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Monday, February 21, 2011

Toasted Almond Scones


Simply put, I'm this week's Host with the Most.





If it were only that simple. Paired up with Apple's iWeb program for the past few years has lent creativity, along with an equal amount of headaches: disappearing homepages, unrecoverable posts and the most frustrating - a comment section that sometimes worked, but most of the time, didn't.  Hence this new home for me & Living Out West - at Blogger. I set my sights on a blog-friendly neighborhood and chose the first template she threw my way, ironically called the Simple template.

But enough about me. We're here to talk scones. Why the scones? When I received the official "It's Your Turn" email, I simply panicked. So soon? What on earth will I choose? Will everyone like it? I grabbed the bible (BAKING) and it fell on the table onto its spine. Magically, pages 28 & 29 opened. I stood there, staring at Toasted Almond Scones. “I love almonds. And I like scones. They're essentially fail-safe". I scoured through the completed recipes section at TuesdaysWithDorie.com hoping not to find the toasted almond scones. Then I noticed Laurie@TWD sent me an email with the 50+ recipes that hadn't been completed (thanks Laurie!). It was fate. The scones were on that second list. Fate - pure and simple.



The week consisted of five batches of scones [along with setting up this new blog]. I anticipated needing plenty "trial runs" - I simply couldn't post a flattened, burnt scone [and ruin my Host status]. Not that the first batch was bad. Nor the second. In fact, they just kept getting better as the week wore on. Office mates, my dad, the neighbors - all told me they were the "best scones they've ever tasted". Comments ranged from the delicious, light, buttery texture to the unique almond flavor. I played the simpleton, played it safe and stuck close to Dorie's recipe, using sliced almonds for the ground, chopped and topping. "Slices are nice" - in that they offer the great almond flavor without the chunky texture of chopped, whole almonds. 

Wander a bit I did, as I brushed the tops with heavy cream, then gave them a sprinkling of magic dust [sanding sugar], just for good luck. I'm all for making thing sparkly. The secret? Simple.  Bake them frozen. It must be the cold butter that gives these scones their light, airy texture - baked cold. But what do I know? I just know this recipe is filed in my memory now [no book needed] - which is a good thing. 

I hope everyone enjoyed making these as much as I did and want to thank you for letting me be your host this week. Baking along such other talented and creative people is such a rewarding experience! 

Now, if the rest of my life could be this simple.
   
   – mike





I invited three of my “non-TuesdaysWithDorie” friends to bake along with me this week. If you get a chance, visit their blogs to see their wonderful scones!

K E N N   [EverydayHouseBlend]
E L A I N E   [CaliforniaLiving]
T R E V O R   [Sis. Boom. Blog!]


37 comments:

Aveen said...

These look great! I have the book but have never tried these despite loving almonds so it's going on my list :)

I never saw your old blog, but the new one looks really good.

Cakelaw said...

Great scones Mike, and a great pick. I loved these - they smelled like heaven. I like your new blog too (I have to say that the comments gave me a headache sometimes on the last one).

Flourchild said...

Thank you for hosting this week Mike! The scones were a perfect pick!
I love your pictures! The ones with all the almonds is the best!

bellini valli said...

IC that this is your very first entry on your brandspanking new blog. Welcome to your rebirht in the blogging world. These scones were a great choice for your first post. Dorie is amazing.

Elaine said...

I'm so happy that you've found a new home here, Mike! Thank you again for inviting me to bake along with you and the other TwD members this week. I absolutely loved these scones - the wonderful almond flavor and the flakiness makes these scones. It looks like you have perfected the recipe as yours look fantastic.

jillbert said...

Thank you for the great selection this week! They were so good, and I'm happy to hear that they're great baked from frozen, because I have two more in the freezer ready to go!

Your old blog looked fantastic, but I think this one will be easier for your readers. I battled that comment function many times!

Jessica said...

You are definitely the host with the most - new blog! Five test batches! I loved making these, and even my husband, who is usually so-so on breakfast baked goods, went out of the way to praise these. Thanks for picking this fantastic scone recipe.

Valerie said...

Wow!! I love the new streamline look of your blog! Gorgeous, yet understated.
And, as usual, great photos. They make me want to bake another batch of these scones...though not quite as many as you made. :D
Great pick!!

Bridget said...

I love the new look! Simple is usually best, isn't it? Perfect pick this week too!

Di said...

Your scones look delicious! Sorry to hear that your blog was giving you so much trouble, but I'm glad you found a new home for it. I haven't had a chance to make the scones yet (nuts are not on the menu for me right now), but I will!

Jules Someone said...

Loved this recipe! And love the new blog! I'll have to remember the trick about freezing them. Nice pick!

cindy said...

Great choice Mike. I do love almonds and scones! I have some tucked safely in the freezer. Can't wait to bake them from their 'frozen state'. Thanks!

Tracey said...

