Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The British are Coming

My Club Med friend, Janine, recommended I bake something special in honor of the Royal Couple's impending visit to Santa Barbara. Since I can't pony up the $4000 to stomp divots with them, I'm hoping this gesture will temp them into at least a hand shake!

When I thought about something appropriately British to make, scones were one of the first things that came to mind. But honestly, I'm just not that into them. I think generally speaking there are muffin people and there are scone people. I'm in the former camp. I prefer moist, cakey baked options over dry, crumbly ones. Although I've never gotten that excited about scones before, this recipe got such rave reviews it did sound fit for royalty (not to mention the recipe title is a pretty strong endorsement). Plus the recipe said it took only 15 minutes to prepare which got me kind of excited. And it didn't use eggs. Is it just me or does anyone else think eggs are messy?. . . .

[On an aside, I just noticed the bottle of Marker's Mark in the background of this photo. What can I say? Doesn't everyone have that on their kitchen counter next to the bottle of olive oil?]

After whipping these up (in no more than 15 minutes), I think I know why these are a hit: they're essentially chocolate chip cookies masked as something much more refined. But per someone's suggestion, I did add more OJ than the original recipe calls for. It created a texture more palatable to me (read: less dry), but still preserves the essence of a scone.

The butter keeps them flakey and the orange zest adds a touch of flair. In short, I thought the result was a scone — but better. Some people may think this also captures Wills and Kate: royalty but better.

English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
8 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With your fingers, a fork or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips and zest. Mix in the OJ to form a dough.
3. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Pat or roll into a 9-inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. With a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out 12 scones, pushing the dough scraps together for the last few, if necessary. Transfer scones to the baking sheet.
4. Bake in over until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove and move to wire racks to cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment