Wednesday, February 1, 2012

toasted almond scones

It's February 1st and it feels strangely like spring is in the air. The norm would be freezing cold and snowy, but today's forecast is a crazy high of 60˚F and a chance of a shower.

I'm meeting up with some of my bestest girlfriends this morning for a play date with their kids. I of course will be flying solo but will have toasted almond scones in tow.....

These scones have a quadruple threat of almond in them: ground toasted almonds, chopped toasted almonds, almond extract and sliced almonds sprinkled on top. I spooned raspberry jam in the middle of half of them because I just love a combo with almond and raspberry.

Toasted Almond Scones
taken from the app Baking with Dorie
Makes 12 scones

1 cup blanched toasted almonds (whole, slivered, or sliced)
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (double-acting)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (chilled and cut into small pieces)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
2 - 4 tablespoons of raspberry jam (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Divide the toasted almonds in half. Finely grind 1/2 cup in a food processor or blender with a generous pinch of sugar, taking care not to over grind the nuts and end up with almond butter. Finely chop the other 1/2 cup.

Whisk the flour, ground almonds, remaining sugar, chopped almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. ***Or pulse a couple of times in your food processor***

Stir together egg, heavy cream, milk, and almond extract. Set aside.

Drop the 1 stick of butter into your flour mixture and using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. ***Since my food processor was already being used, I dumped my flour mixture back in and then I dropped my butter cubes right on top*** Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. ***Or if using your food processor, give the butter and flour mixture a few pulses. There should be big and little "pebbles" of butter throughout*** 

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough., which will be wet and sticky, comes together. ***I poured my wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and pulsed a few times until the dough came together slightly. Be careful not to over process***

Still in bowl, gently knead the dough by hand or turn it with a rubber spatula 8 to 10 times. ***I lightly floured my surface, turned the dough out, and gently gathered it together***

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that's about 5 inches in diameter, cut into 6 wedges and top each scone with a few sliced almonds, if you're using them. (At this point, the scones can be frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight. Don't defrost before baking - just add 2 minutes to the baking time.)

***If you want to add raspberry jam to them, gently press your thumb into the middle of each scone and spoon a heaping teaspoon into the indentation. You can also sprinkle with sliced almonds too!***

Place the scones on to your prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 - 22 minutes or until their tops are golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. 

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