Happy May everyone! It’s that time again. Time to talk about this month’s baking challenge for Sally’s Baking Addiction. As you know, I’ve followed Sally’s blog for over a year now and I really enjoy participating in her monthly baking challenges. This month’s challenge, as I’m sure you guessed from the title, is scones. I’ve made scones once or twice before, but I don’t really know a lot about what makes a scone a scone. I’m not a huge fan of pastries in general, and the denser the bread/pastry is, the smaller my interest is. However, now that I’ve been challenged with scones, I decided to jump in feet first and educate myself .
Turns out scones can be sweet or savory, round or triangular shaped, and baked in the oven or on a griddle. We have the British Isles to thank for these delicious little wedges, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve evolved in consistency and ingredients over the last few centuries. If you want to read up more on these differences, check out this article.
Sally outlines multiple flavors of scones on her blog, so I decided to make them a few different ways. The first round of scones are dark chocolate chip scones. I decided to make the first batch with ingredients that I already had on hand. I also made these in what we think of as the traditional large, triangular scone.
They turned out great for my first try at the challenge. Sally instructs us to freeze the stick of butter first and then grate it into the dry ingredients. This helped keep little pockets of butter in the dough that expanded while baking. Holy wow. These were soft, pleasantly dense, and very flavorful. Before baking, I brushed the tops with heavy whipping cream and course cane sugar. I figured this was plenty of topping, and presented them “naked” as opposed to adding a glaze. My co-workers seemed very pleased to be the ones to try these out.
The recipe moved pretty quickly so I decided to make a second flavor. I knew that I’d be visiting my family this weekend and consulted with my mother on their preferred flavor of scone. She decided on orange cranberry. My mother really has great taste. I always forget about this flavor combination and I love it when she reminds me. This was a simple adjustment to the recipe. I replaced the chocolate chunks with 1 cup of dried cranberries and the zest from one whole orange.
I decided to make these into the smaller scones in order to be able to share them with more family members. Before baking, I brushed them with the heavy whipping cream. After cooling, I drizzled an orange glaze over them. This was made with confectioner’s sugar and a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice. I did my best not to eat ALL of these for my dinner.
One thing I noticed when baking the chocolate chip scones is that the bottoms got a little darker than I’d prefer. With the orange cranberry scones, I took them out of the oven a few minutes sooner than Sally recommends. They were cooked all of the way through but were not burnt on the bottom. I used silicone baking mats, so I don’t think that’s an issue. It could just be my oven, but be mindful of your bake times if you try out this recipe.
Overall, I’m super happy with the way these turned out! Thanks for another great challenge, Sally! Now I just need to get up the gumption for the International Bake Off Challenge for my other baking group. This month is a doozy! Keep an eye on my Baking Challenges page for those photos as well! -Jen