Back in my college days I used to run to the local coffee shop to pick up a scone for a quick breakfast. I enjoyed them–they were both nutty and sweet–but they weren’t my favorite, maybe because I prefer protein for breakfast, maybe because they were always a bit dry. Indeed, so many of the scones I tried over the years were hard as a rock. Shortly after I graduated I moved away from my beloved college town and the scones went the way of the old textbooks. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even thought of tasting them again. We were preparing for our first high tea. Since scones are a traditional offering for an afternoon tea, we thought we’d give it a try.
It has taken us a few years to perfect these, but I think we’ve finally done it. I was surprised by how much I liked these scones. They’ve become one of my favorite semi-sweet treats, partly because I realize they’re better as a tea treat or a dessert rather than as a breakfast, and partly because we’ve tweaked them until they no longer suffer from the typical scone drawbacks such as that ubiquitous dryness. They’re moist. They practically melt in your mouth. The secret is not only the milk and the sour cream, but also paying close attention to make sure you don’t overbake them (whatever you do, don’t overbake them!). They’re not overly sweet–the only real sweetness comes from the amaretto glaze. Pecans are optional, but if you’re not allergic I’d definitely recommend them; they add the perfect nutty touch.
Amaretto Glazed Scones
Ingredients (For the Scones):
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup roasted pecans (optional)
- 5 tbsp cold butter, diced
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
Ingredients (for the amaretto glaze):
- 2-3 tbsp amaretto
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place silpat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar and pecans (if using) into a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix ingredients.
Add butter and pulse a few times, until dough starts to come together. You want little pockets (about the size of small peas) of butter throughout the mix.
Add milk and sour cream and pulse until ingredients are just incorporated. You may need to add more milk, in 1 tsp intervals, and pulse until just blended.
On a floured surface, shape the dough into a square and cut into 9 squares.
Bake for 8-10 minutes just until lightly browned. Test by placing your fingers on top of the scones. If it indents, it still has a little ways to cook. If it’s firm, it’s done. Set aside and let cool slightly.
In a small bowl mix the 2 tbsp amaretto with 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. If not smooth enough, at 1 tsp at a time of amaretto, mixing after each tsp until a creamy/spreadable consistency.
Spread or drizzle Amaretto glaze on top of still warm scones.