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Pumpkin Pecan Scones…or Don’t Bake Hungry

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I almost didn’t toast my nuts.

I know…but I was hungry!

They say never shop hungry, but you really shouldn’t bake hungry either. It makes you want to take all kinds of crazy shortcuts, like not toasting your nuts.

Lucky for me, the little voice in my head (who today happened to be Duff Goldman) won out.

See, there they are in the pan! I would not lie to you (or Duff)!

I did chop them first and toast them on the stove, instead of the oven…the hungry part of me won that battle.

As a home baker, I have no interest in being on a competitive cooking show. I am not good with timed deadlines. Too much pressure. I don’t even watch those shows.

Except Kids Baking Championship.

I can’t help secretly wishing to be on that show someday, it’s just so much fun!

And even though it’s not going to happen (that whole being adult already problem), I can’t imagine being able to ever look Duff and Valerie in the eyes if I cheated today and did not toast my nuts.

I just couldn’t bear the disappointment on their faces. :/

Lesson learned. Toast your nuts!

Other than the chopping and toasting of the nuts, the procedure is just the same as most of the other scones I make.

Whisk the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter using two forks, a pastry blender, or a food processor. Add your toasted nuts and wet ingredients. Bring together with your hands. Pat or roll the dough into 3/4″ thickness. Cut out the scones and place on the pan. Lastly brush with beaten eggs and sprinkle on the sugar. (Full recipe below.)

The recipe calls for buttermilk. I was out of my buttermilk powder, so I used 2% milk and a dash of lemon juice.

I also punished myself for my near nut miss and muscled the butter in with a pastry blender, instead of my usual food processor method.

You can also reference my Earl Grey and Orange Scones recipe for more step-by-step photos. They also happen to be my favorite scones. 😉

chopping the pecans
dry ingredients whisked together
dough patted to 3/4″ thickness
oven ready!
fresh from the oven

Remember how I said I was hungry? I promptly burnt my mouth in my quest to fix that!

It was so worth it.

— Angie


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Sultana and Buttermilk Scones

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I finally made some scones!

I can’t believe it has been months since I had the chance to have a proper Cream Tea (tea and scones with clotted cream and jam).

The ritual of sitting and relaxing for 20 minutes while I have my tea has been sorely lacking lately.

Now that it is fall, I think I’ll be able to start getting myself back on schedule.

While I, like most of America, am a fan of all things pumpkin all Fall long, I decided to pace myself and ease back into scones with something a little more traditional feeling.

A cross between a raisin scone and a buttermilk biscuit seemed like the perfect choice for my first tea of Fall.

If you can’t easily find sultanas (or golden raisins) where you are, regular raisins will work just as well in this recipe. It is a blessing to be able to get my sultanas straight from England when my in-laws go over to visit the kiddos. 😊

I was so excited to make scones that I actually cut the butter in with a pastry blender, instead of dragging out the food processor. (Detailed pictures and steps for my food processor method can be found in this post.)

Since I use buttermilk powder and water, instead of liquid buttermilk, I added the buttermilk powder with my flour, baking powder, and salt.

I then cut in my butter until I had only pea-sized or smaller chunks remaining.

Next, I mixed in my sultanas with a fork.

After beating one egg with a fork, I added that to my dry mixture.

Since the buttermilk powder was already in the mixture, all I had to add was cold water. If I was using the milk and vinegar method or full-fat buttermilk, I would have added that instead.

I finished bringing the dough together with my hands, then turned it out onto a lightly floured surface to knead a few times.

This recipe is the first I have come across for scones where I had to let the dough rest before cutting. So, I flipped my bowl over the top of it and let it sit for 10 minutes.

When I time was up, I gently flattened the dough with my hands until it was about 1-inch thick. I used a round fluted cutter to cut out 15 scones. There was a little extra dough left, so it made a cute little taster scone and squeezed it onto the pan with the rest of them.

This recipe had the dough rest again for 30 minutes, so this was a definite patience tester!

