Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nutmeg-Scented Scones

One of my favorite things to do is lay in bed with a big fleecy blanket and read about food. Now, I understand this comes dangerously close to the Costanza Pastrami Experiment ("I find pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted cured meats...") but no worries - in this case it's just me, my blanket, and the latest issue of Bon Appetit.

The upside of this practice is food dreams, where one can experience the pleasure of indulgence without the consequences. The less-desirable side effect is actually waking up in the middle of the night thinking about a recipe you just read. Sadly for me, I woke at 2:00 in the morning and started thinking about scones: rich, tender, hot from the oven with a little butter and raspberry jam. Unable to get back to sleep, I tossed and turned, my stomach predictably growling, yet I refused to suffer the indignity of actually getting out of bed for some 3 a.m. baking.

Needless to say, the next morning I was busy making Nutmeg-Scented Scones. They were simple, tender, and had that nice "edge" that I like in a scone. If nutmeg isn't your thing, decrease the amount (1 t. is really a lot of nutmeg and the flavor is really pronounced) or swap it out with something else like cinnamon, orange zest, or mini chocolate chips. And like biscuits, use a light hand when working the dough. It's better to have an ugly scone that a tough one.

Nutmeg-Scented Scones
Adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated whole nutmeg or ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup sour cream
1 egg white, beaten to blend with 2 teaspoons water (for glaze)
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 10 seconds. Using on/off turns, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead 4 turns to form ball. Roll out dough to 8-inch square (about 3/4 inch thick). Cut square into 8 wedges. Brush with egg-white glaze; sprinkle with 2 T. sugar and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake scones until tops are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer scones to rack and cool slightly. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Store scones airtight at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 10 minutes, if desired.

1 comment:

Alison said...

I like the idea of just dreaming about food. Less clean-up that way!
They look delicious.