Last week, without thinking, I posted three dinner recipes in a row. Usually, I try to break things up a bit with a salad or dessert or some other post. So this weekend, I thought I’d make more “fun” things!
Well, what’s more fun than Mardi Gras? Even if you don’t celebrate it as a “holiday” you gotta admit that foods that come out of New Orleans, Cajun and Creole, are always good! I put up a collection of Mardi Gras Recipes just the other day. The cuisine is vibrant and tasty, with just a bit of heat or in this case, just a bit of sweet!
I have been dusting off my scone making skills (I made these Dried Cherry & Chocolate Scones, too) and bought a Scone Pan for the purpose. Now a scone pan is optional, but I’d highly recommend one if you love scones. I also bought Wilton Bright Sugar Crystals which are gorgeous but run about $4.50. On the plus side, the crystals include pink if you’d like to make these for Valentine’s day.
As you can see, these are not the cheapest scones to make, but they sure are fun for a special occasion! I only wish I had the grandkids to help me out with the decorating! They would have had a blast! Just a note: I decorated the whole top, and very generously. Had I striped it I would have been a little more conservative with the use of the sugar.
I adapted my recipe from Louisiana Cookin’ and chose that particular recipe because it has a little cream cheese and just a touch of almond, both which are often found in the famous King Cake. The King Cake Scones are just a little rich and barely sweet, which is great because there’s all that sugar on top.
If you’d like to make these scones for another occasion when you’re not decorating them, you might want to up the sugar a bit (maybe a tablespoon – they are barely sweet) and cut the salt back just a hair. The salt helps balance out all the sugar after the King Cake Scones are decorated, but when I had one plain, I thought it was just a bit salty.
Just a note: these scones are more on the “muffiny” rather than “crumbly” side of the scone spectrum and nice and moist. Don’t overbake, though, as they’ll firm up more when cool. The tops are pale and really not browned when finished. In my vision, the Mardi Gras King Cake Scones needed a nice, thick topping so all that sugar would stick on really well…just a little overkill to take these to the next level.
Mardi Gras King Cake Scones
Always check scones for doneness early and often.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, chilled and diced
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup whole buttermilk, divided 1/2 cup for scones, 1/4 for topping
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- glaze, recipe follows
- Purple, yellow, and green sanding sugars
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (optional); set aside.
In a medium bowl, or in a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or fingers, (or pulsing if using a food processor) cut butter, and cream cheese into flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger clumps.
In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and extracts. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Working gently, bring the mixture together with hands (or pulse in food processor) just until a sticky dough forms.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead lightly to just bring together any excess flour. Push and pat into a circle about 1″ tall. Transfer to a baking sheet. Brush scones with remaining buttermilk. Cut in wedges, 8 to 12, and pull each wedge apart from the rest, leaving about 1/2″ between.
Bake until risen and nearly firm (when pressed on the top, they should have just a bit of a give) about 15 to 25 minutes. The scones will be a pale color. Let cool completely on pan.
Dip scones, after they’re completely cooled, in the glaze, using fingers or a spoon to smooth it out and fill in any nooks and crannies. Sprinkle with desired sugars before glaze sets.
Note: If using a scone pan, divide dough into 8ths, then transfer each wedge to the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes.
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted is highly recommended
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 5 tablespoons cream or milk, to desired consistency, divided
Stir together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and two tablespoons cream or milk. Add additional cream or milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until a thick consistency is formed. The mixture will firm a bit as it sits, so work quickly when dipping the scones. There may be a little additional glaze leftover.