As the years go by, mom gives up a little more of her kitchen for us to use. When we were children, it was her space - no one helped cook, although we happily ate up all the delicious foods that left the kitchen and made it to the dining table. Besides the occasional cookie baking, the kitchen was a foreign area of the house. Every now and then she would let us stir the pots, but my left-handedness made my mom irrationally wary of my presence around such things. As we got older though, she had us start to do more, especially when things got busy. Like Thanksgiving.
I remember a few years back, when mom gave me the important responsibility of baking for the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is her family's holiday. Our little home in Indiana becomes loud, full of laughs from my mom and her sisters and jokes with the cousins. With half of the family in Iowa and the other half in Pennsylvania, we are the perfect in between meeting point. A few nights before the feast, mom always sits to write down a list of the foods she'll prepare over the next couple days - there is always a debate between korean style pork (dae ji gogi) or korean style beef (bulgogi), if we actually need a turkey with all that meat (we do), and if we should just get pizza for the day after Thanksgiving for lunch (always). That particular year, mom asked if I could bake for the day-after breakfast. She asked for muffins, and then excitedly asked for scones. Ignorant and ready to help, I eagerly agreed.
Guys. Scones are hard. Hard to bake, that is. It's all about keeping that butter cold and really working it into the flour and then on top of that trying not to make too much of a mess... it's a lot. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Grating cold butter and keeping it cold is incredibly frustrating. In the end, I got some tasty scones, but they were butt ugly - flat and spread out, not airy and light like a scone should be. And that was the first and last time I made scones, until now.
I followed King Arthur Flour's scone recipe with a few slight adaptations, swapped the white sugar for some brown sugar, and added my favorite mix ins for the season. I started out somewhat hesitant, recalling my failed scone attempt. But King Arthur Flour doesn't lead you astray. After only a short hour, I had warm, fluffy, buttery scones filled with white chocolate chunks, coconut flakes, and nutty pistachios. Perfect with a glass of milk and nearly impossible to eat just one. A huge jump from my previous attempt. Mom, I've done it! I'll have perfect scones for you this Thanksgiving, don't you worry (although they won't have coconut, since I know you don't like it).
White chocolate pistachio coconut scones
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed (after you cube the butter just stick it in the freezer!)
1 1/3 cup AP flour
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
2 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
Milk to brush the tops of the scones before baking
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, extract, and egg until combined. Set aside.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and using your fingers (or a pastry cutter), work the butter into the flour mixture quickly so that the flour mixture resembles small pebbles. Add the mix-ins to the flour mixture and mix until they are thoroughly distributed. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Add more flour if the mixture is too wet, but be careful - the more flour, the more doughy the scones will end up, and they will be less flaky!
Place the dough onto the baking sheet and form into a circle, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Brush the top of the circle with milk using a pastry brush. Then cut the circle into six triangles using a pizza cutter or a knife. Separate the scones slightly from each other, then place the baking sheet into the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake scones for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy out of the oven after they cool for a little. Enjoy! You can seriously use any mix-ins, dark chocolate with dried cherries is always good, and I'm dying to add a little orange zest in these scones!