Cream Cheese Scones {Bake!}

This week’s Bake! selection is from our newest baker, Glennis, who chose these simple, delicious scones for her first pick. And a great pick it was.

The dough consisted of flour, sugar, baking powder, cream cheese, salt, butter, eggs, and milk, and came together very quickly in the food processor. After mixing the dough, I dumped it out on a floured board, kneaded it a few times, and divided it in two.

I shaped each piece of dough into a circle about six inches in diameter, then scored each one into six sections.

Although the recipe didn’t call for it, I topped each scone with sprinkling sugar. I baked the scones at 425°F for 20 minutes, let them cool a bit, then divided them.

I served the scones with red currant jelly. They were moist, not as crumbly as many scones, and really delicious.

This was such a simple and quick recipe. It took just over half-an-hour start to finish. Definitely one to make again and again.

Orange & Almond Scones {Bake!}

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Malgieri a few weeks ago and taking a few classes from him. On the first evening, he featured recipes and techniques from his newest book, Bake! I had just picked up the book a few days before the class, so I hadn’t had a chance to make anything from it. But watching Nick bake, I knew it had been a good purchase.

When my friend Kayte mysteriously received a copy of Bake! in the mail, return address Nick Malgieri, New York, she was excited to start baking from it. So we decided to do a Twitterbake, where we would both bake the same recipe at the same time and Tweet about it as we went. Kayte chose Orange & Almond Scones, which sounded perfect to me. I’m a big scone fan, and these looked great. We had our recipe, picked a time, and were good to go.

The recipe calls for almond paste. Although I had never baked with almond paste before, there are a few recipes I’m making soon that call for it. And after some searching, I had recently acquired my first-ever can of Solo Almond Paste. In the process of searching for almond paste and realizing how expensive it is, I had also found a few recipes to make it. So, the evening before the Twitterbake, I made two versions of almond paste. I liked the egg white version better, so that’s what I decided to use for the scones.

The scones are very simple to make. After mixing flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the food processor, I whirred in the almond paste, then the butter. I beat an egg with milk and orange zest, added that to the food pro, and gave it a few pulses. Then I dumped the whole thing out onto a floured board, divided the dough in half, and shaped each piece into a disk. I scored the dough, gave it a little egg wash, pressed on some slivered almonds, and it was ready to bake.

As simple as they were, these scones came out great. I’m going to serve them when my family comes to town for Thanksgiving and make them again for Christmas morning.

From the recipes I’ve sampled from this book so far, I highly recommend it. If you do pick up a copy, let me know. Kayte and I are planning to make a few recipes from it each month, and if you’d like to bake and Tweet along with us, we’d love to have you.

Triple Chocolate Scones {ModBak}

This is the 11th recipe, and the last of the scones, in the Modern Baker Challenge.

As the name indicates, these scones are loaded with chocolate. They have Dutch process cocoa, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. The three combine to make these scones rich and deeply flavored. Surprisingly, though, they are not overly sweet.

As with Real Welsh Scones, Ginger Scones with Almond Topping, and Butterscotch Scones, the dough is mixed up quickly in the food processor. The milk chocolate, sugar, and cocoa are pulsed a few times, then the flour, baking powder, and salt are added, and the mixture is pulsed again before adding the butter and pulsing until it resembles coarse corn meal. Finally, the bittersweet chocolate, egg, and milk are added and pulsed a few more times.

I finished kneading the dough on a Silpat, divided it into three pieces, and formed each piece into a sphere. I cut each sphere into four wedges and placed the wedges on a baking sheet. Although the recipe didn’t call for it, I sprinkled each scone with turbinado sugar, both for a little additional sweetness and for appearance.

The scones were baked at 400° F for about 17 minutes.

They were moist, gooey, very chocolately (of course), rich, and delicious. These scones just barely edged out the ginger scones as my favorite scones in the book. In fact, they rank near the top of my list in the whole Quick Breads section.

If you’ve been thinking of giving The Modern Baker (the book and/or the Challenge) a try, start with this recipe. It will make a believer out of you.

Butterscotch Scones {ModBak}

The 10th recipe (out of 15) in the Quick Bread section of The Modern Baker is Butterscotch Scones.  

  

I mixed up these scones while the Ginger Scones were baking. It took almost exactly as long to prepare these scones as it did to bake the ginger ones.  

First, I mixed the dry ingredients in the food processor.

