Something you may not know about me (or if you know me, believe about me) is that I am a rule follower. This probably stems from growing up as an only child in a military family. I always followed the established rules and did what I was told to do by my parents and other adults because I am also “a pleaser.” Though I am now a mature adult, at least numerically, and don’t have to follow all the rules set by others, old behaviors die hard. When it comes to making something from a recipe written by someone else, I feel an obligation to follow their instructions…sometimes to a fault. There are times where my instinct tells me that something is not right with a recipe, but I am hesitant to trust that instinct, wondering if it is my ego that is taking over, something I seriously don’t want to happen Another thing you may not know about me is that people with inflated egos really rub me the wrong way!
That all sets the stage for my experience making this week’s recipe, Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones.
Tracey and I schedule each week’s recipe offering long in advance. Often when a choose the recipe that I will make, I am “judging a book by its cover.” That was the case with this one. The title drew me in. How can you go wrong with cinnamon, cappuccino, and pecans? I was pretty excited when it came time to make these scones. It was not until then, that I sat down and read the recipe in its entirety. When I did that, a few things caught my attention, not necessarily in a good way. They were: 1. The recipe only uses 1/4 cup of sugar. 2. The recipe calls for the addition of 4-5 TBS of water. No baked good uses water except for bread. Because these things were a little concerning to me, I read the comments on the King Arthur website about these scones. The reviews were “aces and spaces,” either the bakers thought they were fabulous or terrible. In some ways, that is not surprising. Differing opinions always exist. The thing that caught my attention was that several of the comments mentioned flavored chips. The recipe, as posted here, does not include baking chips of any kind. Looking a little more closely, I noticed that the most recent comment was from 2013. Something was not right here.
But, because I am a rule follower, I set about following the posted recipe for Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones exactly as it is written.
I should have trusted my instinct. They were terrible! The texture was not right and they were flavorless. I would go as far as to call this initial attempt a major fail.
I am also one who perseveres, often against the odds. So, I went back to my thoughts about the issues with the recipe as posted and began to make new rules, my own rules.
Here are the changes that I made:
- I reduced the baking powder from two teaspoons to one
- I used 1/2 cup of sugar rather than a 1/4 cup
- I doubled the amount of cinnamon from one teaspoon to two teaspoons
- The ingredient list that reads, ” 1/3 cup pecans, processed or blended until very finely ground” proved a bit ambiguous to me. Is it 1/3 cup of pecans that are then processed, which will yield much less than 1/3 cup of finely processed pecans. I used 1/3 cup of finely processed pecans, but, honestly, I don’t think the amount used matters one way or the other in this instance.
- I doubled (and then maybe added a little more) the espresso powder
- I used 3/4 cup of full-fat plain yogurt.
- I omitted the water entirely.
- I added an egg.
- I added 1/2 cup of caramel chips. (I would have prefered a dark chocolate but my husband won’t eat chocolate in baked goods. Weirdo!)
Other than those changes, I followed the instructions exactly! 🙂
The overall flavor was 100 times better. The scones were still a little dry for my personal taste, but they are edible, especially with a nice cup of dark roast coffee, something that the first batch was not. I may give this recipe another try. If i do, I will probably double the amount of butter from a half a cup to a full cup. Don’t judge! In case you didn’t know, scones are all about the fat. Don’t think about that, just enjoy!
Back to being a rule follower and perhaps a little TMI…
I’ll take full responsibility for this week’s post title. It’s a bit of a personal joke. A couple of weeks a go, I was in Denver where both getting sconed and getting stoned are legal. Despite having had many opportunities in college, I have always chosen flour over weed. Before we left for Colorado, I told Weber that I had added something to my bucket list. Being one who had crossed that one off of his list a long time ago, he told me to go for it. Damn being a rule follower, I couldn’t do it. It is however, still on the list. Maybe another time. I might be able to break this rule following habit yet! 🙂
from Tracey G
First let me preface my part of this post by saying, I fully approve that title! LOL!!! 😀 And I absolutely love my blog partner!! <3
When I chose this recipe for Cranberry-Orange Scones this week – I chose it because it happens to be one of my favorite flavors of scones and muffins, and to be honest, I didn’t really read the recipe at first. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it used white whole wheat flour when I did finally read through it! I just happened to have some King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour in my cupboard, so that made me even happier, although they do say you can use regular all-purpose flour, so if you don’t have any around you’re still good to go.
I decided to make 2 batches, one with the White Whole Wheat, and another with the AP flour, that way I could attest to each variation, and let me say I loved them both. I ended up making another batch of the white whole wheat ones because the first batch ended up being eaten before making it to photos… But that also speaks to how easily they come together. It’s a very simple recipe and technique, not to mention a fairly quick bake time. You can have these mixed, shaped and baking quickly, and be munching on them with tea or coffee in no time flat!
The recipe uses the basics: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, half and half, butter and an egg. The extras that make them what flavor they are include orange juice, orange zest, dried cranberries and optional allspice. I added the allspice to both flour versions, and I loved the background taste it gave it – it blended well with the orange/cranberry tastes.
After you mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, you cut in your butter, then toss your dried cranberries in. Now you blend the half and half with the egg, orange juice and orange zest in another small bowl, then stir this into the dry ingredients mixing just until it comes together. It’s at this point it gets turned out onto a floured surface for a couple kneads and shaping into about an 8-inch circle, about 1/2 in thick, transfer to your baking pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. I used the KAF Coarse Sparkling Sugar for 2 batches, and regular granulated sugar for one. Now, here’s where I deviated a bit – the recipe states to cut into 10 wedges, well, I went with 8 wedges instead, just because I wanted to. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 425° F oven, or until they are golden brown. They recommend serving immediately and I found they’re still good even a few days later. I would like to see how they freeze next time I make them.
I couldn’t have asked for a better or easier recipe for my favorite flavored scones – it’s a recipe I know I’ll be turning to quite often!! I can highly recommend King Arthur Flour’s Cranberry-Orange Scones, made with either White Whole Wheat Flour or AP Flour. Both are equally good, and I really enjoy knowing it’s a way to sneak some whole grains in, in a very tasty way!