Once they were out of the oven, I promptly burnt my mouth in order to taste the scones as soon as I could.

(shrug) I just couldn’t wait.

I paired my scone with my China Keemun tea, some clotted cream, and some blackcurrant conserve. The tartness of the conserve was just perfect on these scones. I also get my conserve from England, but I have found some at an international grocery store as well. Seedless blackberry jam might also provide that hint of tart to the scones.

I am definitely happy that I had the chance to make some scones. Taking the time for tea, really helps me relax. 😊

Apparently I relaxed so well, I forgot to take a finished picture of the scones.

Whoops!

–Angie


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Recipe Round-Up: UK National Cream Tea Day

Plus, a new Black and White Scone Recipe 🙂

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Today is National Cream Tea Day in the UK, and I may not live in the UK or be British, but I do love all things teatime! Cream Tea is a light refreshment break consisting of scones, jam, and clotted cream. And of course, a cup of your favorite brew! My shop carries a selection of loose teas that will make any Cream Tea special.

Here are some of my favorite scone recipes all in the same place!

Glazed Orange Scones with Apricot Jam and Clotted Cream
Earl Grey and Orange Scones with Clotted Cream and Lemon Curd
Tropical Fruit Scones

If those three recipes don’t strike your fancy, this recipe will thrill every chocolate lover out there! These scones were so rich, moist, and delicious served warm, without that dry, crumbly consistency normally associated with a chocolate chip-based scone.

Drool-worthy Black and White Scones

For step-by-step reference photos, check out this post.

Until next time, enjoy a cuppa and let’s celebrate with a Cream Tea.

–Angie


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Moist, rich chocolate scones that warm your day!

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Tropical Fruit Scones

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I am sitting here, drinking a cup of tea, avoiding folding laundry, and wishing I had some scones to enjoy.

Unfortunately for me, I was lazy this week, and did not make any.

Fortunately for you, I forgot to share the recipe from some Tropical Scones I made.

There were only two differences to how I make these scones from how most of the scone recipes that I use were made.

The dough is much stickier and softer, and I did not cut them out with a cookie cutter. Instead, I used a #40 scoop to get nice, even scones. I use this scoop for my cake pops, cookies, and more. It is a great size to have on hand. See how I use it for cake pops here.

To see my scone tutorial, check out this post. The photos give a good step-by-step look at the process.

For my fruit, I used this awesome Island Mix from a UK Tesco. It is a mix of raisins, dried apricot, dried papaya, and dried pineapple. Luckily, when I run out of my treasured mix, it is easy to buy each of the ingredients separately. 🙂

I couldn’t decide which photo of the scones I liked best, so I figured I would use a few of them. 😉

I hope these inspire you to make your own tropical scones and take a 20-minute vacation break!

— Angie


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Delightfully tropical and fruity, these scones transport the senses straight to an island paradise.

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Earl Grey and Orange Scones

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I love scones.

Not just as a something to eat, but as a reminder that we all need to slow down once in awhile and just enjoy the moment.

For one amazing year, I was privileged enough to have an opportunity to host once to twice monthly pop-up teas.

We served either a three-course afternoon tea or a five-course deluxe tea. At the beginning of the year, we started serving scones first, instead of on a three-tiered tray, as a matter of necessity. By the end of the year, we were using the scone course to set the tone for the entire tea experience.

Our customers would walk in, get seated, and take a few moments to pick out their choice of tea.

While their tea was brewing, their scone course would arrive.

The warm, freshly-baked scones, accompanied by spreads and sauces selected to compliment the course, were an invitation to take a moment to be present and just relax.  Sipping tea and eating scones was just the beginning. Our guests knew that we would proceed with the next courses at their pace. No one felt rushed, no one was glancing at the time on their phones in a hurry to move on to something else, and no one was worried they were taking too much time at a table that another customer was waiting for.

Scones are for enjoying, and it made it so easy for our guests to enjoy their time together, engaging in much needed face-to-face conversations that we usually have so little time for.

