Thursday, February 17, 2011

Carrot Chocolate Scones with Citrus Glaze

I made these spur-of-the-moment for a houseguest this week; after being assigned to a jury and being crazed with grading papers at the same time, I needed to decompress with a little baking. These scones came to mind when I realized that I had carrots in the fridge, and handling the sticky dough was just the thing for my tired mind.

Originally they were carrot coconut scones, but in the absence of shredded coconut in my kitchen, I replaced the coconut with chocolate chips, which worked out really well with the citrus glaze. You don't really taste the carrot in this, but it adds nice color to the scones. Carrot is sweeter than we realize, so it does work well in baked goods.

Carrot Chocolate Scones
taken from Carrot Coconut Scones in Baked Explorations

2 3/4 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C rolled oats
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips (or shredded sweetened coconut)
1/2 C (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 large egg
3/4 C buttermilk*
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 C carrot purée**
1 egg white, beaten and set aside

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips (or coconut).

Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and carrot purée. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. The dough will be sticky and may need to be sprinkled with flour.

Roll the dough up, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.

Whisk the egg white with 1 T water. Set aside.

Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges (6 will make them very large) and place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg white wash. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the baking sheet, with the parchment still on it, underneath the rack.

Citrus Glaze

1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T fresh orange juice***
1 C powdered sugar

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. The glaze should be loose enough to drizzle. If it is too thick, add a little more orange juice. If it is too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.

Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones and allow it to set before serving.

*I never have buttermilk around, but it's easy to substitute milk curdled by apple cider vinegar; just add 1 T vinegar to 1 C milk and let it sit for a few minutes until you see some thickening/bubbling occur in the middle. In this case, I added 3/4 T vinegar to 3/4 C milk before I mixed the other ingredients, and by the time I needed the buttermilk, it was ready.
**I just buzzed up 2 carrots in the food processor, and that was more than enough, but the recipe recommends the following for the carrot purée: Place 1 medium carrot and 1/4 C orange juice in a microwaveable glass bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, until carrot is fork-tender. Blend/purée until smooth.
***Since I had no oranges, I juiced one lemon and then added 1/4 tsp orange extract, and that was sufficient liquid and flavor for the 1 C of powdered sugar.

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