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Entries in scones (6)

Tuesday
Sep232014

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Orange-Glazed Biscones

CakeSpy Note: OMG! It's getting to be that time of year again. The Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off as well as the 46th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited the 47th one early by sharing all of the sweet recipes in the running. You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below to see the recipes posted so far (as well as recipes from previous Bake-Off events).

Riddle me this: what's a biscone? Well, according to Gina Fugazzi of Centennial, Colorado, they're the tasty meeting place of biscuit and scone. This recipe starts with biscuits from a tube, which are sweetened up with some honey, fruit, butter, and flavoring to make a delightful breakfast bite. 

Good luck at the Bake-Off, Gina!

Orange-Glazed Biscones

  • Prep Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 55 Min
  • Makes: 8 biscones

Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers refrigerated honey butter biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Orange Extract
  • 1 medium orange (1/4 teaspoon grated peel and 2 to 3 tablespoons juice)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 biscuits on work surface; sprinkle with apricots and cranberries. Gather biscuits and fruit into a ball. Knead lightly 8 to 12 times until fruit is incorporated (do not overmix).
  2. Press into 10-inch round. With sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly brush tops of wedges with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, orange extract, orange peel, orange juice and remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter with whisk until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over biscones. Store covered.
Saturday
Feb252012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Bacon-Date Scones with Orange Marmalade Glaze

Image: Pillsbury Bake-OffCakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

 Bacon. Date. Scones. With Orange Marmalade Glaze.

Is it a sweet or a savory treat? A little bit of both! It's also the brainchild of Joanne Opdahl of Venice, CA, and a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off this year!

As she says, "Coffee shop scones? No special stop is needed with our easy and delicious bacon, date and citrus combo. Bring on the coffee!"

Here's how you make this magic--16 servings' worth--happen in your home.

Bacon-Date Scones with Orange Marmalade Glaze

Scones

  • 2 1/4cups Pillsbury All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped precooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1  Egg

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup Smucker’s Sweet Orange Marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Butter

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 1 large cookie sheet with No-Stick Cooking Spray. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder; mix well. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  2. In small bowl, stir together bacon, dates and nuts. Stir 1 cup of bacon mixture into flour mixture; set remaining bacon mixture aside. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In small bowl, lightly beat cream and egg together with wire whisk. Pour into well of flour mixture. Stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened. Gently form into 2 balls.
  3. Place balls about 3 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheet; pat each into 8-inch round. Using knife dipped in flour, cut each round into 8 wedges; do not separate. Sprinkle top of each round with remaining bacon mixture. Press mixture into dough.
  4. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  5. In small microwavable bowl, microwave glaze ingredients on High 20 to 30 seconds or until melted, stirring until smooth. Spread glaze evenly over the 2 rounds. Carefully separate into 16 wedges. Serve warm.
Wednesday
Jun222011

Pastry Profiles: Fisher Fair Scones of the Pacific Northwest

Recently, Fisher Flouring Mills celebrated their 100th anniversary. Why is this of interest, exactly?

Because, for anyone who has ever attended the epic Puyallup Fair in the Seattle area, you may know them as the makers of the famous Fisher Fair Scones. Let's take a few minutes to learn a bit of the backstory behind this company and their signature product, shall we? I'd like to thank Nick at Team Soapbox who was so helpful with getting me much of this information.

The Fisher Flour Mills opening invite, from 1911First off, why the Pacific Northwest? This company, which initially focused mainly on flour, settled in Seattle in 1911 because it was “the most promising city on the coast.”

The Fisher booth in 1923How did they start making scones as a fair food? William H. Paulhamus, president and general manager of the Puyallup Fair (Western Washington State Fair) pitched the scones idea to Fisher and said he’d donate jam made from his raspberry farm in Oregon. The scones debuted at the fair as a chance to showcase and promote the company's flour flour. They were a success, going for just a few pennies each. Today, they are still a Northwest favorite and a tradition of Washington fairs.

