Tag Archives: Game of Scones

Game of Scones: The Iron Scone

You knew it was coming: the crowning glory of all the build-up, the driving force of this obsession—the Iron Scone. Until last week, I thought this culminating creation might need to be something with dragon fruit. But after Dani Girl’s  Ring of Fire joyride, methinks there will be no dragons or dragon queens ruling the Seven Kingdoms.

I’m betting on tradition and some sense of justice to win out, so I went with a classic currant scone. Currants happen to be an excellent source of iron, and to bring the theme home I made these scones in a cast iron pan. Instead of making familiar wedges, I made these as a more British version of scones, by cutting them in circles and nestling them together in the pan.

To find the perfect starter recipe for this grand finale, I deferred to royalty, and consulted with King Arthur Flour’s legendary baker and blogger PJ Hamel. She pointed me to her go-to basic scone recipe that lives on the KAF website. The recipe itself is excellent, and is essential scone reading. In addition to the many tips at the end of the recipe, PJ added this bit of scone wisdom:

“Don’t overbake. You want them just barely light brown. Otherwise they’ll be dry. And they’re like biscuits: the more you handle the dough, the more you risk making the scones tough. So, once you bring the dough together (after adding the liquid), don’t keep stirring; turn it out of the bowl, shaggy mess that it may be, divide it in half (a scale helps), and gently pat the two pieces into 3/4″ to 1″-thick rounds. And do refrigerate (or place in the freezer) for 30 minutes before baking; this helps their texture.”

So there you have it. The beauty of this scone is that it can be adapted to any flavors and ingredients, to accommodate whomever lands in that throne: White Hot Jon Snow; Sassy Sansa; Bittersweet Tyrion; and even the ghosts of the Loving Lannisters. Indeed, we could have started this whole Game of Scones journey with this master recipe and tweaked it accordingly, but what would be the fun in that?

The Iron Throne, which, quite honestly, does not look very comfy.

The Iron Scone

From King Arthur Flour’s Basic Scone Recipe

I pared down the recipe to the necessities, and included my own adaptation for the cast iron pan version (in bold), but I highly recommend going to the KAF site for their Baker’s tips at the end of the recipe. Another very cool feature of the recipes on the KAF site it being able to toggle between measuring by volume, ounces or grams. I like to weigh my flour and but not necessarily the rest of the ingredients. So, go King Arthur…way to support the new ruler!

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup to 2 cups dried currants (or add ins of choice)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extractor the flavoring of your choice
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half-and-half or milk. (see tips in KAF recipe, but basically you’ll need more liquid in cold dry weather and less in hot humid weather.

Topping

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar, turbinado sugar or cinnamon sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
  3. Stir in the fruit, nuts and/or other mix-ins if using.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. If using a cast iron pan or skillet, line it with parchment paper. Wing it or check out this slick trick.
  7. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle (if you haven’t incorporated any add-ins); or a 6″ circle (if you’ve added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4″ thick. (If using a cast iron pan or other skillet, use a biscuit cutter or the top of a can or drinking glass to cut each circle into rounds of whatever size makes you happy. Arrange them in the lined pan so there is about ½” of space in between them. Mush scraps into scone-like shapes. They too will be delicious.

    Unbaked, lightly frozen scone pucks in their iron home

  8. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
  9. If making wedge shaped scones: slice each circle into 6 wedges, using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.
  10. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones (on just the parchment if that is easier to fit) in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  11. Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown (mine were smaller, and done in 20). When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
  12. Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.
  13. When the scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Make ahead: This is straight from the KAF Bakers Tips, but I had to include it here too because it was a revelation: “Want to make scones well ahead of time? Simple. After the unbaked scones’ 30 minutes in the freezer (or whenever they’re frozen solid), place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Return to the freezer, and store for up to a month. Bake as directed (without thawing), adding a couple of extra minutes if needed.”

To bake up just a few scones at a time, any size oven-proof skillet will do.

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Game of Scones: The Loving Lannisters Gluten Free Apricot Almond Scone

OnSome things just should not go together, like siblings and sex. Similarly, the terms gluten free and scones really do not belong in the same sentence. And yet, just as Jaime and Cersei somehow seem to work as the couple you love to hate, it turns out that gluten free scones are darned tasty.

