Monday, April 9, 2012

Lemon Thyme Whole Wheat Scones

I love scones, well all pastries for that matter.  My sister and I devoured the whole grain, buttery and flaky scones in Ireland daily last year.  But scones in the U.S. are typically super sweet and made with white bleached flour.  That is not the best way to start off a work day.
So, to satisfy my Irish pastry desires I set out to make a healthy scone.  I knew the base was going to be whole wheat pastry flour.  Do you use it yet?  It's amazing and can be used in breads, pizza dough, cookies, etc.  Go splurge on some right now or order my favorite online.
Now, what to put in the scone?
- I added toasted walnuts and almonds for a little crunch and texture. (I like textures, in my food, on my clothes, on art, anything really unless it's chocolate mousse.  Dark chocolate mousse should be smooth as silk!)
- TDH loves lemon, I mean, really loves lemon.  I experimented with the juice of two lemons and it gave the scones a bit of a kick at the end.
- Last but not least I added my favorite ingredient of Spring, fresh thyme.  My little thyme plant I bought at Sprouts was well worth the $2.50 investment, plus it looks pretty on the porch.

Alright, here's the recipe friends.  Feel free to swap out the nuts for a dried fruit or flax seeds or use a mix of flours.

Lemon Thyme Whole Wheat Scones

1/4 c agave
7 tablespoons milk or cream

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c toasted, chopped nuts
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 lemons, juiced

1 egg, whisked

- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, rack in the top 1/3.
- Toast nuts in a oven or toaster oven (another kitchen essential you should invest in) for 5-8 minutes until fragrant.  Cool and chop.
- Mix agave and cream together in a small bowl.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, thyme and nuts together in a bowl.  Using a pastry blender, fork or your hands cut the cold butter into the flour mixture.  Mix together until the butter is the size of peas.
- Add the milk/cream mixture and lemon juice.  Mix with a wooden spatula until the dough just comes together - don't over mix.
- Flour your cutting board or countertop and kneed the dough once or twice.  Shape into a rectangle or square if you prefer square scones or into a circle and cut pieces into mini pie slices.  Cut the pieces on the smaller side.
- Line two pans with parchment paper.  Place scones on pans with 1/4-inch distance between each of them.
- Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl.  Brush each scone generously with the egg wash.  (You can skip this step if you are pressed for time but it does give the scones a shiny top.) 
- Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until golden along the bottom and tops.

Makes 20 scones.