Friday, April 13, 2012


Sorry for the lack of updates this week.  It has been an absolutely ridiculous week for me!  Monday I actually did make dinner for my golf tournament team - my good old stuffed shells - but we were working till after 10 so I never got the chance to write it up.  Tuesday night I was making games for the math carnival at work, Wednesday night I had book club, and last night I went to Mark's.  So I have just not had a spare moment for the kitchen.  God knows what I've eaten this week.

But tonight I have reason to celebrate: vacation!  Yes, April vacation starts tonight, and I am not even able to express how much I needed the week off.  I need some time to do these things: read, sleep, hang out with Mark, plan the tournament, and cook! I have some pretty amazing recipes to try out, and tonight I found my new Food Network magazine in the mail.  I went through it and found a recipe for pecan maple scones.  I have wanted to try making scones for a while, and the recipe was from one of my favorite bloggers.  I love the Pioneer Woman's blog and TV show (I think mostly because she has a really cute basset hound) and her recipes are usually great, so I tried them out.

What I can say is that I hate making scones.  The recipe says that the dough is supposed to be very crumbly, and as a bread maker, I am a dough snob.  I like smooth, velvety, cohesive dough.  I loathe crumbly, buttery, dry scone dough.  It was nearly impossible to form a ball with it, and then to roll it out!?  Don't even get me started!  So when I cut the 8 slices, they were lumpy and strangely shaped... which led to lumpy and strangely-shaped scones, of course.  I also had to make a maple icing, which, while delicious, made far too much, and I hate wasting.  So as much as I love the Pioneer Woman's dog, I don't love this recipe. The scones are good, but not so great as to be worth the pain and suffering of crumbly dough and extra maple frosting! 

I will admit that the recipe is interesting reading; the Pioneer Woman (her name is Ree Drummond) always adds funny little jokes into her recipes, so I will copy it as is below.  I just might never make these again.  And if I did, I would cut the frosting recipe in half.

maple-pecan scones
recipe by Ree Drummond
featured in May 2012 Food Network Magazine

For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup pecans, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the icing:
1 pound confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
splash of strongly brewed coffee
dash of salt
2 teaspoons maple flavoring or maple extract

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.

2.  Cut the cold butter into small pieces.  Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.

3.  Now finely chop the pecans and stir them into the flour mixture.  Mix the egg and cream together.  Add the mixture to the bowl and stir until just combined.

4.  Turn the mixture onto a cutting board.  The dough will be very crumbly, but do not let your heart be troubled.  With your hands, push the mixture together into a large ball.  Do not knead or press too much; you want to leave that gluten alone!

5.  With a rolling pin, veru gently roll out the dough into a 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick.  With a sharp knife, cut the round into 8 equal-size wedges.

6.  Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat.  (Or just spray the pan with cooking spray; either one will work!)  Bake the scones for 22 to 26 minutes, until they're just barely starting to brown.  Do not allow the edges to become dark or the Red Coats will come and get you. Allow the scones to cool completely before icing.

7.  In a medium mixing bowl, stir the icing ingredients until smooth.  Pour generously over the scones and sprinkle with pecans.  Allow the icing to set before serving.

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