Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hint of Strawberry Scones

When I lived in Utah, there was this awesome little restaurant called Sconecutters. They served everything from sandwiches to fried shrimp platters, but they were most known for their scones. It was kind of like a west coast version of Dunkin Donuts, serving combo meals like two scones and a coffee. They were open 24/7, they had a drive-thru window, and I simply couldn't get enough of them. What's a scone, you might ask? Well, if you've never had one before, they are this crazy cross between a biscuit and a sugar cookie. Not too sweet, dense but flaky at the same time, and completely addictive.

They are really hard to describe, and apparently even harder to find outside of Utah. I had never had one before living there, and I can't seem to find them anywhere now that I live back on the east coast. So I set out to find a decent recipe, but none of them could match the texture and flavor of the ones I had grown to love. After years of researching, baking, tweaking, and baking some more, I have finally perfected it and I am SO excited to share this one with you!

Just like my biscotti recipe, you can change this up any way you want - add nuts or dried fruit, change the yogurt flavor, or drizzle on a simple powdered sugar icing.

Hint of Strawberry Scones
Makes 8 large or 16 mini scones

What I use:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour*
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour*
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into at least 6 chunks
  • 1/2 c. strawberry Greek yogurt**
  • 1 egg
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling, optional

How I do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and egg together with a fork. (Make sure you do this step now, so it's ready for step 5. You don't want the butter mixture sitting too long.)

3. Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

4. Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture looks like bread crumbs (or parmesan cheese, whatever visual works for you - but the butter should be completely mixed in), about 10 to 15 pulses.

5. Add the yogurt and egg mixture to the food processor and pulse until it looks like wet sand. Everything should be evenly combined, but it will not come together in the food processor.

6. Dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly form it into a disc about 3/4-inch thick. You don't want to touch it too much or the butter will melt and the texture will be off. (If you are making minis, form the dough into 2 equal smaller discs.)

7. Using a pizza cutter, cut the disc into 8 pieces, just like a pizza.

8. Transfer the triangles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving one to two inches between them. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each one, if using. (It's optional, but I never skip this step.)

9. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown.

10. Remove to a cooling rack.

Serve warm or room temperature.

* If you want a lighter, flakier scone, leave out the whole wheat flour and use 2 cups of all-purpose flour. I wouldn't suggest using all whole wheat, as this tends to make the scones too dense and dry. I'm sure if you played with the recipe enough, you could make it work for you, but I really like the texture the half-and-half mix creates.

** You can use any flavor Greek yogurt you like - peach for Hint of Peach Scones, blueberry for Hint of Blueberry Scones, you get the idea. Also, you could use plain or vanilla yogurt if you plan on adding nuts or dried fruit.

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