Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Recipe to Coffee Lovers' Scones is Espresso

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

New trailer for this book!

     On a dark, stormy midnight in the California sierra, I walked outdoors into the cold with my two Brittanys. The front deck was covered with wet snow; the towering trees and wires amid me looked surreal and eerie because they were wilted with white powder. I shoveled the heavy slush off the deck to make it easier for the morning. At 7:30 a.m. I got out of bed and turned on the TV switch for CNN—there were no red and amber lights on the cable box. I flicked on the lamp—it didn’t work. “Power outage,” I mumbled. It was the beginning of the first day the lights went out at South Lake Tahoe
      Instead of making a cup of fresh, brewed java with my electric coffeemaker, I turned on the gas burner and grabbed a jar of instant coffee. (I said a prayer to chemist Satori Kato for his invention.)  The first taste of the stuff I used to drink was doable but nothing to write home about and did its job.  Once alert I got my first news report from a neighbor walking her dog. “The power will be out for days,” she shouted. Her words echoed in my mind. I tuned out her warning. I hoped for the best, but by dusk I went into survival mode and prepared for the worst. Read: More instant coffee. Making and storing gourmet coffee and coffee croissants to coffee cakes, like these, will make your days sweeter no matter what challenges you face.
Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones
* * *
3 cups King Arthur Mellow Pastry Blend                   
or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour                              
2 teaspoons baking powder                              
½ teaspoon baking soda                                              
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                                     
1/4 cup granulated sugar                                    
1/2 cup butter, cut into pats or small cubes              
1/3 cup pecans, processed or
blended till very finely ground
1/2 cup cappuccino chips                                           
1/2 cup cinnamon chips or cinnamon                        
2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (low-fat is fine)           
4-5 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) a large baking sheet. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Work the butter into the dry ingredients till the mixture is unevenly crumbly; don’t be afraid to leave some of the butter in pea-or marble-sized chunks. Add the ground pecans and chips, stirring to combine. Dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water. Gently stir the dissolved espresso and sour cream or yogurt into the dough, just till it’s well dispersed; the dough will be very crumbly. Add enough ice water to bring the dough together in a cohesive mass.
Gather the dough into a ball, and place it on a well-floured work surface. Pat/roll it into an 8” to 9” circle about ¾” thick. If desired, brush the surface of the dough with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar. Use a 2” cutter to cut about 20 scones, gathering the scraps and gently shaping into round scones without re-rolling. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving just over 1” between them. Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, till they’re golden brown. When you break one of the center scones open, the middle should be baked all the way through, not doughy or wet. Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Yield: 20 small scones.
 (Source: Courtesy King Arthur Flour.)
Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Coffee by Cal Orey (Plenty of recipes for DIY espresso beverages!)

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