There are some baked items that seem ubiquitous – peanut butter cookies, banana bread, blueberry muffins – and scones. While there are so many recipes, finding the perfect one that actually creates what it says it will is rarer and I always end up adapting.
Another issue I am concerned with is only baking for a full house. My freezer is bursting to the seams with baked goods that may or may not get eaten. In my quest for the perfect recipes, I continue to bake and bake, tweak, make notes…. While I don’t have a home-baking business, I practice as if I do.
I have a memory of a bakery cranberry scone I used to enjoy in Canada, but have never made them. For whatever reason, a dozen muffins always made more sense with a family of grown eaters.
Enter Christina Lane – the creator of Dessert for Two https://www.dessertfortwo.com/ and a published (3 books to her name)cookbook author.
I found her scone recipe online. She has made them with Meyer Lemons as well as Black Pepper and a maple glaze. The original recipe is here: https://www.dessertfortwo.com/black-pepper-scones-with-maple-glaze/
My adaptation is almost exact, but once I try a recipe, I want to show what slight changes I made and if it really did come out as amazing as described. In a word, YES! They absolutely did if I say so myself. As Christina Lane described, they have a light crumb and just the right amount of sweetness without overloading the flavors of butter and cream.
As I have avoided such ingredients for years, they seem plainly decadent to me. That did not stop me, but I just thought I should mention it. This is why people love butter and write rapturously of it, and why I don’t want to get too close.
I did not make a glaze, but sprinkled sanding sugar lightly over the tops. It was delicious and I did not feel that I was missing out in anyway. The recipe was perfect and did indeed make 4 scones, as said, that were so very, very, very good. You can see her original recipe or use the base and make changes based on your taste.
The recipe exactly as I made it is below. Wherever you see the italics indicates my changes.
adapted from http://www.DessertForTwo.com
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (I used salted and it was good to me)
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I only used 1/3 cup and did not brush 1 of the Tablespoons of cream over the tops before baking)
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup dry measure Trader Joe’s whole organic dried cranberries (Great big berries that are so juicy and delicious!! You could use less if you prefer)
Sugar for sprinkling on top (I used Bob’s Red Mill Sparkling Sugar)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Dice the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s evenly distributed and smaller than peas. Use two knives, a pastry cutter, or your hands. (I did this by hand)
Next, add 1/3 cup (plus 1 Tablespoon heavy cream if too dry to hold together) and the egg yolk in a small bowl and beat together. Pour this on the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Don’t overmix, but incorporate things well.
Scoop roughly half of the dough out and use the warmth of your hands to make it stick together. (I scooped as much of it as I could at once) Mound it on a cookie sheet in a rough circle shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the scones with the remaining 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
(I created one large circle and pushed together into a dome shape. Then, with a knife, I divided the circle into quarters. I did not add cream on the top. I used a teaspoon of sugar into the palm of my hand and sprinkled the surfaces with the large grains of Sparkling Sugar. After I did that step, I carefully pushed the quarters apart to give space between each scone for baking.)
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and they lightly brown on the edges.
(I needed 15 minutes in my oven.)
I gave the scones 5 minutes (or, was it less???) to cool while I made a fresh cup of coffee.
I always have to adapt cookbooks to make kosher substitutions, but the rave reviews for Christina Lane’s cookbooks on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lane/e/B01EM96VZW/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 make it sound like it would be worth it.
All you need is love, but a cookie now and then doesn’t hurt either.