Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Butterbeer Scones with Browned Butter

It is July 31st, and I'm assuming I don't have to tell you it's both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's birthday, but if I did.. now you know. I knew I had to bake something Harry Potter themed to celebrate and I had the day off of work, so I opted for something a little time consuming. I adore butterscotch, and it is a criminally under-used flavor, so I decided to make some Butterbeer-inspired scones. And they are awesome. I made them with browned butter, which sounds exceedingly complicated but is actually quite easy. It is basically caramelized butter, so it added a lovely depth to the taste of these scones.




Butterbeer Scones with Browned Butter
Scones
2c Flour (and more for shaping the dough)
1/2c Sugar
3/4c Brown Sugar
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/2c Browned Butter
1/2tsp Cinnamon
1/4tsp Salt
1 egg
2/3c. Buttermilk (or Whole Milk)
1/2tsp Vanilla
3/4c Butterscotch Morsels (Optional)

For the Topping
1/2c Heavy Cream
1c Butterscotch Morsels

OVEN: 400F
BAKE: 15-18min

1. Prepare the browned butter at least two hours before you plan on baking the scones. (Note: You can leave out this step if you don't want to go to the trouble). I watched this video to make sure I was doing it right. Basically what you do is cut one stick of butter up and cook it in a sauce pan until it turns brown. It sounds easy, and it is easy. However, this was my internal monologue while I was making it:

Oh geeze, this isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing. Now it's bubbling, is it turning white? Is it clear? Is it burning? Oh god, it's burning. I just screwed this whole thing up. Now it's turning dark. Is it brown? It is brown... oh my goodness that smells incredible!

So don't feel bad if you are a little bit worried while you're making yours. It should take about 7 minutes to brown, and at that point you want to pour the butter into a glass measuring cup and then pop it into the freezer to re-solidify. You can tell when it's done because it will smell caramel-y and nutty and delicious.

After your two hours are up..
The cooled browned butter
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Take your browned butter (or regular butter) and cut it into small 1/2inch pieces and incorporate it together with your hands. Squish all the pieces of butter until they're combined and the dough is kind of grainy

Like so
3. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla, then stir it in to the flour mixture. Do not overmix! If you want butterscotch in the dough, now's the time to add the morsels. I loved the taste of the batter with the browned butter I didn't add any in, but make it your own!

4. Put some parchment paper on a cookie dough and sprinkle it with flour. Pour your dough onto the sheet (it will be very sticky), and with lots of flour on your hands and the dough, shape it into an 8inch circle. Score the top of the dough with a butter knife to make it easier to cut pieces once it's baked. Then pop it in the oven!

5. Remove from the oven when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the edges are browned and stiff. Move the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack. 

6. While the scones are cooling, make the butterscotch ganache topping. It's basically the same process that I used in my Cinnamon S'mores Cupcakes. Pour the heavy cream into a small pot over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until it begins to boil. Once it's boiling, pour it over the butterscotch morsels that have been placed in a small bowl. Let it sit for about thirty seconds and then whip vigorously with a fork until smooth. 

7. Wait until the scones are totally cool and then pour the ganache on top. You have two options: drizzle it on top like I did in the pictures, or pop the ganache in the freezer for fifteen minutes and then spread it on top of the scones to get a nice, thick layer. 

These scones are moist and cakey, almost like banana bread, and they go wonderfully with a tall glass of milk! This is a totally original recipe so I'd love to know if someone out there on the internet tries it and how it turns out! Happy Birthday Harry!


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