Friday, January 13, 2012

Buttermilk Scones

This recipe comes from the well-known New York City tea and scone hot spot, Alice's Tea Cup. The first time I tried their "Mad Hatter" (a tower of scones, tea sandwiches, cookies and treats) I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. They have some of the best scones I've ever tasted. I always wished I could snatch up a few of Alice's recipes. On a whim, I searched the catalogues at my local library and low and behold they have their very own cookbook that just came out! I put it on hold and it finally came in last week.

You can be sure I'll be sharing more of these delicious recipes with you over the coming months, but I thought I'd start by posting their classic savory buttermilk scones. I know the restaurant is just a few blocks away and I could pick up some scones anytime I please, but there's nothing like making them in your own home. Besides, you never know where you'll be when you get a sudden craving for these magnificent treats. It's nice to have the recipes on hand to make them no matter where you may be!

These scones also christened our new oven. Our super came to replace our old one just as I was measuring the flour. It was perfect timing, and I tossed my scones into the new oven only a few minutes after it was hooked up. It was a success! I finally have an oven that cooks at the correct temperature (unlike the old one which was 50 to 75 degrees off on any given day) and has numbers on the oven dial. R.I.P. old oven, you will not be missed.

Courtesy: Haley & Lauren Fox, Alice's Tea Cup Cookbook

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. kosher salt 
1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour butter and buttermilk into the well. With clean hands, combine the ingredients just until the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead!

Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1½-inches thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can and lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones- just don't knead the dough too much. 

Bake the scones for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with butter and honey.

Yield: about 6 scones

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