Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zucchini Scones

Getting back to a normal routine since finishing Kids Camps hasn't been easy.  In some ways, I was a bit burned out on baking (gasp) but it turns out, I was just burned out on the same recipes I had been making all summer with the kiddos.

We had some leftover shredded zucchini after the last cake decorating class-we had used it to make a zucchini cake with white chocolate pastry cream & white chocolate cream cheese icing.  I knew I wanted to try another zucchini dessert without making a zucchini cake.  No offense to to zucchini cake... I just wanted a change.

Summer is always a great time for zucchini.  My grandparents always grow lots of it, and growing up, I ate lots of zucchini in both savory and sweet applications.  My grandma makes a great chocolate zucchini cake that has even been my birthday cake previously!  But, like I said, I wanted a zucchini baked good that wasn't a cake.

I love to make scones.  Love.  As in, I make them several weekends a month.  I have one basic recipe and I tweak it each time based on what "mix-in" ingredients I have on hand.  So, I give you zucchini scones!  A great, unexpected summer-time scone.  

They're wonderfully spicy.  And they've got beautiful streaks of green zucchini throughout.  People may give you a few funny looks when you explain what they are... And that they do contain vegetables.  But in the end, the scones still disappeared quickly!  

And disappearing baked goods is the best sign of a great baked good :)   Icing is optional on these, but my insatiable sweet tooth always gives in to icing.

Fresh zucchini is always best.  But if you find yourself with a huge amount of extra zucchini, grate it, squeeze as much liquid from it as possible, and freeze it.  Then, you can have summer-flavored baked goods all year long.

One last side note before the recipe.... On my last trip back from ND, I was given a couple plates and silverware that belonged to my late great grandma.  This shoot was the first time I was able to use them!  I thought their golden tones matched the zucchini scones quite well :)

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 c AP flour
1/4 c Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
1 c buttermilk (plus additional, if necessary)
1 c grated zucchini, dried well
Flat Icing, as needed

1.  Grate the unsalted butter on a box grater. (Putting the box grater on a plastic-wrap-lined plate works well for me).  Throw the grated butter into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until the butter is hard.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg (I use my hands).

3.  Once the butter is hard, toss it gently with the dry ingredients, being careful not to melt the butter with your body heat.

4.  Add the buttermilk and grated zucchini and mix quickly with your hands.  The mixture shouldn't be dry.  If it is, add an additional splash of buttermilk.

5.  Using a portion scoop, scoop mounds of scone dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.  Leave enough space between mounds so that the scones can expand slightly as they bake.

6.  Bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool slightly.

7.  Make flat icing, using confectioners sugar and enough liquid (water... cream... milk) to make it fluid.  Drizzle or dip the slightly warm scones into the flat icing.  (Personally, I like to dip them.... more icing).  Allow the icing to harden and serve!  These scones are best enjoyed the day they are made.

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