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February 4, 2015

Whole Grain Berry Scones

Romantic dinners are fine and dandy but there’s no reason why breakfast can’t be a cozy, special affair. Who has anywhere to be on a cold winter weekend morning, especially around Valentine’s Day? But don’t worry about dirtying your mixing bowls first thing in the morning when you can hardly see the clock, you have better things to do, like sleep in.  Scones are the perfect make-ahead breakfast with the nifty fact that they bake up great from frozen. Simply make the dough one day prior when you have time, even a week ahead, and freeze (see my tips below the recipe about this). When you get up, preheat the oven, throw them in and busy yourself. In less time than driving to a bakery, you’ll have a berry-delicious homemade pastries on the table for you and your loved ones.

There’s a dozen ways to make a scone; using buttermilk, heavy cream, egg, no egg, etc. This is the recipe I turn to most of the time simply because I always have both eggs and half-and-half in the fridge. I think it’s an excellent one and I love to throw in some whole grain pastry flour, available via Bob’s Red Mill at ShopRite. Whole grain pastry flour happens to be perfect for sneaking into quick-bread, muffin and scone batters as it delivers a tender crumb. I don’t use too much of it here, since scones are delicate, but enough to add a hint of nutty depth and make me feel better about the buttery nature of this breakfast treat. The antioxidant-rich berries will do that for you too. I recommend blackberries and blueberries to pair with the lemon zest. Toast your morning coffee cups and enjoy spread with jam!

MeredithScones1

WHOLE GRAIN BERRY SCONES

makes 8

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup ShopRite All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Whole Grain Pastry Flour

1/3 cup ShopRite granulated sugar

1 tsp Aluminum-Free Baking Powder

1/4 tsp ShopRite Baking Soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp Fresh Grated Lemon Zest

8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted ShopRite organic butter

1/3 cup Blackberries and/or blueberries, blackberries halved if large

1 ShopRite organic large egg

1/2 c ShopRite Half and Half

1/4 tsp ShopRite Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Heat oven to 400. Cut butter into small pieces, and blackberries in half. Set both in the freezer, and set parchment-lined sheet pan aside. Whisk well to combine flours, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda,  and zest in large bowl. Whisk to combine egg with half and half and vanilla in small bowl. Set in fridge.

With fingers in a snapping motion, (my choice here) or pastry blender, rub butter into dry mix to form coarse meal with pieces no larger than a pea. Work quickly to keep butter solid. Stir in blackberries gently. Make a well and pour in the half and half-egg mixture, stirring from outside to moisten and stirring gently only to combine. When mix starts to hold together in clumps,use your hand to turn the mass in the bowl and form dough into rough ball with some shagginess. With lightly floured hands transfer to work surface or piece of parchment dusted with a little flour. Gently pat dough into 1 inch disc, and slice into 8 wedges.

Use an offset spatula to transfer scones to sheet pan. *Freeze now or bake. To bake, brush with a little extra half and half or beaten egg, sprinkle with a coarse sugar.

Bake about 20 minutes. Let cool on the sheet pan on a rack for at least 5 minutes, then for another 5-10 off the pan on a rack.

Notes: I usually make half a recipe, as pictured above, to yield a small batch of 4. Simply cut in half if desired. Scones are best the day they’re made, about 20 minutes out of the oven. Wrap and freeze extras in cling film and foil and toss in a freezer bag. To defrost, place the frozen scones (in foil only!) in a 325 oven for about 15-20 minutes until defrosted through.

*Do ahead: Prepare entire recipe through cutting scones and flash freeze for an hour on a sheet pan. Place frozen scones in freezer bag free of air, bake from frozen when needed, letting them sit on the sheet pan as the oven preheats before brushing with half and half, and adding about 5-8 minutes to the baking time.

MeredithScones2

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