Maple-Blueberry Scones

These scones were absolutely fabulous- very tender and flaky. Half of the butter is fully incorporated into the dough, making them tender, and the remaining butter is kept intact and only dusted with flour, as in a traditional scone, resulting in flakiness. I loved that they were sweetened with maple syrup and incorporated whole wheat flour.

This recipe was adapted from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café in Boston, via The New York Times, contributed by Dorie Greenspan. I drizzled the glaze and modified the size and baking time. Amazing.

Yield: 18 scones

  • 1 ⅔ cups/240 grams whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup/120 grams crème fraîche, Greek yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters pure maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons/⅓ cup/80 milliliters buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup/125 grams fresh blueberries

For the Maple Glaze:

  • ½ cup/60 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, briefly mix both flours, the baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed.
  2. Add half the butter and paddle until fully mixed into the flour, 2 to 3 minutes. (This will coat the flour with butter so the scones are tender.)
  3. Add the remaining butter to the bowl of the stand mixer. Pulse the mixer three or four times to mix the pieces into the dough while keeping them whole. (This step will give you small pieces of butter in the dough, which will help the scones be a bit flaky.)
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, maple syrup, buttermilk and yolk until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Stir in the blueberries.
  6. With the mixer on low, pour the blueberry mixture into the flour mixture, and paddle on low for about 10 seconds to get some of the liquid mixed into the flour.
  7. Stop the mixer, and mix the rest of the loose flour into the dough by hand: Gather and lift the dough with your hands and turn it over in the bowl several times until all the loose flour is mixed in.
  8. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day. (This gives the flour time to fully absorb the liquid.)
  9. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and position a rack in the center. Line three rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Using a 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop out 18 mounds of chilled dough, and place them on the prepared baking sheets a few inches apart. (I placed 6 per sheet.)
  11. Bake scones for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking time, until the scones are evenly golden brown and firm when you press them.
  12. While the scones are baking, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and enough maple syrup to make a drizzle-able glaze. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Rewhisk before using.
  13. Remove the scones from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
  14. Using a spoon, drizzle with maple glaze. Serve.

Brown Irish Soda Bread with Rosemary

Happy St. Patrick’s Day-Eve! I hope that this post finds you healthy and able to use this self-quarantine time to bake.

I typically make a sweeter version of soda bread to serve for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. This savory version was a nice change. It was reminiscent of the rosemary biscuits that my husband and I enjoy at our annual anniversary dinner at Volt in Frederick, MD. I loved that it incorporated whole wheat flour.

This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I used coarse salt and decreased the baking time. We ate it with salted Irish butter. It was wonderful- very moist and tender.

Yield: One 8-inch loaf

  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups (240 g) 100% whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp coarse salt or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 T (57 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) pieces
  • 2 cups (450 g) cold, well-shaken buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 big pinch to 1 tsp flaky sea salt, for sprinkling, optional
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 425°F/220°C, preferably on convection.
  2. Line a 12×17-inch rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and dust it with flour.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking soda, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.
  5. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and honey.
  6. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture.
  7. First use a large flexible spatula, a then your hands, to mix the dough into a sticky mass. Be careful not to over-mix.
  8. Turn out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into 6-inch/15 cm ball.
  9. Use a large, floured sharp knife to slice a deep “X” across the top of the bread, about halfway through the ball.
  10. Lightly brush the loaf with buttermilk. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. (I used a large pinch.)
  11. Bake at 425°F/220°C for 15 minutes.
  12. Rotate the pan and lower the temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake for 27 to 35 minutes more, or until the bread id deeply golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
  13. Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Irish Soda Scones with Orange Glaze

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I like to try a new version of soda bread as part of our celebration. 🙂 This version was great- light and fluffy with sweetness from the glaze. Everyone really enjoyed them.

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I used raisins instead of currants, reduced the size and baking time, and made half of the batch with caraway seeds (for me) and half of the batch without seeds (kids!). We ate them for breakfast but they would be wonderful with a cup of afternoon tea as well.

Yield: 18 to 20 scones

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt.
  3. Cut butter into small pieces; work into flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter until dough resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add currants/raisins, caraway seeds, and buttermilk; stir until just combined.
  5. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced 3 inches apart.
  6. Bake until bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely on baking sheet.
  8. Meanwhile, combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, and orange zest. Drizzle over scones; serve.

One Year Ago: Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Two Years Ago: Irish Soda Bread Buns

Three Years Ago: Skillet Irish Soda Bread

Four Years Ago:

Five Years Ago:

Whole Wheat Blueberry Scones

These just might be the best scones I’ve ever made. Maybe I just forgot how much I love scones because I don’t have them very often. Maybe it’s because I made them with my HUGE CSA blueberries. These were really really delicious. We ate them warm from the oven with fresh blueberries, nectarines & pluots on the side.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen’s Very Blueberry Scones. Fabulous!

