Blend with pastry blender until coarse and crumbly. This means mixed but not smooth. Like when your making pie crust. 

Now add the apricots. I use a kitchen shears to dice them. You can use a chefs knife too. Oil the blade to prevent sticking.

Whenever baking I always add the dry with dry the wet with wet. So now take the milk and combine it with the vanilla and egg. Usually I will give it a mix at this point , but for photo purposes I left the egg whole for a visual appeal. Next add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Now with a wooden spoon mix together just until the dough is together enough that you can turn it out onto a board. This point is important. You need to move fast and not use your hands to much. The heat from your hands will melt the butter and cream cheese which means your scones won't be flaky. The cold butter is what melts in the hot oven giving way to delicious layers of goodness.
Sometimes I use a dough scraper for this purpose.
Next pat or roll gently with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 3/4 inch.

Then cut using a round biscuit cutter or kitchen glass.

Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and brush with whole milk or heavy cream if you have it. I prefer cream. You can sprinkle with coarse sugar if you like or wait as I do and when done sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8 minutes.

Next turn the oven down to 300 degrees F for about 8 minutes. They should be a very light golden brown and the tops should look dry not wet at all.

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