Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Wanna-Be-British Baker

If you know me at all, it's likely you've heard me say that I should live in England.  As an English major, it's hard not to have a soft spot for such a literary mecca.  I am, after all, the Literate Baker.  England also has one of the most endearing culinary traditions: afternoon tea.

Now, tea fare is no stranger to this blog.  I've waxed poetic about scones and tarts and all sorts of bite-sized bits of lovely sweetness.  Today, the tradition continues with yet another variation on scones.  If you've attempted the Chai Spice Scones, the recipe will look familiar.  Both are takes on a Barefoot Contessa recipe that has become the base for most of my scones.

Today, I offer you a marriage of orange and vanilla that I couldn't help but name...

Dreamsicle Scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup butter, diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.  Blend or cut in butter until the size of small peas.  Add white chocolate.  Meanwhile, mix together eggs, cream, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry and blend until dough just comes together.  Dump onto a floured surface and knead 4-5 times to bring dough together.  Pat or roll to approximately 1/2 inch thick. 

Cut into your favorite scone shape (I used a fluted, 2-inch round cutter.) Sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

These babies are great on their own.  If however, you're in the mood to guild the lily, you could combine 2 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Whip together for a couple of minutes and you've got something that isn't Devonshire cream, but that is so tasty you won't mind that it isn't. 

So, the next time you find yourself longing for London, bake up a batch of these, brew yourself a pot of something nice, and let loose your wildest British accent.  All in all, a most loverly way to...

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