Tuesday, May 25, 2010
For me, houseguests are an opportunity to try new recipes. I like to make some sort of breakfast item so that early risers have something to nibble if they get up before I make it downstairs. I saw a post for pecan cinnamon scones on Foodbuzz a couple weeks ago and I saved it. The arrival of my husband's sister and her husband provided the perfect excuse to whip up a batch. These scones have a touch of sweetness, but they're not as sweet as coffee cake. I've been enjoying the leftovers for the past two days with my morning coffee. I set out my ingredients the night before and they came together quickly in the morning. The house was filled with the pleasant scent of cinnamon - what's better in the morning???
We have more houseguests arriving next weekend so I'll have to start sifting through more recipes... Work for some, a fun way to spend an evening for me. (It's kind of a sickness isn't it? Surrounded by stacks of cookbooks, searching tirelessly for the perfect recipe...) If you want to help save me some time, leave a comment with a recipe idea or a link back to one of your favorites. Maybe I'll give it a try for my in-laws next week.
I should note I had way too much topping so consider cutting that down. I made the full batch and will find something else to make with it in the next day or so...
Cinnamon Walnut Scones with Streusel Topping
adapted from a post on Daydreamer Desserts
3/4 cup unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, sieved if lumpy
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
Thoroughly combine the flour, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl.
Scatter over the butter chunks and drizzle over the vanilla extract. Using a pastry blender or two round-bladed table knives, cut the butter into the flour-sugar mixture until reduced to marble-size bits.
Scatter over the chopped pecans and mix them in.
With your fingertips work the mixture util moist clumps of streusel are formed, pressing and crumbling it into large and small lumps.
Cinnamon Walnut Scone Dough
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 pound (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Drop in the chunks of butter. Using a pastry blender or two round-bladed table knives, cut the fat into the flour until reduced to small nuggets. Further crumble the mixture between your fingertips for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Mix in the chopped walnuts.
Whisk the heavy cream, eggs, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and combine to form the beginnings of a dough, using a sturdy wooden spoon or flat wooden spatula.
Knead the dough together in the bowl with your hands until it forms a firm dough, 1 to 2 minutes. If the dough is too dry you can add an additional tablespoon of heavy cream.
Turn out the dough onto a very lightly floured work surface, divide in half, and pat each piece into a 6 - 6 1/2 inch round cake. With a chef's knife, cut each cake into five wedges.
Press some of the streusel topping on top of each triangle of dough, patty it down with your fingertips or the palm of your hand, dividing the topping evenly among all of the scones. Use all of the topping.
Place the scones on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets, spacing them about 3 1/2 inches apart. Arrange five scones on each sheet.
Bake the scones for 15 - 17 minutes, or until risen and set.
Transfer the scones to cooling racks, using a wide, offset metal spatula. Serve warm or at room temperature.