Monday, February 21, 2011

{TWD} Toasted Almond Scones


I'm pretty excited about Tuesdays With Dorie this week. Our host is Mike of Living Out West, and he has a brand new blog as of today. I don't think you can see his old posts at the moment so you'll have to imagine the beautiful baked goods that Mike consistently turns out. Not only that, he is creative, generous, and helpful to boot.

This week Mike chose the Toasted Almond Scones for all of the TWD bakers to bake. It's hard to go wrong with scones; they are quick and easy, and can do duty all through the day: scones for breakfast are a natural, but they are also yummy as a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, bedtime, or midnight snack, not to mention a sweet accompaniment to lunch or dinner. Yes, scones truly go the distance.

These scones sounded particularly delicious. Almond is one of my favorite flavors in baked goods, and are particularly almondy, since they are made with almond flour, almond extract and chopped almonds. With sliced almonds on top, they truly promise almond overload.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- If you'd like the recipe for these scones, Mike will have it on his scones post today.

- Working with scone dough, as with any "short" dough, it's important not to overmix the ingredients. I was very careful not to over-handle the dough. Patting myself on the back that I had kept a light hand when mixing my scones, I suddenly stopped short, realizing that I had forgotten to put in chopped almonds. And I had already formed the discs. At that point I decided to experiment. I took one of the discs and rekneaded it gently with half of the cut almonds, then reshaped it into a disc, topped it with slices almonds, and cut into wedges for baking. I left the other disc of dough as it was, with no almonds in the dough. Instead I sprinkled the chopped almonds on top before cutting it into wedges.

- Dorie's method of dividing the dough produces a dozen scones that are quite petite.

- My scones baked for 18 minutes (the recipe says 20-22 minutes) and they were definitely done. Another minute in the oven would have over-baked them.

the verdict:

It turned out that I didn't need to worry about over-handling my scones. Both sets of scones turned out fine, even the ones that I had to re-knead to add the chopped almonds. They all rose beautifully in the oven and came out puffed and golden. As far as taste, they were tender, flaky and delicately, but definitely, almondy. The scones weren't very sweet, making them the perfect vehicle for butter and jam.

Of the two versions, I actually liked the ones with the almonds on top and the plain insides. To my taste, the crunchy chopped almonds interfered with my enjoyment of the flaky goodness of the scones' crumb. My husband was thrilled to see a scone in his breakfast lineup: "I like this. It's nice and flaky" And every time he ate one he'd exclaim again about their flakiness.

Thanks, Mike for the great choice and congrats on your new blog!

13 comments:

mike509 said...

Nancy - these are quite stunning! Truly, you can see the fluffy, layered look to them! Bravo - so glad you re-made them without the chopped almonds. I purposely used sliced for a lot of things - chopped whole almonds just seem to "crunchy" sometimes! Thank you for the nice compliments - I always appreciate your diligent "experiments"! So informative! It was a pleasure baking along this week!

Sis. Boom. said...

I'll definitely be making these again! And now that you mention it, mine baked up a bit earlier than expected too. I was glad I had kept a close eye on them as 20 minutes would have been too much.

Jessica said...

First, as always, I love your china! The scones look wonderful, and I think it's very cool that you did the experiment with almonds on top vs in the scone. It didn't even occur to me to play around with this recipe, but I think next time I'll take your advice and leave the almonds for the top only.

Elaine said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, Nancy. It was fun baking along with Mike and TwD this week. Nice idea to try the scones with and without the chopped almonds. I'll have to try that next time and see which one my husband prefers. I like scones pretty much any which way.

bellini valli said...

I have heard nothing but good things about these scones for the past day or two. It seems that scones are in my future.

TeaLady said...

These look soooo good. I love scones and almond so there are perfect. I will get around to making them sometime this week. Isn't it nice when an oops works out after all. I will definitely ahve to try these both ways - on purpose.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Sounds like the full on almond taste was a success. Yours look perfectly baked.

Kayte said...

Strawberry plates? Are those strawberry plates? Wow...love them. Oh, and the scones are stunning as well!

Jeannette said...

Nancy, I love the picture of the scones on the parchment paper. The baked one also looks soo delicious! So flaky and tall. I only made half the recipe (which made 6 scones) and they were palm sized so maybe I patted them too flat.

Mine came out tender then turned to crumbly within a day so I'm thinking I overworked them (forgot to mix in chopped nuts at first too, oops) Either way, great job and I'm glad they were enjoyed!

Tia said...

that second picture is so artsy of the unbaked scones. Buttercreambarbie

Leslie said...

Great looking scones, Nancy! I haven't made these yet but I definitely agree that keeping the insides plain is the best way to enjoy those light, fluffy layers.

margot said...

Your scones look lovely on that charming plate. This dough sure came together nicely, didn't it? We liked these too.

Tracey said...

Your scones are gorgeous Nancy - so tall and fluffy looking! I think I would skip the chopped almonds in the dough next time too. I felt like I had to handle the dough a lot (perhaps too much) to incorporate them fully.