Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bright Flavors on a Dark Day

These lovely little scones are just the ticket for a dreary day. Their amazing aroma alone seemed to brighten up my kitchen. A usual scone batter, it's made special because it it is rolled up, jelly-roll style after being brushed with butter and sprinkled heavily with snowy white sugar and the zest of one orange. Just the orange oil in the air from the zesting lightened my mood, and it's tender crumb and subtle orange flavor will go splendidly with whipped cream flavored with a bit of creme fraiche and fresh raspberries (yes, California still has raspberries). The best part is the center of these scrumptious scones has gone all sticky and marmalade-like from the sugar and zest. Hopefully I can wait until dessert to try one. Well, perhaps I should sample it now, lest it is a bit inferior. I'd hate to serve my family something less than perfect....(Edited to add, these were wonderful with my afternoon tea! Shhhh...)

Orange Pinwheel Scones
adapted from Scones, Muffins, and Tea Cakes

2 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
2 T sugar
5 1/2 T cold butter, cut into small bits
1 extra large egg, beaten
1/2 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Using two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Mix the egg and cream together and stir into the flour mixture until it just holds together. Dump out onto a floured board and knead for one minute. Roll out into a rectangle (about 4x8 inches). Brush with 2 T of melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 C sugar and the zest of one orange. Roll long ways, jelly-roll style and pinch seam together with your fingers. Cut into 8 equal slices and place on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden. Serve with whipped cream and berries, or marmalade.

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