Monday, August 31, 2015

Flaky Cream Cheese Scones

My go-to recipe for scones is generally the one from my America's Test Kitchen cookbook, which is easy and delicious, and can easily be doubled, so I can make a ton of scones for my January coffee hours.  But I knew that any scone recipe that Rose had devised would be a worthy adversary of my standard ATK scone.

I sometimes put lemon peel in the ATK scones too.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that you only need a basic scone recipe, and you can make any kind of scone you want.  In the past, I would spend a lot of time looking for, say, a recipe for raspberry scones.  Then one day I realized that I could make plain scones--and add raspberries!  And I would then have raspberry scones.  (I have to say that raspberry scones are a huge disappointment because the berries don't stay intact and they're just generally a mess).   Hmmm.  So maybe you do have to adjust some things when you're using fresh fruit.

Well, never mind.  These scones, in addition to lemon, have cranberries and honey.  You definitely can add cranberries to any standard scone recipe and it will work just fine.

But wait!  This is my pastry blender.  I hate pastry blenders!  I looked at the recipe, and looked again, searching for the food processor instructions.  If I can use my food processor for pastry, why can't I use it for scones?  ATK lets me use my food processor. I turned the page, thinking maybe there would be food processor instructions on the next page.  But no.  If I used a food processor, it would really be cheating, and I couldn't bring myself to do it.  But I wasn't in a good mood.  You know how you hear sometimes that food tastes better if it's made with love?  I never have believed that, and I hoped it wasn't true, because I had hate in my heart toward my pastry blender.

Well, here's the dough, after I've struggled with the hateful utensil that shall no longer be named.  It looks a lot like I've just done about 5 pulses with the food processor.

Stirring cream and honey into the flour mixture.  I don't hate my silicone spatula.

I did veer from Rose's recipe here, but I wouldn't call it cheating.  I wanted to make 10 scones instead of 8, and I thought they'd look better with a slightly bigger circle than I'd get if I pressed them into a cake pan.  (I love the cake pan idea--you'll see that my scones end up with ragged edges, whereas if I'd pressed the dough in a cake pan, they wouldn't (at least theoretically.))

Sometimes I think of Rose as Little Miss Tidy.  (And Woody as Little Mr. Tidy).  I am Little Ms. Messy.

I like to put a little cream and some sparkling sugar on my scones before they bake.

The scones are a bit skew-whiff, but I don't blame any utensil for that.  In fact, to me, there's no cause for blame because I like them that way, but then I'm the messy one.

The cream-cheese scones are, not surprisingly, delicious.  They are a wee bit tangier, and a wee bit more tender than the average scone.  Or, more accurately, tangier and more tender than a very good scone, because the average scone is not good.  If I were giving a State of the Scone speech, I would have to begin by announcing that the state of the scone is not good.  Even in England.  But these are excellent.  Only, couldn't I get permission to use a food processor next time?


  1. I was surprised by the lack of food processor use. I've never had luck with those hand pastry blender things and packed it away long ago. Tidy edge or not, those are great looking scones.
    Most scones could choke a horse, these were wonderful!

  2. I have a feeling a number of us had the same thoughts while making these scones this week. I too think of ATK's version as the perfect scone recipe. And, I too checked twice for food processor instructions. And, I too brushed my scones with cream and sprinkled with sugar. Great minds.

  3. I too hate my pastry blender. But I will say that refrigerating everything first made it slightly less painful. And I agree about Little Miss Tidy. Even disregarding a good % of the Tidy-ness brings delicious results though, so it's okay. ;)

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I also used that tool that shall remain nameless and found it an odious task. Despite your extreme dislike of "tool" your scones are great! Good scones are becoming a rarity in shops and it's good to have a couple of reliable recipes at hand.

  5. Am I the only one that likes my pastry blender? LOL! I like it so I don't have to use my fingers to touch or rub in and I like it better than food processor cos the pastry blender is a smaller item to wash. I like how you describe Rose..Little Miss Tidy and yourself as Little Miss Messy. Hi, I'm Little Miss Giggly..even though my profile pic on google... I'm wearing Mr Happy T-shirt...

    1. I'm with you, Peggy - I like my pastry blender.

  6. love this posting! ok: here's why i don't use the food processor: it's kind of like shortbread--it is thought that the flavor comes from the baker's hands. this may or may not be mythical but i like the idea of doing such a traditional type of pastry by hand. i'm sure it would work just find in the food processor, at least up until adding the cream.