Blueberry Cream Scones

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Blueberries are everywhere these days, at least in our part of the country. They are at the grocery store, at the farmers’ market and at farm stands. I wonder if there are new varieties that can withstand our hot Midwestern summers? Or if farmers are realizing that people will pay a premium for local blueberries? Either way, I am enjoying the steady supply of fresh blueberries.

We had friends over for breakfast last Saturday and I wanted to make something a little different. I also wanted to make something easy, or make-ahead, so I could sleep just a bit later that morning. I settled on blueberry cream scones – easy and make-ahead. And it would use some of our bounty of blueberries in the fridge. Did I mention I overbought at the grocery store just a bit? I can’t resist blueberries, but we have eaten just about all the blueberry pancakes and fresh blueberries that we care to.

Cream scones couldn’t be easier – no cutting in butter or anything even remotely complicated. If you can measure and stir, you can make cream scones. Throw in a handful, or two, of blueberries and you are set.

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To make these even easier, you can stir them together any time and freeze them to bake at just a few moments’ notice. I made mine on Thursday, when I had time. Then I froze the raw scones on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When they were frozen hard, I peeled them off, popped them in a ziplock bag and stashed them in the freezer to wait for Saturday morning.

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On the day of the breakfast, while the oven preheated, I brushed the frozen scones with a little cream and sprinkled them with sugar. They needed a few extra minutes to bake because they were still frozen, but they came out of the oven golden brown and bursting with blueberries. I was able to get my beauty sleep and still pull hot scones out of the oven in time for a relaxed breakfast with friends. Perfection!

Download or print the recipe here.

Blueberry Cream Scones
From The Cook’s Life
Makes 12 small scones

You can make the scones ahead of time and freeze them until you are ready to bake. See the end of the recipe for directions on the process.

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
I cup fresh blueberries (see notes)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream (see notes)
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk, if needed (see notes)

Topping:
Cream or milk
Coarse, pearl or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

Stir together the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in the blueberries. Add the vanilla extract and about ¾ cup of the cream. Stir gently. If there is still a large amount of dry flour, add the remaining cream. If the dough is still very dry, add more cream, or milk, a tablespoon at a time, just until most of the flour is wet, turning and mixing the dough with your spoon. The dough will be moist, but not particularly sticky. There should be only a small amount of dry flour, if any.

Use a medium cookie scoop or a spoon to dollop the scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Wet your fingers and flatten the tops of the scones. Push any errant blueberries back into the scones and make the sides even and straight.

Brush the tops of the scones with cream or milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake scones for 10-12 minutes, or until just golden on top and darker golden on the bottom. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Scones keep at room temperature for up to two days, though they really are best soon after baking. Reheat leftovers for a few seconds in the microwave before serving. Freeze the scones for longer storage, thawing overnight at room temperature, or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Notes: You can make these with frozen blueberries if you prefer. Add the still-frozen blueberries right before you mix in the cream and mix quickly. If the berries thaw your scones will have purple streaks, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.

If you use all-purpose flour instead of the white whole wheat flour you will probably not need as much cream to get the dough to come together.

Make-ahead directions:
Do not preheat the oven, as you won’t be baking the scones right away. Prepare the scones as directed, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet or pan that will fit into your freezer. Do not brush the tops with cream or sprinkle with sugar. You will do this when you are ready to bake them. Freeze the scones, uncovered, until solid. Once scones are frozen, peel them off the paper and place in a ziplock bag or airtight container. Keep frozen until ready to use.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove scones from freezer and place on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar while oven preheats. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden on top and golden brown on the bottom. If scones are pale or seem under baked in their centers, give them a minute or two longer in the oven. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

I remember my brother making a variation of biscuit cinnamon rolls after taking a home ec class when he was in seventh grade. Dad made them sometimes instead of his usual Sunday morning biscuits. They are a quick alternative to regular, yeast-raised cinnamon rolls and are always a crowd-pleaser.

I have tinkered with the concept over the years, starting with my brother’s mimeographed school recipe and memories of Dad’s version. I added more butter, substituted brown sugar for white, added more cinnamon, and topped them with a powdered sugar vanilla icing.

You can make these in just a few minutes. This time I was making them for a breakfast for dinner meal after Calvin’s fiddle lesson. We get home about six o’clock on those days, so I am always looking for a quick dinner. Often that means breakfast, and this week was no exception. I actually was on the ball and cut the butter into the dry ingredients before we left. It was a hot day (in October!), so I chucked the bowl in the fridge while we were gone. Making the dough was a matter of stirring in the milk and kneading for a few seconds. I had the rolls ready before the oven had time to preheat and we were eating warm cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs twenty minutes after I started cooking.

We enjoy these most often as a Saturday breakfast. I make them so often that I don’t have to look at a recipe anymore. I measure the dough ingredients, but usually just wing it on the filling and icing – spreading brown sugar, flinging cinnamon with abandon and eyeballing the vanilla. These aren’t pretty, elegant rolls, but they are full of buttery, cinnamon-y filling, topped with vanilla glaze that runs down between the layers to puddle on the plate. They are perfect for Saturday morning lazy breakfasts, or Sunday brunch (or Thursday dinners around our house).

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls
From The Cook’s Life
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls

1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour, if you prefer)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch pats
¾ cup milk

Filling:
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ – ¾ cup brown sugar
2-3 teaspoons cinnamon

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk, approximately

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the milk all at once. Mix well, until a stiff dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly, about 10 turns. Pat or roll into a rectangle about ½ inch thick, keeping flour underneath so it doesn’t stick.

Brush or drizzle surface with melted butter, saving any extra for the icing. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and then cinnamon. Roll up loosely, starting with long side and pinch seam closed with fingers. Cut into 12 pieces and place cut side up on prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes, but watch closely so any leaking filling doesn’t burn.

While rolls are baking, make icing. Using any remaining melted butter (I usually use the same bowl I melted the butter in), add the powered sugar and vanilla. Add milk a teaspoon at a time, until a thin icing forms. Better to start with less milk and add more to avoid lumps.

Remove hot rolls to plate and drizzle with icing. Serve warm. These keep for a day or two, if you have any left.

 Download the recipe here.