Yield: 8 scones

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons raw (turbinado) or light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) milk, whole is best here
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon raw (tubinado) or other coarse sugar for finishing

  1. Heat oven to 400°F convection. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, zest, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add cold butter and work into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas with either your fingertips or a pastry blender.
  4. Stir in blueberries, then milk, mixing only until large clumps form. Use your hands to reach inside the bowl and gently (so gently) combine the mixture into one mass. The more you knead, the wetter the dough will get as the blueberries break up, so work quickly and knead only a few times. (I mixed it just until it came together- I think it keeps the scones more tender.)
  5. Transfer dough to a well-floured counter and pat into a roughly 1-inch tall disc. Cut into 8 wedges, do not fret if the blueberries are now making a mess of the dough; it will all work out in the oven.
  6. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. Brush the tops of each with egg, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  7. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until scones are golden brown on top. Serve warm. I find most scones to be best the first day, but they can be eaten on day two, gently rewarmed in the oven before eating.

Note: If freezing: Scones can be frozen unbaked. Hold any egg wash until ready to bake. Simply spread the wedges on a baking sheet and chill until frozen solid and will no longer stick to each other, and pack tightly into a freezer bag. You can bake them right from the freezer; you’ll only need 2 to 4 minutes extra baking time.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

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Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

One of our family traditions is to go strawberry picking in June. It is CRAZY to squeeze another activity into the end of the school year festivities- celebrations, ceremonies, etc., but we make sure to fit it in. The strawberries are so much better than any other– so red, ripe, and flavorful!

The second part of this tradition is to make strawberry shortcake cookies (not to mention jam….). Without question, I prefer these cookies to traditional strawberry shortcake. They are special and unique- like sweet and tender strawberry biscuits. We make them to be shared because these cookies need to be eaten the day they are made (when they are perfect) or else they get soggy. It’s good to have a little time pressure to share a sweet thing! 🙂 This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (I use turbinado sugar)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Cut in the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  6. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart.
  7. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 17 to 19 minutes in a convection oven.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Note: Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones

raspberry scones

According to the queen of food blogs, Deb Perelman of smittenkitchen.com, these scones are impossibly moist for scones and, especially, for whole-wheat scones. Not only are they are moist- but tender, and surprisingly filling. I thought that they would need some sort of jam to add sweetness but they were PERFECT warm from the oven. This recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook by Deb Perelman. I only modified the baking time for a convection oven. I love baking recipes that include the weight of the ingredients because it makes the preparation that much faster (and more foolproof)!

  • 1 cup (120 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 T (15 grams) baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt (I used coarse salt)
  • 6 T (3 oz or 85 grams) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup (4 3/4 oz or 135 grams) fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup (190 grams) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bottom of a large, widish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.
  3. With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first if your blender is sturdy), and use the blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in the raspberries, and use the blender again to break them into half- and quarter-berry-sized chunks.
  4. Using a flexible spatula, add the ricotta and heavy cream to the butter mixture and stir them in to form a dough. Then use your hands to knead the dough gently into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. This is a pretty thing.
  5. With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter or surface (I put the flour on parchment paper to ease clean-up), flour the top of the dough, and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1 inch high. With a large knife, divide the dough into nine even squares. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 11 (convection) to 15 minutes, until they are lightly golden at the edges. Cool them in the pan for a minute, then transfer them to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating, so they can set a bit more.

Do ahead: Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make and divide the dough, arrange the unbaked scones on your parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze them until firm, and transfer them to a freezer bag. If you’re prepping just a 1 day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than 1 day in advance, once they are frozen transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the frozen, unbaked scones- just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.

raspberry scones

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

“These scones are delectable!” said my daughter/baking partner  (& fan of “Fancy Nancy” books :)). This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. I tried to make them “healthier” (if any scone could be considered healthy!) by using whole wheat flour. The secret to a tender scone is to really limit the amount of mixing and kneading of the dough. I didn’t really knead the dough at all- after incorporating the liquid ingredients, I poured it out onto wax paper, and formed it into a 6×6-inch square before cutting. Just forming it into a square seemed to be enough “kneading”. To add just a touch of sweetness, and sparkle, I sprinkled the top of each scone with turbinado sugar before baking. They could be eaten with jam- but we just ate them plain, warm from the oven- PERFECT.

  • Yield: Makes 8
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling tops
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed (frozen wild blueberries okay)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in center. Place a baking mat on a baking sheet, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Stir in blueberries and zest.
  3. Using a fork, whisk together cream and egg in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times to mix well.
  4. Pat dough into a 6-inch square about 1 1/4 inches thick. Using a floured knife, cut into four 3-inch squares. Cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sugar (I use turbinado sugar). Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool.

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