ALMOND PASTE SCONES WITH CHERRY BALSAMIC ICING
Makes 8 Scones
INGREDIENTS – Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup packed almond paste well chilled (store bought or recipe follows)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter very cold
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon VANILLA VINEGAR
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
INGREDIENTS – Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon BLACK CHERRY VINEGAR
INGREDIENTS – Almond Paste
- 1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
DIRECTIONS - Scones
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a food processor, pulse the almond paste and butter with the dry ingredients, just until you still have large pea sized lumps in the mixture. Stir in the dried cherries.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg, vanilla vinegar and almond extract. With a fork, gradually stir in enough of the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture just starts to come together, reserving about 1 tablespoon of the liquid to brush the tops of the scones.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat into an 8-inch round about 1 1/2 inches high. Using a chef's knife or bench scraper. cut the dough round into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, spacing the scones at least 1 inch apart. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the reserved egg-cream mixture.
- Bake in the top third of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops are golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely before adding glaze.
- In a large glass measuring bowl or small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth. Using a spoon drizzle over cooled scones. Let sit for 30 minutes, so the glaze can harden.
DIRECTIONS – Almond Paste
- Process the nuts and ½ cup of the sugar until the nuts are very finely ground, scraping down the sides of the bowl and being careful not to turn the almonds to almond butter. Once the almonds are very finely ground, add the rest of the powdered sugar and pulse until it is completely mixed into the ground almonds. Add the egg white and the almond extract and process until smooth.
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