I love the new look Mike, and just in time for your week to host! Thanks for a great pick - the scones were easy to make and definitely a hit here. Almond extract is one of my favorite flavors ever so I'm always excited to see it in a recipe :)

Sweet and Savory said...

This was a great pick and I thank you. Toasting the almonds brought a beautiful fragrance to the kitchen and further.

Sis. Boom. said...

Mike, thanks for inviting me to bake along with you and the gang this week. The scones looked amazing and I so loved the smell in the kitchen! Like you I found that the frozen scones turned out much better than the batch I popped right int o the oven. There is a scientific reason for that!

T.
P.S. Welcome to Blogspot by the way!

Spike said...

First off, love the new blog (and working comments section).

Secondly, I am really looking forward to trying the second half of the recipe baking straight from frozen. Your scones are beautiful and I'm hoping I'll get there too!

Mary said...

I really really really enjoy your blog. Just wanted you to know. Great pick- we all loved the scones over here in Connecticut! Enjoy your week as king of twd!

Amber Marie said...

I think this is my favorite scone recipe! Thanks for a great, and simple, pick!

Jessica said...

Great, fantastic, wonderful pick Mike! These scones were so good, and of course yours look even better!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

a simply fabulous pick, mike! your scones are picture perfect, and i couldn't believe how nicely mine baked up. your new blog is lookin' sharp!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I'm happy that you have a new user-friendly blog, but I have to say I adored your old template and creative touches. Knowing you, you'll have new tricks up your sleeve soon enough!!

These were great scones, wonderful pick - thanks, Fates! Your scones are beautiful, and only you, Mike, would make 5 batches. Luckily for you (and all of us who baked this week) this was an easy recipe!

Life is too short . . . said...

Wow! Five batches, you are definitely a dedicated and wonderful host. I can't wait to try baking these after a session in the deep freeze. They were pretty darned good straight from the mixing, I am eager to see the new and improved version. What am I saying? See the new version - I mean taste the new version. Thanks for the tip.

Jeannette said...

Your new setup here is pretty shweet!! I did LOVE your old template but who needs it if it was as fussy as a teething baby? Simple is beautiful. :)

As for these scones, absolutely beautiful!! You chose a simple recipe and I couldn't thank you more! I may have fudged them up a bit and either over-baked or over-handled but I'll be giving these a shot and freezing as you did!

Thanks for the "simple" pick!!

Kenn said...

I didn't bring a house-warming present to welcome you to your new home on the web. I'm sure you'll enjoy your new 'home' on blogger.

Thank you again for asking Elaine and I to bake along with you. I loved the scones and I've enjoyed 'meeting' some of the Tuesday's with Dorie members.

dorie said...

Your blog looks great, ditto your scones. I'm with you -- sparkly is good! I really like the way you sprinkled the tops of the scones with sanding sugar. Hope you don't mind if I do the same next time.

Mary said...

Thanks for a fantastic pick, Mike! I can see myself making these often, until I memorize the recipe too.I used your cream+coarse sugar trick and loved the result. Glad to see your new home--your old blog gave me fits when commenting!
:)

Lauryn said...

Mike, simply put...you rock! I love reading your blog posts, whether on mac or blogger or wherever! You are extremely creative and witty and also a wonderful photographer! Thanks for hosting and stay as cool as you are!! xoxo

Katrina said...

Yay for the new, simple, working blog!
Great post, as always, Mike. Loved the scones. Yes, if only all of life could always be this simple. sigh

margot said...

Your scones look fantastic, as does your site - how nice for it to debut the week you hosted. I am impressed you made the scones so many times! I thought they were great.

Mary said...

These look really wonderful, Mike. I really like the way your blog looks. We are almond lovers and these would be perfect with our tea. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Foodies said...

Love this recipe. I found your blog by way of How the Cookie Crumbles. Glad I did!

Kayte said...

Absolutely one of my favorite recipes in the whole book, you did great with the pick! Yours look wonderful, and that little sugar/cream trick sounds like a winner as well. Love your new blog home...so much easier!

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

Took me awhile to find you. Love your new blog. Your old comment box was so moody!

Love the "storyboard" picture. So sorry I didn't bake with you. Didn't notice it was your pick until Monday night. But they look really good.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Found ur blog thru the wonderful Elaine and u sure have some excellente scones here!
I loveeee u asked them to join in !

bakingwiththeboys said...

My host week was the ONLY time I have ever have made one of these recipes more than once in seven days. Must be the host anxiety. Sugar on top was definitely the way to go. Thanks for a good choice.

Jacque said...

Mmmm, yours look especially enticing! This was a great pick, thanks. Congrats on your new blog, it sure loads faster :)

Dana @ Cookin' At Cafe D said...

Hi Mike,
I followed through from http://everyday-houseblend.blogspot.com.

The scones look wonderful. So, is your trick to freeze them after they are formed so the butter stays cold? Do I have that right?

Then freezer straight to the oven?
They look wonderful!