Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Scones

On the night  before baking or a few hours before making these scones, put six ounces of butter in the freezer. When ready to bake, put on your aprons and assemble:
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Hand held grater
  • Two butter knives
  • Small bowl
  • Large whisk or flour sifter
  • Board or surface for dusting with flour and rolling out scones
  • Heat shaped cookie cutter, if you do not have these, you can make a round wheel and cut the wheel in half and then cut each wheel in thirds or quaters depending on how many scones you wish to have.
  • 2 Cups unbleached, unbromated organic pastry flour, local when possible
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (look for aluminum free)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, grated or finely chopped from organic orange (the skin of citrus is usually laden with fungicides on non organic citrus fruits)
  • 3/4 cup dried black currants 
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup half and half (or mix half cream, half milk or use all cream for a very rich dough)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a baking sheet.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.
Combine the egg and half and half in the small bowl.
Use a whisk and whisk it all up or sift it all through a sifter, then whisk.
Grate in the frozen butter.
Using the two butter knives, cut in the butter to the flour mixture until the butter is about the size of peas or coarse crumbs, about 30 second to a minute of cutting it in. Children are very good at this.
Toss in the currants and orange zest.
Mix up the egg and half and half and add it to the mixture.
Stir it up just enough to moisten the flour mixture.
Do not overmix.

Put on your "baking gloves" that is dust your hands with flour, gently gather the dough into a ball and place it on the flour dusted surface.
Knead the dough very little, two ot three times.
Flatten the dough out to 1/2" or 3/4 " thickness.
Cut out heart shapes.
Place on baking sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.


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