When March arrives, I instantly feel like it’s the beginning of spring despite the weather. I begin thinking of fruits and sunshine and anything that’ll help me force myself to believe warmer weather is on the way, whether that’s the case or not. 

My mood lifter for all things in life usually revolves around movies and food. If I want to travel but can’t, I’ll put on a movie set in another country. If I want to will away a season, I’ll start baking up things to match my seasonal mood. Lately, that’s been spring and scones.

No one really craves scones when we’ve been accustomed to eating cookies, pies and brownies. But I assure you, scones, when made correctly, are things of beauty. I absolutely crave good scones. They’re not the dried-out, powdery hockey pucks you might have been served in the past. Good ones are flavorful, tender and so delicate. Think of a mix between a good flaky biscuit and a flavorful cookie. They’re so incredible with coffee and tea, but great as a light, not-too-sweet dessert, too. Serve them warm with whipped cream or ice cream and you’re golden.

Obviously, the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor combinations, but when I made these last, I was drawn to strawberry and lemon. The recipe I’m sharing today is a great base recipe. This means you can change the flavors as you wish. I made a half batch of the strawberry lemon scones and reserved the other half of the dough for cinnamon sugar scones. They both turned out incredibly, and the best part is that they also freeze incredibly well. Just wrap them tightly with plastic wrap after they’ve cooled down and then place inside a freezer-proof Tupperware container. Then just set out however many you need on the counter for a few hours for it to come to room temperature and you can enjoy a scone whenever you want.

I hope spring is on its way soon, but even if it takes another few weeks, at least it can be sunshiny and springy in my kitchen. Hope you give these scones a try and create fun new flavor combinations.

 

Strawberry Lemon Scones

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup bench flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs (reserve 1 for egg wash)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 cup cut up fresh strawberries, dried off as much as possible
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. coarse sugar for tops
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • enough fresh lemon juice to make a glaze

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly cut in the butter until it’s the size of peas or smaller.
  3. Slowly add in the eggs, cream, extracts and zest. Mix together gently until it starts to come together.
  4. Add in the strawberries and the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.
  5. Knead together on a floured surface and add a little bit of bench flour if the strawberries start to stick.
  6. Roll out the dough to about 1 - 1 1/2  inches thick (you can go thicker if you’d like, but then must adjust baking time) and use a biscuit cutter to cut out as many scones as you can before needing to knead the dough together again. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  7. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and brush tops with an egg wash (1 egg beaten together with water). Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on thickness and your oven. Do not over bake.
  8. To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar with a little bit of fresh lemon juice until it’s a thick, but pourable consistency. When the scones have cooled slightly, drizzle the glaze on top and allow to set. Once the glaze has set, enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.

 

From Z to A with Zara Abbasi

Zara Abbasi is the pastry chef and recipe developer for Zara Made It. Follow her food adventures on Instagram at @zaramadeit