Phones were forgotten during the scones course. Laughter and conversation filled the room.

And when they were ready, we made them fresh pots of tea and brought out the next courses.

While I don’t get to do monthly teas anymore, I still love to make scones when I get the chance.

It reminds me that it is okay to take 20 minutes and just be.

After the indulgence of a cream tea (scones and tea, no other finger foods), I am recharged and ready to face the rest of the day.

And that is worth baking for.

–Angie

I’m probably going to be making a lot of scones, so here’s a great basic step-by-step tutorial on scones. This way you don’t have to read the same thing over and over with basically the same pictures every time I post a recipe. 😊

Basic scone how-to:

Start by combining all the dry ingredients, as well as things like citrus zest, in a large bowl.

Put the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold butter in chunks.

Pulse the food processor a few times, until there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Dump the mixture back into the large bowl.

From Glazed Orange Scone Recipe

If any nuts, chips, or dry fruits are to be added, stir them in now.

Next, whisk the wet ingredients like cream, vanilla, and eggs in a large measuring cup until combined.

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and begin stirring.

Once the ingredients are moistened, use clean hands to bring the mixture together into a dough.

If the mixture is too dry, add more milk/cream/non-dairy ingredient about one tablespoon at a time.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple times, being careful not to overwork the dough or over-incorporate the butter.

Pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into wedges or use a cutter to make shaped scones.

Wedges (from Glazed Orange Scones)

Place about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake according to the recipe directions, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. This might happen before the scone has noticeable browned edges, so it is important to test to see if they are done, and not for color, in order to preserve a moist scone.

Earl Grey and Orange Scones before baking
Glazed Orange Scones after baking

If glaze or drizzle is needed, add after the scones have had about 10 minutes to cool.

Finished Glazed Orange Scones

Be sure to take a few minutes to relax and enjoy your handiwork with a cup of tea. I promise, it is worth it!

Earl Grey and Orange Scones with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream

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Glazed Orange Scones

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I have not seen an ant for about five days.

I am pretty sure they are still there, ducking out of sight when I walk into the kitchen.

They are crafty little suckers.

However, since I can’t prove that, I have been able to reclaim my counters in a limited fashion.

Which means I can actually work in the kitchen again. (What happens when I have limited working space? This and that.) 🙂

And do 4 loads of dishes a day so the ants don’t have anything to smell.

I am so lucky.

It is dreary and rainy again today, and it is easy to start to feel dreary.

A remedy for dreary days? Orange scones. (Feel free to skip ahead here)

As promised. Sorry they took so long! Dumb ants.

For many people, making scones is very intimidating.

Who wants to freeze butter and then try to grate it?

Or cut frozen butter into flour with two knives?

And then, if it is over-worked, the result is extremely dry.

No thanks.

I will admit, there are a few scone recipes that I will take the time to grate the butter for, like my cream scones, but for the most part, I use a food processor to take some of the pain out of scone making.

I just have to pay attention and not over-incorporate the butter.

This time, I decided to use my little 3-cup hand powered food processor from Pampered Chef.

It ended up being too small, so I had to drag the bigger one out anyway.

Oh well. I tried.

I zested one large Cara Cara orange, and used the little processor to pulse the sugar and zest together.

I measured the rest of my dry ingredients into a bowl, dumped in my orange sugar, and blended it with a whisk.

I put half the flour mixture into the mini food processor and measured my butter.

I promptly realized I was going to have an enormous mess on my hands if I tried to add the rest of the flour mixture, so I stopped and transferred everything to a larger food processor.

I pulsed the mixture about five times. This gave me a coarse crumb, but also left a few chunks of butter about the size of small peas in the mixture.

The butter chunks are there, trust me.

When I was at the store, I thought I had pulled a vegan scone recipe to make…

So I bought coconut yogurt instead of sour cream. I decided to go ahead and use the coconut yogurt and see how it turned out.

I beat the egg and the yogurt in a separate bowl.

I added the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and started mixing it with a fork.

