Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pecan & Molasses Scones with Vanilla Glaze


It's kind of funny how I have come across three different scone recipes in the last few weeks and all from different sources. It's not like they are seasonal, like say strawberry shortcake in June, where you would expect a deluge of recipes for the dessert. Nor did I seek these recipes. The first, Dried Cranberry Scones, was featured in the food section of the National Post, the second, Scones Two Ways, was posted on Marie Wolf's blog Breadbasketcase that I follow, and the third, Pecan & Molasses Scones with Vanilla Glaze was in the new Food & Drink, a free magazine put out by our LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).

I made all of them slightly altering them one way or another to suit my taste but keeping the body of the recipe intact. For the Dried Cranberry Scones I followed the recipe almost exactly except that I added grated orange peel. I was very happy with how they turned out, until I tried the Cream Scones (Scones Two Ways) using cranberries and orange peel instead of dried apricots or nuts as Marie did. Also instead of using a food processor I made these the conventional way in a bowl. They were far better than the first I made and I think the whipping cream in this recipe, instead of milk used in the last recipe made all the difference. When I saw the photo for the Pecan & Molasses Scones in Food & Drink and seeing as I was in a scone making phase how could I but not make these. By now I had made scones using milk and scones using cream and I was confident that substituting some of the milk with the cream in this recipe would only enhance the flavour and produce a lighter textured scone.
Dried Cranberry Scones - National Post
Cream Scones with Cranberries and Grated Orange Peel (Scones Two Ways - Breadbasketcase)

The method is the same for all of them; cut butter into flour, baking powder and salt mixture, add nuts or dried fruit and bind together with cream and flavourings. Once you gather the mass into a ball, flatten into a circle and cut into wedges but this particular recipe instructs to divide the dough into two and form each into a circle, folding in half, then in half again and finally patting the dough into a circle and cutting into six wedges.




So I carried my altering tendency to the instructions as well and instead formed the entire dough into a rectangle instead of two circles, folding it in half, then in half again and finally patting the dough into a rectangle again about 9 by 6 inches and a scant inch thick.


Then I cut the dough into six equal pieces forming squares and then
cut each square on the diagonal to form twelve wedges. These are then transferred onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Into a 425 degree oven they go and about 12 to 14 minutes later they have risen by almost double.

While they are warm they are topped with a spoonful of vanilla glaze and sprinkled with chopped pecans. The texture was light and flaky so I was glad I used the cream, and the molasses and pecans are a nice combination. At first I thought I might skip the glaze so as to not add more sugar but in the end I decided to stay true to the recipe and I was glad I did because the glaze added some sweetness to these scones that are not overly sweet. Besides they did look nice with the glaze melting over the tops and sides.
These were very good and I would certainly recommend them. I especially liked the folding method which I think helps the scones rise so high. But I have to admit that my all time favourite flavour for scones is a combination of cranberries and orange. All I need now is to find a place near by that sells clotted cream so that I can slather my scones with a generous dollop.


Pecan & Molasses Scones with Vanilla Glaze

by Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. fancy molasses
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


Glaze

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. cream, preferably whipping
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Coarsely grate or cut in butter; toss to coat with flour. Make a well.

3. Measure milk; add molasses. Stir to dissolve molasses. Add milk mixture and pecans to flour mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula just until dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

4. Divide into half. Lightly sprinkle each half with a bit of additional flour. Pat each half into a round about 1 inch thick. fold each in half and then into quarters. Again pat each mound of dough into a round a scant inch thick. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Place on a lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.

5. Bake in centre of oven for 11 to 14 minutes or until firm to touch and lightly browned. (If making ahead for freezing or for another day, cool completely before storing in airtight container. Warm in a moderate oven for 5 minutes before glazing.)

6. Meanwhile stir icing sugar with 1 tbsp. of cream and vanilla. Stir in remaining cream as needed to have a thick almost pourable glaze. Transfer hot scones to a cooling rack. Immediately coat tops with glaze and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans. Serve warm.
Makes 12

10 comments:

Mamahollioni said...

I just found your blog on foodblogs.com and enjoyed this post. I love the changes you made to the recipe! It sounds absolutely delicious...I'll have to try these this week!

I would love for you to link up this recipe on "Look What I Made" this Monday. I would be a great addition to the link party.

doughadear said...

Mamahollioni
Thank you for visiting, these scones were simple to make and they were delicious.

Sandra said...

Mmmmmm Vanilla glaze AND pecans! I love this idea! I wish my scones were as light as these look. I guess I may just have to take a break from diet and try these-- :)

doughadear said...

Sandra
I've baked quite a few patched of scones lately and I really noticed an improvement in the texture of the scones made with cream. They are lighter and more flavourful as well. I hope you give them a try.

Dave said...

Those scones are probably the best things to ever come out of a Liquor Control Board!

I've never worked with fancy molasses before; is it less bitter than blackstrap?

doughadear said...

Dave
Unlike in the States and other parts of Canada where you can buy liquor in supermarkets we go to the LCBO, large stores that carry every kind of alcohol beverage(and where the government makes so much money from it that it can put out free glossy food and drink magagines) so most people would disagree with you that these scones are the best thing to come out of the LCBO.

Molasses is not as strong as blackstrap which is the final result in sugar refining. It is darker in colour, very sweet but bitter in taste. The molasses I used was pretty thick and I really had mix well into the liquid.

breadbasketcase said...

Everything you make turns out so beautiful! You really have a chef/artist's eye. I agree with you about the glaze--just the right amount of sweetness for these not very sweet scones.

doughadear said...

Thanks Marie, these scones as well as the others I've baked have so little sugar in them that don't feel quilty eating one. Then there is the cream, but when the scones have been divided into twelve pieces there is hardly any per scone. So come to think of it I can eat two.

Chiara said...

simple to make, perfect! A hug..

doughadear said...

Chiara
You right they are simple to make. You can whip them up in no time.