Current CEO Mike Maher has a long history with the company, too:

“My connection to the fair goes back three decades. As a teenager, I started working in fair operations for Fisher, driving the trailers to each venue, training staff and making scones for customers myself. I learned quickly about the magnetic appeal of a fresh-baked scone slathered with whipped butter and raspberry jam. It didn’t take long before I became hooked on the idea of delivering smiles to our customers, one fresh-baked bite at a time.”

Michael Maher began with the company in 1978 (then Fair Scones, Inc.) and has risen up the ranks as the company has grown over the past 30-some years.  

Current CEO MikeHow did current CEO Mike rise to floury fame? Mike’s career began as a high school student in Portland, OR when he was hired by Fair Scones, Inc. to work its concession booth at the Rose Festival.  From 1979 to 1984, he worked summers as a concession manager, operating various events in Oregon,Washington, and British Columbia.  After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1985, he came on board full time as the general manager, overseeing all festival operations.  In 1995 Mike became vice president—operations and directed the company’s expansion into retail scone products and wholesale baking to the airlines.  In the late 1990s Mike led three specialty food company acquisitions and expansion into private label products.  He was named president and COO in 1999.  He joined the Board of Directors in 2003, and was later promoted to his current post as president and CEO.

Old Fisher Flouring Mills truckHow did the scones gain such popularity? What started as a promotional tool eventually expanded to became a signature food item at 39 fairs and festivals throughout the Northwest, but the company is still family-owned (and even the Fisher family still has a stake in the company) committed to local community. Today, Fisher owns the raspberry farm in Oregon and still uses the same simple jam recipe (berries, sugar & pectin) to accompany the scones. The scone recipe has remained largely unchanged, except for a few tweaks to the salt and sugar amounts to accommodate modern tastes.

The scones represent the company’s commitment to a tradition of local, Northwest deliciousness by utilizing local ingredients and tastes—showcased at local fairs. This commitment has now come full circle in a world where people are thinking and shopping local.

Some more little tidbits of interest, sent along by Nick of Team Soapbox:

  • Fisher Scones debuted at the 1915 Puyallup Fair, in the very same corner booth under the grandstand where they are still sold today.
  • The scones originally were free or just a few pennies, promoting Fisher Flours.
  • Today, Fisher serves up more than 40 tons of raspberry jam each summer to top the scones.
  • 1.5 million scones are sold each year
  • This fall, Fisher will serve its 100,000,000th (yes, one hundred millionth!) scone at the Puyallup Fair. 
  • Mike Maher, Fisher’s CEO started out by making scones at the fair himself. Mike’s been with the company three decades. Nobody's sure how many scones he’s eaten.
  • Fisher supports Northwest farmers through a partnership with Shepherd’s Grain, a cooperative of 33 local farmers who use sustainable agriculture farming methods. They’re also connected with the Food Alliance of Oregon, which provides the most comprehensive third-party certification for social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry in North America.
  • For almost 100 years, Fisher Scones have been a tradition at fairs and festivals throughout the Northwestern United States. These triangular shaped biscuits, baked fresh and smothered in honey-whipped butter and tart raspberry jam, have created unparalleled loyalty.
  • Scones can be yours year round, at home. Fisher brand scones are available by a home mix line; on the mix subject, this year, the company plans on introducing new packaging for the scones (and new all-natural Pancake & Baking Mix, Biscuit Mix, and Cornbread Mix).

Want to continue getting sconed? Check out their website here, and find them on Facebook here.

Friday
Jun172011

Sherlock Scones: Alice's Tea Cup, NYC

Alice's Tea Cup in New York City is a magical place. Well, actually, magical places--there are three, cleverly entitled "Chapter One"...and so on.

Why so magical? Well. It is an establishment based around the idea that tea need not be relegated only to teatime. It is Alice in Wonderland-themed. They have delicious scones.

Honestly, the only thing they're missing is a bunny hopping around telling you to “eat this”. Which, I suspect, might have happened if I had stayed around a little longer.

