People, prepare to make the largest scones ever – and promptly fall in love with them and be glad they’re so big. Also, the icing that accompanies these things is like some kind of icing of the gods. It’s almost alarming how easy it is to make, too, because I could so see myself sleepwalking to the kitchen, whipping up a batch and devouring the entire thing. Heck, I could see myself doing this willingly and wide awake. This has reminded me that there’s a little bit left in the fridge at home, which means there’s a spoon in the drawer with my name on it, too.
That’s coffee in the small glass cup and a mere splash of it goes into the icing. Before you non-coffee people groan, I advise you to try it out in a very small batch to see what you think first. It is not noticeable at all. It actually accentuates the maple flavor nicely and punches it up.
This is the slightly labor-intensive part of the recipe. It takes a little bit of oomph to cut the cold butter into the dry mixture, a good 5-8 minutes of working the pastry blender for me personally. Sis wondered at the time if you could just use a food processor like we did in our prior cobbler post, but we realized nope, not a good idea. The reason is you do not want to over mix this one when adding the wet ingredients or shaping the dough afterward. It will irritate the hell out of the glutens in the flour, making for a dry, possibly tough scone. There are times for gluten-baiting and then there aren’t. So don’t over work them in this one.
And here’s a pic simply to illustrate the texture you’re looking for when cutting the butter into the flour. It should literally look like coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter left in the mix.
The mixture should be crumbly when you dump it onto your board or counter for shaping, like so. Kind of like a pastry avalanche.
Gather the little avalanche back up, patting it together with as little pressure as possible. This is where we don’t want to over work those glutens. Too much shaping and pressure on the dough is a-working them too much.
After rolling out the dough to a three-quarter-inch thickness, and maybe patting any ragged edges back into a circular shape, cut the dough into 8 equal wedges, like you would a pie.
If you don’t have a silicone baking sheet to put on your metal baking sheet, no worries. You can also use parchment paper to line the metal sheet or just spray it with a nonstick spray or grease lightly with butter.
The icing – oh the icing. OH THE ICING. There is no doubt it really makes these scones stand out. It’s super easy to make – do NOT skimp on the splash of coffee and just don’t worry about whatever “maple flavoring” means in the original recipe and use actual real maple syrup. Yes, it’s a pricy ingredient just for icing, but you can always use it on pancakes or waffles later and it keeps well for a long time. It won’t go to waste. it WILL make this icing insanely good.
Scones, what else can I say about you? Maybe there is nothing left to say except thanks for being on my plate that day. And in a tupperware-style container for breakfast the following two days at work. Take that, crappy Mondays. THANK YOU, ICING. I LOOOOOOVE YOU.
Slightly adapted from original by Ree Drummond for Food Network Magazine, May 2012
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook time: 22-26 minutes Level: Easy Makes: 8
For the scones:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/2 cup pecans, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
For the icing:
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Splash of strongly brewed coffee
- Dash of salt
- 2 teaspoons maple flavoring, maple extract or real maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt
Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Finely chop the pecans and stir them into the flour mixture. Mix the egg and cream together. Add the mixture to the bowl and stir until just combined.
Turn the mixture onto a cutting board. The dough will be very crumbly, but do not let your heart be troubled. With your hands, push the mixture together into a large ball. Do not knead or press too much; you want to leave that gluten alone!
With a rolling pin, very gently roll out the dough into a 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the round into 8 equal-size wedges.
Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat. (Or just spray the pan with cooking spray; either one will work!) Bake the scones for 22 to 26 minutes, until they’re just barely starting to brown. Do not allow the edges to become dark or the Red Coats will come and get you. Allow the scones to cool completely before icing.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir the icing ingredients until smooth. Pour generously over the scones and sprinkle with pecans. Allow the icing to set before serving.
I stored my share of the extras in a ziplock-style storage bag on the counter, but I can’t tell you how long they’ll last before going stale since I ate them up in a couple of days. Probably don’t want to go longer than 5-6 days though.