Strawberries and Cream Scones

printed from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: Measure the flour with a light hand (see this post for additional reading on that principle) so that the dough still remains sticky and soft and not overfloured. Also, the orange extract is optional but adds a wonderful dimension to the flavor of the scones.

*Makes about 8-12 scones, depending on size

INGREDIENTS:

Scones:

1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons half-and-half or whipping cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-2 drops pure orange extract, optional

2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries

Glaze:

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon water

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheet.

For the scones, in a blender or food processor, process the 1/2 cup diced strawberries with the sugar and half-and-half or cream until the mixture is smooth. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender, forks or your fingertips, work in the butter to the dry ingredients until the mixture is unevenly crumbly with the largest crumbs about the size of a pea.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the blended strawberry/cream mixture, the egg, the vanilla extract, and the orange extract, if using.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough just barely starts to come together. Add the 2/3 cup diced strawberries, gently folding them in, using your hands, if necessary, to pull the dough together into a cohesive mass. Take care not to overmix - it will make the scones tough. It's ok to have a shaggy mess of dough as long as it is holding together for the most part.

Lightly sprinkle your work surface/countertop with flour and divide the dough into two halves. Take one half and gently press the dough into a thick circle on the floured surface, about 6-7 inches in diameter. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to separate the dough into six equal triangles. Place each scone on the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing them about 2 inches apart. Repeat with the remaining half of dough. Alternately, you can make smaller scones by dropping tablespoon-ful sizes of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

Make the glaze by stirring together the sugar, water, and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. If the mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water gradually at a time until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick syrup. Drizzle some of the syrup over the top of each scone.

Bake the scones until they are just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, 13-16 minutes. When properly baked, they should be moist (but not gummy) at the center.

Serve the scones warm or at room temperature. The scones can also be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Just before serving, reheat very briefly in the microwave, or for 5 to 10 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, in a preheated 350°F oven.