Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ginger Spice Scones

My secretary loves scones, particularly the scones from the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle in NYC.  Now I don't know if these scones are particularly traditional, or just that good.  A few weeks ago I found myself at Whole Foods before work and I picked up a few scones for her in addition to lunch for me.  Ever since I have found myself thinking about scones.  So tonight I decided to actually make some scones, which was a first for me.  I figured scones are a lot like biscuits, which I have made several times in the past, so how hard could they really be?  The answer is, not that hard.  And they are wonderfully adaptable.

For our scones I decided to use crystallized ginger and a combination of Asian spices - cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves.  Originally I wanted to throw in some dried currants in lieu of the ginger, but the local grocery was out.  So I decided to just stick with crystallized ginger, which might actually have been a better choice anyway.  Alex said that the scones were a little dry, but scones are supposed to be crumbly and a little dry, aren't they?  Otherwise he said they were really good and that he really liked the flavor.  I think they would be wonderful served with some clotted cream, which I think would solve Alex's complaint that the scones were dry.  But where does one buy clotted cream?  I also think they would be lovely spread with a little orange marmalade, but Alex disagrees.  He thinks that the marmalade would mask the flavors of the spices and ginger.  Now that I know how easy scones are to make I will definitely be making more.  Perhaps my next batch will be pumpkin caramel scones for fall.  Or more likely, some raspberry chocolate chip scones.  I might tweak the recipe a little to combat Alex's complaint of dryness, but then again, I might not!

Recipe after the jump!

Ginger Spice Scones

1/4 cup heavy cream, plus additional for brushing the scones
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar 
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp mixture of equal parts ground cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced
1 tbsp turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Make sure the oven rack is in the middle.
In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup heavy cream, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.  In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and the cinnamon spice mixture.  Add the butter, and blend the mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal.  Stir in the crystallized ginger and add the cream mixture with a fork until the mixture forms a sticky but manageable dough.  Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface until it just comes together, about 30 seconds.  Pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick round, and cut it into 6 wedges.  Transfer the wedges to a lightly greased baking sheet, brush them with the additional cream, and sprinkle them with the turbinado sugar. 

Bake the scones until they are golden, about 15-18 minutes.

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