As we come in to Episode 5, let’s review our cast. We have the White Hot Jalapeno Cheddar Jon Snow (AKA, the true hot king) Scone, the Sassy Sansa Lemon Ginger Scone and the Bittersweet Tyrion Whole Wheat Mini Scone. But now, just in time for Mother’s Day we head south to warmer climes and the Mad Queen, Mother of the Year, evil twin Cersei

For these scones I used Pamela’s gluten free baking mix, as recommended by Santa Cruz Susan. Susan is kind of an angel on earth, which is to say, the opposite of Cersei. Susan apologized that using a mix is sort of cheating, which happens to be appropriate for this particular scone, because nobody cheats more than Cersei, and gets away with it.

The Loving Lannister scone features apricots, prunes and almonds, all members of the prunus family. Not coincidentally, prunus siblings have a bitter cyanide compound in the seed that makes them poisonous (kind of like kisses from Spain). Toxic combos that are related to each other? Could there be a more perfect scone to honor the first family of King’s Landing? And sure, you don’t expect to get black-hearted prunes and golden apricots in one bite, but social norms never stopped a Lannister. And who doesn’t like a little plot twist?

Cooking notes: For this scone, I defied the recipe and tried to make them into the traditional round mound, cut into wedges. It required a lot of back alley repair, which nobody needs to see or repeat. Give yourself a pardon and make them as drop scones, as directed. They are unexpectedly delicious!

Oh beHAVE you two!

Gluten Free Apricot Almond Scones

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-1/3 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
  • 1/3 cup sugar (preferably coconut or demerera sugar), plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots and dried prunes (in any proportion), roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped or painfully slivered
  • 4 tbsp butter (as cold as Cersei’s heart, which is to say frozen if possible)
  • 1 egg, beaten (ruthlessly)
  • 2/3 cup milk or cream

DIRECTIONS:

For scone newbies, see Queen Bee’s Kitchen’s short course in sconeology here for some excellent guidance. Feel free to substitute any dried fruit or nuts of choice, even if they are “just friends” and unrelated to each other.

Preheat oven to 375.
Mix the dry ingredients (through almonds) together. Cut in the butter using two knives (or make it easy on yourself and grate it in). Add the milk and beaten egg. Mix together with a fork. Dough will be thick. Drop large, tall dollops of dough (scones will spread when baking) onto lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with remaining coconut sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until they look dangerously irresistible.

 

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Game of Scones: Sassy Sansa Lemon Ginger Scone

Hands down, Sansa is our favorite ginger in the Seven Kingdoms. Like the scone that is named for her, Sansa looks soft and sweet but is full of substance and spice. Three kinds of ginger—fresh, powdered and candied—give these scones a sassy edge. Fresh lemon—zest in the mix, and juice in the glaze—serves as a reminder that Sansa’s got some rightful, pure acid in her soul, because life is not all sweetness and light! (But it could be if she and White Hot Jon Snow had their way)

This recipe comes from Flour Bakery in Boston, via Martha Stewart, which is kind of perfect. Sansa has a bit of Martha’s exacting savvy in her, not to mention a ruthless streak (I’m looking at you, Ramsay…woof). Plus, à la Martha, Sansa is tough as nails AND knows how to get things done! While careful historians will note that Thrones era natives likely did not have food processors, Martha’s use of it here is, as she would say, “a good thing.” And let’s be real—if Martha were in the Seven Kingdoms she’d have had her minions figure out how to get anything done to perfection, no matter how much effort it took. In this case, the food processor spares us the toil of minions.

I have put the recipe here as it came from Martha, noting the changes I made, only out of desperation. I was working with the Sunday episode deadline, a near empty fridge and whatever hodgepodge was in the pantry after a long absence.

My scones were Sansational—which is to say, not Martha perfect, but pretty in pictures, interesting, substantial and great tasting, which is all that matters. Well, that and seeing what havoc gets unleashed in Episode 3, the halfway point for the final season. Stay tuned for the next scone or (spoiler alert) mini scone…

Special thanks to:
Alice for the creative spark that led to this and so many Game of Scones contestants.
Patty, Jean and Sister A for the supply of Meyer lemons from Northern and Southern Cal, the remains of which made it safely to NH in my luggage and kept my clothes lemony fresh!

The sassiest ginger in the kingdom

Sassy Sansa Lemon Ginger Scone

From Flour Bakery c/o Martha Stewart

Makes 10

For a full scone Tutorial see this post on the White Hot Jon Snow Scone by Erica Wilson of Queen Bee’s Kitchen

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 large egg, well chilled
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Scones: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center.

2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, crystallized ginger, ground ginger, and lemon zest. Add butter; beat on low speed until butter is somewhat broken down with some visible pieces remaining, about 30 seconds.

