Everyone has their own way to cope with stress. Some folks drink, some folks exercise, and some folks read. I happen to be a stress baker. When I’m in a bad mood, stressed, or otherwise perturbed, I bust out the flour and sugar, shut off my brain, and get to work in the kitchen. It may not be the healthiest way to deal with stress, but its better than drugs!
A recent stress-induced baking session yielded these beauties – flaky, buttery rolled scones stuffed with a sweet & savory combination of prune lekvar, toasted almonds, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I initially set out to make plain old scones, but then I saw that jar of prune lekvar that has been sitting in my cabinet for months and decided to go a little crazy.
The scones themselves are super-simple to make; once you get the basic recipe down pat you can begin to tweak and adjust to your heart’s content. They can either be rolled around a filling, like these ones, or cut into the traditional wedge shapes and topped with some chopped nuts or shredded coconut. Try these out first and see what you think, and then get creative!
(Adapted from Marion Cunningham's Buttermilk Scones recipe in Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan) —GreenEats
two dozen scones
2 1/2 teaspoons
sticks cold unsalted butter, in pieces
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
In a small skillet toast the almonds over medium heat, tossing frequently until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork. Dump the cold butter in the flour and quickly cut into the flour, using either your fingers (my preference) or a pastry blender. You want the dough to look shaggy and you’ll have pea-sized pieces of butter left.
Pour in the buttermilk and mix with the fork until it just comes together. Don’t worry if the dough hasn’t come completely together at this point. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead until the dough comes together. If the dough seems too dry you can add buttermilk by the teaspoon-full until it comes together. Be careful not to over-knead the dough, 10 or 12 turns should be fine.
Cut the dough in half and set one half to the side. Working with your hands or a floured rolling pin pat or roll the first half into a rectangle about 12 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick – it will not be very wide. Spread half of the prune lekvar over the dough, top with half of the toasted almonds, and grate a teaspoon or two of the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the topping. Roll the dough up form one of the long sides, pinch the ends together, and place on a cutting board seam-side down. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.
Once you’ve formed both rolls its time to cut them – cut each roll in half, and then each half into six 1-inch slices. Place cut-side down on two un-greased cookie sheets and bake 10-15 minutes, until the tops of the scones are just browned. Let the scones cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a plate or serving platter. They are best served warm.
*If you don’t have prune lekvar you can use any sort of jam or preserve that you have on hand.