Brown Sugar Strawberry Scones

20130912-222017.jpg Hi all! It’s been awhile! I hardly know where to start, so I’ll start with these scones. Back when my mom made these the first time, I remember lying in bed, and waking up and smelling something so tantalizing that I popped out of bed, ran up stairs and had to see what it was. What can I say, I get excited about food. Lo and behold were these scones, still steaming from the oven. I really think what makes them smell and taste so delicious is the combination of sour cream, brown sugar and strawberries.

20131203-125840.jpg Brown sugar, sour cream and berries are a classic combination for a good reason. In these scones, the sour cream keeps them moist and a bit tangy, and the brown sugar topping sinks and forms pockets in the scones as they bake which balances everything. You can really use any fruit you want in these scones, but as I’m partial to strawberries and they work especially well with the brown sugar and sour cream, you should stick to those.

20131207-150529.jpgOn a random side note, these make me quite nostalgic. When I was 10 or so, I made these pancake maple muffins that smelled really similar to these. For an English assignment, I wrote a little story where I made those muffins, and a bear cub was dropped off on our doorstep and he ate them all. I went into quite a lot of detail about the muffins in my story, but what can I say? I love describing food! These scones would really brighten up anyone’s day; so bring a little sunshine to someone’s life this winter.

Brown Sugar Strawberry Scones

Recipe from the kitchn

Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen. If using frozen, do NOT thaw before adding them to the batter.)

Topping:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp butter, softened

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork, blending until butter is around the size of peas.

Whisk together sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture; stir gently until just combined.

Turn dough out onto counter. Pat into a large rectangle and sprinkle half the strawberries over half the dough. Fold the dough onto itself and pat out again into a large rectangle. Sprinkle the remaining strawberries over half the dough and fold it onto itself. Fold the dough once or twice more to combine, being careful not to crush the strawberries.

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Pat dough into disk about 1 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.

30 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400F. For the topping, combine flour and brown sugar. Stir in butter; it will be paste like.

Crumble topping over dough; slice into 8 wedges. Space wedges evenly, about 2 inches, on baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until set and golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Yield: 8 scones

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

20130415-154047.jpg Have you ever heard of caramelized white chocolate? I was bewildered when I came across it on thelittleloaf! Since I love all things caramelized and I adore white chocolate, this was a must try! Before I get any further, I know it sounds ridiculous. I mean, wouldn’t it seize up? Well yes it does, but you just have to stir it and it smoothes out again. What I did with the finished product was pour it onto some parchment, let it set, broke it into chunks and added it to one of the most amazing cookie doughs I’ve ever had.

20130417-115309.jpg The dough is made from my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie doughs from cooks illustrated that bakes up thick, chewy and professional looking. I made these with all brown sugar for extra caramel flavor, and browned the butter to make it more nutty and add depth of flavor. And because it’s browned butter 🙂 After adding the chunks of caramelized white chocolate it. was. ah-mazing!! Once I baked them (using a method of stacking the dough to make them thicker) they blew my mind. Have you ever had an oatmeal scotchie? You know, those cookies with the oats and butterscotch chips. These are like a more refined version. The caramelized white chocolate adds toastiness and the cookie dough is very caramely and soft.
I know that these look like a lot of work, and they are, but don’t let that deter you! They’re easy peasy if you make the chocolate the day before. You need this experience in your life!

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from cooks illustrated

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 5/8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
11 oz white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips)

Directions:

To caramelize the white chocolate, place it in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. When chocolate seizes, take off heat, stir until smooth, and return skillet to burner. Continue this process for about 45 minutes, stirring all the while, until it’s a medium caramel color:

20130417-122800.jpg Pour onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let set and break into chunks.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat butter on medium to high heat (depending on how fast you want your butter to brown). After butter begins to foam, stir until it is a golden brown color and smells nutty and wonderful. Take off heat and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar and browned butter (make sure to add the brown bits) until smooth. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. On low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chunks (you will have some left over).

Using a muffin scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and roll into balls. Tear balls in half, turn ragged edges to face top and bottom and press together:

20130417-124425.jpg Space cookies 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until light golden brown and puffy. Cookies will not appear to be done, but they will continue to bake on cookie sheet. Cool cookies on sheet; remove cookies to counter. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Yield: 12-18 cookies

Note: To give them a more professional look, halfway through baking time press
the extra chocolate chunks on top of cookies.