I had the great pleasure of visiting this establishment (the Upper West Side location, down the street from my new building crush, 126 W. 73rd street, which resembles a slice of wedding cake with draguees, really it does) with my extreme cake crush Elisa Strauss (you may know her as the famous cakemaker to the stars who released the books The Confetti Cakes Cookbook and Confetti Cakes For Kids, or from her numerous TV appearances). We ventured down the rabbit hole and enjoyed tea and scones. Here we are together to prove it:

But luckily, the scones also taste good. The basic buttermilk biscuit was a drier, more biscuity sort, which definitely needed cream and preserves (don't you dare not order the preserves and cream); far more interesting was the pumpkin variety, which was lightly sweet, more moist, and had a delicate glaze on top. The scones were actually on the saltier side (a definite pro for me), so they were perfect when topped with the sweet preserves, each and every sweet and salty bite a teatime revelation.

Perhaps the loveliest thing, though, is that these scones are so clearly in their natural element, and the full experience of eating them surrounded by a sort of magical-realism world is very queenly indeed. In fact, I may or may not have found myself humming a line from the animated Disney Alice In Wonderland movie as I exited...”you can learn a lot of things from the flours...especially in the month of June...”

Final thoughts: Alice's Tea Cup makes for a golden afternoon. If you can't make it to NYC this very instant, you can at least buy their cookbook, Alice's Tea Cup: Delectable Recipes for Scones, Cakes, Sandwiches, and More from New York's Most Whimsical Tea Spot.

Alice's Tea Cup, 102 west 73rd Street; online here.

Wednesday
May262010

Get Sconed: A Delightfully Carbohydratey Treat from Heavenly Pastry and Cake, Seattle

Scones are, in general, not to be trusted.

Oh, they look great in the bakery case, in all of their buttery, carbohydratey glory, often prettily glistening with various glazes or topped with fat granules of sugar.

But in general I tend to agree with America's Test Kitchen when it comes to the flavor reality: as they put it, "scones served in a typical coffeehouse are so dry and leaden that they seem like a ploy to get people to buy more coffee to wash them down."

But when I recently encountered the jam-filled variety at the Heavenly Pastry & Cake booth at the Capitol Hill Farmer's Market, I had a glimmer of hope. For one thing, it looked more biscuit-y than many American bakery varieties--it seemed more like a British scone (or at least a cousin to my favorite Grand Central Baking treat, the Jammer).

Happily, these scones tasted just as good as they looked: the texture was somewhere between cakey and biscuity, yielding but not  falling into the crumbly or spongy pitfalls that often plague lesser scones. The raspberry filling offered a nice texture and taste contrast to the butteriness of the main event, and almost (but not quite) made them taste healthy. 

Heavenly Pastry & Cake says on their menu of their scones that "we give these humble pastries the respect, and flavor, you deserve"--and after having tasted, I tend to agree.

P.S. Though they're not sweet, the pretzels ought not be missed, either.

Heavenly Pastry & Cake, retail storefront coming soon in West Seattle; they can also be found at several area Farmer's Markets. For more information, visit heavenlypastry.com.

Tuesday
Oct022007

Napoleon of the Stumptown: Portland Coffee Takes Seattle

Stumptown Coffee has opened in Seattle, and it's caused quite a stir in the
city. To some, it's seen as an invasion in an already saturated boutique coffee market: are Caffé Vita, Espresso Vivace, Caffe Ladro and Uptown Espresso really not sufficient? And yet at the same time, there are the coffee enthusiasts who are flocking to the newly-opened Capitol Hill location.

But Cakespy is here to report on something much more important than coffee alone: what's going on in their pastry case?

Well. We're happy to say that Stumptown has embraced their new hometown by stocking their pastry case with lovely carbohydratey treats from Seattle favorites Mighty-O Donuts and Macrina Bakery. Beautiful cake doughnuts, biscuits, dill scones with cream cheese--we have to say, they have a major leg up on nearby Caffé Vita's pastry case, which always looks a little sad.

Oh, and the coffee is pretty good too; their espresso was strong and smoky yet still remarkably smooth; in fact, our only complaint is that they serve their French press coffee from a pump-top dispenser (which, granted, might just be a personal thing).

Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 1115 12th Ave (near Madison St.); second Capitol Hill location opening soon at 1605 Boylston Ave. (at Pine St.); online stumptowncoffee.com.

Stumptown Coffee in Seattle

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