Thursday, March 3

Recipe Review: Orange Pecan Scones

Who doesn't love having a little something extra to nibble on? These scones are easy to make and can be heated up for a yummy breakfast (or afternoon snack - is that weird?) that lasts all week.

I've got to stop using my phone as my main camera!

The online version of the recipe is slightly different than the one in The All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, which is what I use:

Orange-Pecan Scones

2  cups  self-rising flour
1/2  cup  sugar
2  teaspoons  grated orange rind
1/3  cup  butter or margarine
1/2  cup  buttermilk
1/4  cup  fresh orange juice
1/2  cup  chopped pecans, toasted
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) - optional

Combine first 3 ingredients. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly; add buttermilk and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times.
Divide dough in half; pat each portion into a 6-inch circle, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut each circle into 6 wedges (do not separate wedges); sprinkle each circle with 2 tsp turbinado.
Bake at 425° for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: Freeze scones up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator 8 hours. Bake scones at 350ยบ for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Southern Living, APRIL 2001

I'm not sure what tempted me to try these scones a few years ago because all the others I've eaten have been tough and dry. For instance, the mini vanilla scones at Starbucks could be used as construction material! But this recipe makes a somewhat wet dough that results in moist and tender scones. Just be careful not to knead it too much or add much extra flour.

Kitchen Tip: If you don't want to buy a whole carton of buttermilk for one recipe you can substitute with regular milk and lemon juice or white vinegar (I prefer lemon juice). Just pour one tablespoon of lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup and fill to the one cup line with milk. Let stand for five minutes to curdle. I scale it down to make just the right amount.

In case you're wondering what a pastry blender is, here's a picture of mine:

I got it at an estate sale for less than a dollar (yes!), but they're cheap in stores, too. This simple tool is the ideal way to distribute cold butter into flour to make pastry. Why not use a mixer, you ask? Small pieces of butter melt when baked and create little pockets of tender yumminess. If you don't have a pastry blender, use a fork or two knives to cut the butter into the dough until the butter bits are smaller than peas and the flour is crumbly.

See the "pockets of tender yumminess?"

Anyone want to come over for tea? I feel like that's more dignified than dunking them in milk. : )

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