Growing up I detested eggnog. I probably still would except that our local dairy was giving out samples at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago. Not one to pass up free food, I got a cup, took a sip, and lo and behold had a “Mikey moment”. I liked it.
That’s right. I actually liked it. Enough to buy a half-gallon to take home. (Clever marketing with those free samples, huh?) Enough to patiently allow Tim to drink his fair share so that I could make these scrumptious scones with what was leftover. Enough to repeat the whole process again the following week.
What can I say? Life is full of surprises.
adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes 12 scones
- 2¾ cups (11½ ounces) flour
- ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, diced and frozen for 20 minutes
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup (6¾ ounces) cold eggnog (or whipping cream if you’re eggnog averse)
- 1 tablespoon eggnog
- 1 generous tablespoon cinnamon sugar
- 1 generous tablespoon sparkling white sugar
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
2) Using your fingertips, pastry blender, paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or food processor – whatever floats your boat (I like to use my fingertips – less cleanup!), work in the frozen butter just until the butter is the size of peas.
3) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and eggnog.
4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
5) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface; a Silpat works well here. Divide the dough in half; each half will weigh about 18 ounces. Roll and pat each half into a 6½” circle about ¾” thick.
6) Using a large knife, bench scraper, or pizza wheel (again – whatever floats your boat – I’m all about giving you options here), slice each circle into 6 wedges. Transfer the circles of wedges to a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about ½” space between them, at their outer edges. This ensures that their sides will bake up soft and tender.
7) Brush each scone with some eggnog, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and then top with sparkling white sugar.
8) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. This half-hour in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones taller and more tender. Plus, chilling the fat makes the scones flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
(You can skip this step, if you’re in a hurry, but watch your scones carefully in the oven as you may need to bake them a few minutes less. Alternatively, you can even make them ahead up to this point and freeze until needed. You may have to add a few minutes to the baking time.)
9) Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
10) Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. Rewarm the scones by placing them on a baking sheet, tenting lightly with foil, and baking in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.