Then, I added the butter and pulsed to mix.

Finally, I added the eggs and milk.

After the final mix in the food processor, I turned the dough out onto a Silpat, kneaded it four or five times, then divided the dough into three pieces. I patted each piece into a round, then divided the rounds into four wedges.  

  

I baked the scones for 15 minutes, until they were well-browned.  

  

As with the ginger scones, I ate these scones fresh from the oven. I wasn’t exactly disappointed with the taste, but compared to the ginger scones, they weren’t quite as flavorful. As I reread the recipe while preparing this post, I realized that I had used unsalted butter, which may explain why the scones seemed to be lacking in flavor.  

Even with unsalted butter, however, they were worth baking (and eating). I will make these scones again, with salted butter next time, to see how they taste when they are made correctly.

Updated 5/26/2010:  I baked these again tonight, this time using salted butter. I could tell even before I baked them that these would have a true butterscotch flavor. And they did not disappoint. If they were good before, this time they are excellent. Every bit as good as the ginger scones, which I absolutely loved.

Ginger Scones with Almond Topping {ModBak}

Ginger Scones with Almond Topping is another simple and delicious recipe from the Quick Breads section of The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri. These scones came together quickly and baked up in only 15 minutes.

The only ingredient that I didn’t already have in the cupboard was crystallized ginger. Nick warns against using grocery store ginger, as it tends to be dry and hard, whereas good candied ginger should be moist and tender. I was going to order ginger from King Arthur Flour, as their crystallized ginger receives rave reviews. However, I didn’t have anything else that I needed to order, and I didn’t want to wait for a shipment to get the ginger.

So, I went to the grocery store to buy candied ginger from the baking section. Sure, it was dry and rattled around in the jar. But I was impatient, so I bought it anyway. When I got home, I realized that the jar of crystallized ginger contained only two ounces, whereas the recipe called for four ounces. Again lacking in patience, I decided to forge ahead with what I had. I adjusted the recipe by adding just a bit more ground ginger.

As noted, the recipe came together quickly. I put the dry ingredients in the food processor, pulsed them a few times, added the cold butter, and pulsed again to mix everything together. Then I added the crystallized ginger, milk, and eggs and pulsed until the dough came together.

I dumped the dough out onto a Silpat, kneaded it a few times, then divided it into three pieces. After pressing each piece of dough into a disk, I cut each one into six wedges with a dough scraper. I placed the scones on a baking sheet, and topped each wedge with a mixture of egg white, almonds, cinnamon, and sugar.

I baked the scones at 400° F for about 15 minutes, until they were golden brown and firm to the touch.

Fortunately, Nick recommends eating these scones hot from the oven, because there is no chance I was going to let them cool. They were sweet, but not overpoweringly so, and were wonderful both plain and with a little smear of butter.

Real Welsh Scones — The Modern Baker Challenge

The eighth recipe in the Modern Baker Challenge is Real Welsh Scones. This was a wonderfully simple recipe, and even a sleepyhead like me found it easy to mix these up for breakfast on a Sunday morning.

First, I placed all the dry ingredients in the food processor and added cold butter.

I pulsed the mixture about eight to 10 times, until it resembled a fine powder.

After beating the egg and milk together, I added them to the dry mixture in a bowl and stirred it all together.

I kneaded the dough a few times to incorporate all the flour and mix in the butter pieces. The dough was a little crumbly but held together OK as I divided it into two pieces, patted them into rounds, and scored them with a dough scraper.

I baked the scones in for 12 minutes, the minimum time recommended by the recipe. When I took them out, they looked like this:

I cut into one and found it to be a bit underdone. The scones were nicely browned, and I was worried that if I continued to bake them, they would get overdone on the outside. Since I had already turned off the oven, I put the scones back in and baked them using the residual heat. This is a technique known as baking in a “reducing oven”. Often this is done by preheating the oven to a high temperature, say 500 degrees, then reducing the temperature to 450 or so when you put the bread in the oven. In my case, the oven was turned off, and I baked the scones  for about five more minutes, at which point they were perfectly baked.

The finished scones were delicious. They had a slight sweetness from the sugar, and they were perfect with a little marmalade and a cup of coffee.

This is yet another great recipe from The Modern Baker. I know that all cookbooks have some recipes that are better than others, and even the best of them have a few recipes that not everyone will like. But so far, I have loved everything I’ve made from this book. And so have my family and friends.