Once most of the liquid was incorporated, I switched to my hands to continue mixing as I formed the dough into a ball. I could still see little butter chunks, which meant I would get nice and moist, but still crumbly, scones.

See the butter was just hiding!

After flouring the work surface, I pressed the dough into a disk about 7-inches wide and about 3/4-inch thick. I then cut the dough into 8 wedges using a sharp knife.

The scones were arranged on the baking tray about 1-inch apart, and into the oven they went.

While they were baking, I melted butter and added the other ingredients needed to make the orange glaze.

I found that the juice of the Cara Cara orange was not as strong of a flavor as I would have liked, so I added some popcorn (super fine) salt to enhance the orange flavor and cut a little bit of the sweet taste.

Once the glaze was finished, I impatiently waited for the scones to finish baking.

I let them sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before I glazed them. By this point, I was so hungry from smelling the baking scones that it was torture to wait so long!

A little bit of clotted cream and a little bit of apricot jam gave these scones the perfect finishing touch.

I thought the finished scones were a little too sweet, so if they last until tomorrow, I plan to eat my next one with a nice cup of Edith Wharton tea.

We’ll see if they make it that far. 😊

Empty plate

–Angie


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A sweet and flaky orange scone, glazed with an orange glaze.

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Fresh Fig Cake

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I just couldn’t resist.

There they were, just sitting next to the blueberries at the grocery store…

Fresh Figs!

(jump to the recipe here if you are impatient) 😉

Here in the Mid-West, it is very hard to find exotic fruits at a normal grocery store. So, when the opportunity to make something with an exotic fruit presents itself, I just can’t pass it up.

So, I had to buy them.

I brought them home, put them in the fridge, and immediately started looking for the perfect recipe.

I could swear up and down that I have 10 books with fresh fig recipes in them, but when I actually looked, I found 3 recipes in two books.

The good news… I did not spend five hours agonizing over my recipe choices.

It may have been about two hours though.

I decided on a Fresh Fig Cake recipe from the book “Afternoon Tea” by Eric Lanlard.

This is such a fun recipe book because there are so many unique tea party recipes to try. (The other fresh fig recipe in the book was a savory macaron.)

I was definitely happy with the results!

The first step was to add my eggs to powdered sugar and whip them.

It said they should be light and airy, so after getting them initially blended, I just turned on the stand mixer and let it go.

When I could see a marked increase in volume and a definite color change, I decided the eggs were ready.

Then the flour and ground almond mixture was folded into the eggs.

This was a lot like folding ground almonds into a meringue when making macarons.

Once all the flour and ground almonds were mixed in, melted butter was added to the batter.

Butter incorporated in the batter.

The recipe calls for a 9-in springform pan. My springform pan was located a round-trip of one hour away, so I decided to try it in an 8-in round pan.

The fresh fig halves were arranged on top of the batter and into the oven it went.

It took longer than the recipe said it would to bake, but I was not surprised since the cake was thicker due to the smaller diameter of the pan.

While the cake started to cool, I was supposed to make the orange-cinnamon-brown sugar syrup that goes on top of the cake.

It took me longer than I expected to make the syrup, so next time I will start it while the cake is in the oven.

I gave the cake a good brushing with the syrup before I took it out of the pan.

Of course, I messed the top of the cake up a little while taking it out (thus the need for the springform), but after adding more syrup it was not as noticeable.

If the cake had been warmer, I think the syrup would have absorbed better. As it was, I did not end up using all of the syrup.

I do regret this. It was delicious. I am still trying to think what else to use it on.

Just before serving, I added powdered sugar to the edges of the cake to dress it up.

Once we cut into it, it did not last long!

I highly recommend checking out this amazing book of Afternoon Tea recipes, along with the author’s other cookbooks. He also did a 10-episode series called Baking Mad that is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Let’s see what my next impulse fruit purchase will produce. 😉

Until then,

–Angie

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A cake with fresh figs baked in the center and drenched with a sweet cinnamon and orange syrup.

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