My niece and I threw a baby shower brunch for my daughter a few weeks ago and I was so busy trying to get everything done on time that I forgot to take pictures. I think my daughter took this one, I snatched it from Facebook. There were yogurt parfaits, mini blueberry lemon scones, three types of finger sandwiches, veggies in hummus and chocolate coconut cupcakes to finish. We matched the food to children's books.
The mini blueberry scones were a big hit and I promised to post the recipe. I've been tweaking my scone recipe for some time now and I think I've done it, found the perfect combination of flour, fat, sugar and liquid for a crispy crust, a high rise and a tender center. However, it's not all about the ratio of ingredients, it also has a lot to do with temperature and handling of the dough. I also want to point out that these scones are dairy and egg free.
Here are my techniques for better scones:
1. Everything has to be kept cold, or frozen. Cold flour, cold liquid, frozen grated butter (I use Earth Balance butter substitute and Spectrum butter flavored palm shortening)
2. Don't over work the dough but underwork it either. I like to knead the dough four times before shaping it into a one inch disk.
3. Let the dough disk rest in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting it, see #1 If you're not going to cook them right away, you can refrigerate the dough overnight.
4. Cut the dough disk with a knife (I like to use a scraper) straight down, don't twist or saw it, it interferes with the rise.
5. For a crispy, nicely browned top, brush the top of the scones with a mixture of equal parts non dairy creamer (Wildwood or So Delicious brands) and sugar, but be careful not to let it run down the sides, this will also interfere with the rise.
7. Brush the tops with a little Earth Balance, as soon as they come out of the oven, to make them shine.
8. Scones are best served right away, so don't bake them ahead of time.
Everyone had a wonderful time!
Mini Blueberry Lemon Scones
Makes 12 mini scones - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 cups unbleached white flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Grated lemon peel from one lemon
1 cube (4 oz) Earth Balance butter substitute
3/4 cup non dairy creamer (Wildwood or So Delicious)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
For the tops:
1 tablespoon non dairy creamer
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Earth Balance melted
Grate the butter substitute into a bowl and freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 425˚
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon peel.
Mix together the creamer, vinegar and vanilla.
Sprinkle the frozen butter into the flour mixture.
Quickly break up any chunks and work it evenly into the flour.
Stir in the blueberries.
Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and stir until everything is dampened.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 4 times.
Pat the dough into two 1" thick disks.
Wrap in plastic or wax paper and freeze for 20 minutes.
(if you are going to bake them at a later time, refrigerate the disk until you are ready to bake the scones)
Cut the each disk into 6 wedges.
Place them on a cookie sheet with a 2" space between each scone.
Mix the tablespoon of sugar with the tablespoon of creamer
Paint the tops with this mixture being careful not to let it run down the sides of the scones.
Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter.
Allow them to cool for 5 minutes and serve.