3. In a liquid-measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, cream, egg, and grated ginger. With mixer on low, add buttermilk mixture and beat until dough just comes together, 20 to 30 seconds (there will still be some flour mixture at bottom of bowl).

4. Remove bowl from mixer. Using your hands, gather and lift dough, turning it over in the bowl, until remaining flour mixture has been incorporated into dough. *This so did not unfold this way for me, but see below and carry on.

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out 1 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out 10 rounds, rerolling scraps as necessary. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. **Big Bring It slacker note here: My dough was too moist (perhaps I forgot a cup of flour??). Rather than cut the scones I dumped the whole shebang on a parchment lined cookie sheet and shaped it into two circles, which I cut into scone wedges, gently separating each a bit so they had their own baking space. We all need our own baking space.

6. Bake until light golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.

7. Lemon Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and enough lemon juice to make a smooth, thick, pourable glaze. Brush glaze over warm scones and serve.

Cook’s Notes

If you’re more Martha than Edie, here are the exact measuring weights. This probably would have saved me some anxiety:

385 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
70 grams granulated sugar
80 grams finely chopped crystallized ginger
200 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
120 grams cold buttermilk
120 grams cold heavy cream
140 grams confectioners’ sugar

Unbaked scones can be frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic, up to 1 week. If baking from frozen, add 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.

Scones are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Glaze can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

*** More Slacker notes: Out of necessity, I used almond milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk and cream. As mentioned above, I baked them as one big round, scored into scone wedges. In short, my execution was not excellent, but the scones were fantastic. As Sansa knows, even if you only get the execution right one time, you can be satisfied. 

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Game of Scones: White Hot Jon Snow Scone

Game of Scones, Episode 1

To state the obvious, it’s been a long cold winter. We need a little heat. We need a little action. We need a little Game of Thrones…and we’re getting it. To celebrate the final season, which got underway last Sunday, Bring It is premiering its own Game of Scones. For each of these last six episodes Bring It’s bringing you a G.O.T. themed scone. First up, the White Hot Jon Snow scone, because really, we missed you Jon Snow.

To realize this dream, I teamed up with Granite State baker Erica Wilson, of Queen Bee’s Kitchen. Though not a thrones watcher, Erica embraced the spirit of the challenge and honed in on a recipe to honor Jon Snow, the oh-so-hot true king of the Seven Kingdoms. As surely as his butt belongs on the Iron Throne, these scones belong on your Easter table.

Like their namesake, these jalapeño cheddar scones will warm you up on a cold day while bringing in some fresh zing and the promise of brighter days. They feature WHITE cheddar cheese, because that’s the real deal (I’m looking at you, westerners), and diced jalapenos for a fresh, hotness of being that’ll make your heart beat faster

Check out Erica’s post for a more thorough scone tutorial. She talks of cold butter, and good butter, and cutting butter, and all the things that separate sconeology from mere biscuitology. If you’re new to scones you’ll want to check it out.

I highly suggest you bring some White Hot Jon Snow Scones wherever you go this Easter Sunday. Enjoy them while making nice with family and gearing up for the real event of the day—Episode Two. Then hunker in and ponder which character might inspire of our next creation. By the way, Queen Bee’s Kitchen can deliver anywhere in New Hampshire. If you need some hot little hunks of Jon Snow with zero effort contact the queen!

The Jon Snow Scone— white (cheddar) hot, and mighty fine all around

White Hot Jon Snow Scones

From Peter Oleyer at Calexico Carne Asada in Brooklyn, via NYMag and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs divided
  • 1/4 pound sharp WHITE Cheddar cheese diced
  • 2 small jalapeños pepper minced

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and sauté the jalapeños in it until soft, about two minutes. Let them cool, then place them in a small bowl with the cheddar cheese and coat them with one tablespoon of the flour. Combine the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt. Cut in the remaining butter with a pastry blender, fork or two knives, until the butter bits are pea sized.

Lightly whip two of the eggs and cream and add to the flour-butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture until it begins to come together. Add the cheddar-jalapeño mixture to the dough and mix until everything is incorporated.

Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute. Pat dough out to a 3/4- to 1-inch thickness and either cut into 8 triangles or the shape of your choice with a biscuit cutter. Make an egg wash by beating the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the scones with egg wash and place on a parchment-lined (or well-oiled) baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

To get some goodness from Queen Bee’s Kitchen email queenbeeskitchennh.com
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