Just out of curiosity, what is the authentic shape of a scone? All of the scones I’ve eaten in Ireland are round. That’s probably a safe bet. But a lot I eat in the U.S. are wedges or triangles. It’s the shape I make most often, too.
Call me crazy, but every once in a while I like to pull a wild card and make them square or rectangle. In the grand scheme of things, I realize this really doesn’t matter. A good scone is a good scone regardless of shape. This is simply a little sneak peek into the things that roll through my head when I’m in the kitchen – authentic scone shapes.
Speaking of good scones. I have some for you today!
We returned from Kauai this past weekend. It was our first trip to that island and our second to Hawaii. As usual, the travel gave me some inspiration for the kitchen along with a few ingredients that made their way back to California via my suitcase.
As most people do when they land in Hawaii these days, we swung by Costco for snacks for the week. We had several hikes planned and wanted to stock up on trail mixes and similar items. We stumbled into the Hawaii-products section and discovered all kinds of great finds. My favorite being Kauai Coffee. Not just their regular coffee, but their peaberry specialty coffee. In true Costco style, it was a big bag so we drank it every morning and still had plenty to bring back with us.
Travel tip: The Kauai Coffee coffee farm is on the south side of the island. We made a drive-by, but couldn’t make a visit or tour work this trip. It is on the list for our next visit for sure!
I brought a stack of all the magazines I’m behind on reading with me for the flight. One trend I kept coming across was coffee salt. You can buy a few different varieties online, but I was more intrigued by the tips for making your own. So when we returned home I used some of the Kauai Coffee to do just that. I mixed it with some coarse Hawaiian sea salt, some raw sugar to create a sweet and salty balance, and some ground vanilla bean.
That mix made its way into every component of these scones. (Square scones, by the way. I decided to pull a wild card on this batch.)
Keeping with the Hawaiian theme, the scones required some of the macadamia nuts we brought back as well. And what goes better with those nuts than white chocolate, right?
All of it made its way into these scones. Rich, buttery, flakey, and tender, they are filled with white chocolate and macadamia nuts. The coffee salt adds a complex flavor to the pastry and it also makes the glaze even more delicious. To finish things off, I ground a few nuts with some more of the salt for a crumble to sprinkle over the top.
You know I’ve made a lot of scones over the years. A lot. Well, these are in the running for my very favorite. Maybe it is the post-vacation glow or the white chocolate, but I really think it’s the coffee salt and macadamia nuts. Bonus, the coffee salt recipe makes extra so you’ll have some left over for more experimenting.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Scones with Vanilla Coffee Salt
Makes 8 to 9 scones (depending on the shape)
What you’ll need:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla coffee salt (recipe below)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup roasted, salted macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat buttermilk
2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 1/2 teaspoons buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla coffee salt
1 tablespoon roasted, salted macadamia nuts
1/8 teaspoon vanilla coffee salt
Vanilla Coffee Salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 tablespoon coarse ground sea salt
1 tablespoon ground coffee (or you can use whole coffee beans)
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean (or fresh vanilla bean scraped from a pod)
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the scones, add the flour, baking powder, and coffee salt to a large bowl. Toss in the butter and use a pastry blender or two knives to work the dough until the butter is evenly distributed in pea-size pieces. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Pour in 1 cup of the buttermilk and stir until a dry dough begins to form. Add the remaining 1/2 cup a little at time, kneading the dough gently until it is wet enough to form into a ball and roll, but not too sticky. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll to 1-inch thickness.
You can roll it into a circle or square based on the shape you want. Cut into 8 or 9 circles, wedges, or squares. Place each scone on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes until the edges are browned and the scones are baked through. Let cool completely.
While the scones bake, make the glaze and topping. Add the confectioners’ sugar to a medium bowl. Stir in the buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until the glaze reaches a drizzling consistency. Stir in the coffee salt.
Add the tablespoon of macadamia nuts and the coffee salt to a small food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Pulse in short bursts until fine. Process just until the nuts are chopped or it may begin to create nut butter.
Let the scones cool for 15 minutes. Drizzle each with the glaze and sprinkle with topping. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Vanilla Coffee Salt
Add all ingredients to a spice/coffee grinder. Pulse is short bursts until all ingredients come together in a fine ground blend with a bit more texture than a powder. Store in an airtight container.