MAKE AHEAD FOR ON-THE-GO
Almond Scones are one of my go-to baked good recipes for the fall. It’s the perfect rainy day Sunday afternoon project; filling the house with a warm and toasty aroma and having the added bonus of easing that Monday morning scramble to get out the door. For next day consumption, just preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F and pop them in for 10-12 minutes or until warmed through. True, this takes a bit of pre-planning, but we want to avoid reheating in the microwave as this will change the texture of the scones. Plain scones are typically served with jam and butter or cream, but these almond ones are perfectly dressed so you can easily take them on the go. Bundle up in your favorite sweater and enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
FANCY BREAKFAST MADE EASY
Scones are a great pastry for baking beginners as they don’t require advanced skill or practice to construct. In fact, I find that the slight variations in size and shape can actually add to their rusticness. For those with little kitchen helpers, this is a great recipe to get them involved in the process. Kids will love getting hands-on kneading the dough and flexing their creative chops during that final decoration step, which I’ve taken to calling the “drizzle & sprinkle”.
SWITCH IT UP
If you’re not the biggest fan of almonds or have a nut allergy, don’t worry. I’ve listed a couple different substitutions that are just as delicious and easy to incorporate. And If you’re baking for a crowd, try making all three! Pro tip: form the flavors into different shapes (triangle, square, round) for easy identification. I love including these in a brunch spread as I can make them ahead of my gathering and have more time and energy to dedicate to other hostessing duties.
Yield 16 scones
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup cold heavy cream, plus more if needed
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ to ¾ cup sliced almonds, toasted
For the scones, preheat the oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your hands, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. Add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until a smooth dough is formed. (Do not overwork; too much kneading will make the dough tough.) Shape into a square about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into four squares, and then cut each square into fourths diagonally. Transfer the triangles onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and let cool slightly before icing.
For the icing, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and almond extract. Add the milk, a little at a time, until it’s loose enough to drizzle. Dip the end of the whisk into the icing, and then wave it over the warm scones to drizzle. Top each iced scone with toasted almonds.
The scones will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.