Confession #105: I’ll Come for the Food… Apricot Almond Scones

by alexandra

Apricot Almond Scones from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

 Being the crazy food-lover that I am, I get pretty excited about things when there’s food involved.

One of my favorite things about going on vacation? Breakfast. Dinner. Dessert. ← woops, three things

Somebody’s birthday? That means cake :)

You guys, I still get excited when there’s a candy bowl at the bank. So you better bet that one of my favorite types of errands to run is one that involves food samples. Costco, anyone?

Apricot Almond Scones from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

Before I started baking a lot, we used to go to this local bakery all the time. My favorite thing about going there, besides bringing home the most amazing freshly-baked breads, scones, and other treats, was the samples. They weren’t your wimpy, one-bite samples, either. These were serious slices of bread and big ol’ halves of scones.  I LIVED for those samples, and for all of their baked goods – especially the scones (can you tell?). One of my favorites was the Apricot Almond Scone, and I’ve forever tried to make my own version at home that was every bit as good. I even posted an Apricot Almond Scone recipe in the very embarrasing early days when I first started this blog, and then something called 100+ other recipes entered my life and I stopped thinking about those scones for awhile.

Apricot Almond Scones

Apparently all those recipes made me forget things, because I totally forgot about the Apricot Almond Scones I made before, and when a craving for one struck, I started from scratch trying to make them again. And for once, it was a good thing I was forgetful, because let me tell you – these new scones are my winners. Honestly, I don’t remember every detail of the bakery scones that I first fell in love with, but I know that these scones are so incredibly good, I don’t need to worry about finding a better version anymore. This. is. it.

Apricot Almond Scones

These scones are intensely almondy, but not in a “nutty” way. They get lots of almond flavor from almond paste and almond extract – two of my favorite flavoring ingredients, so they’re almondy in that distinctly rich, sweet way that almonds alone can’t accomplish. Tangy but sweet dried apricots add lots of zing to these scones, the perfect addition to the notes of almond. Not only are these scones studded with those bright orange pieces of apricot, but they also have bits of toasted almonds in them, for texture and another layer of almond flavor. They have just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the tang of the apricots and please your palate. And – although it seems silly to even say this – these scones are NOT dry, bland, and boring, the only type of scones some people seem to have tasted before. I seriously can’t believe I even said that, but I just want to make sure I convert all of you scone-haters out there. In fact, let me just put it out there:

These scones are good. Promise. 

Apricot Almond Scones

Cook Time: 20 minutes

16 scones*

Apricot Almond Scones

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 3 1/8 ounces all-purpose flour (4 1/2 cups, spoon and sweep)**
  • 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces almond paste, cubed***
  • 4 ounces butter (1/2 cup), frozen and cubed
  • 5 ounces chopped dried apricots (1 cup)
  • 5 ounces chopped toasted almonds (1 cup)
  • 8 1/2 ounces milk (1 cup)
  • 4 1/8 ounces heavy cream (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cubed almond paste and butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until no large pieces of either remain and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add the chopped dried apricots and almonds and whisk or toss in until evenly dispersed in the mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cream and almond extract. Add to the dry scone mixture in three parts, folding in partially after each addition. Once all of the liquid has been added, continue to fold in with a spatula until the dry and wet ingredients are together but not yet evenly combined. Use your hands to finish combining the ingredients, gently forming a large ball of dough. If the dough seems too dry to come together, you can add a bit more liquid, but do so VERY sparingly. This should not be a wet dough.
  4. Divide the ball of dough in half and shape each half into a round disc, about 3/4" to 1" thick, on one of the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour (do NOT skip this step).
  5. Toward the end of the chilling period, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the fully chilled scones from the freezer and slice each round into 8 triangles, pizza-style. Space the cut scones apart on the two lined baking sheets. Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  6. Once cool, keep scones in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These scones are good cold, but can also be warmed up in the microwave for about 25 seconds.

Notes

*This recipe makes 16 fairly large scones, hence some of the large ingredient amounts.

**It's crucial that you use the spoon-and-level technique to measure out your flour for this recipe, otherwise you might end up overflouring the dough. Better yet, weigh your flour!

***I like to buy my almond paste from a local nut house, where it always seems much fresher, softer, and easier to work with than the type I've found in the grocery store. If you can find really good, fresh almond paste, I recommend the splurge! But otherwise, the typical grocery-store almond paste will work too.

http://www.brighteyedbaker.com/2013/01/24/confession-105-ill-come-for-the-food-apricot-almond-scones/

Have you ever tried replicating a food you love at home? How did it turn out? Tell me all the tasty details!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 24, 2013

I love scones, great flavor combo!
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Ashley January 25, 2013

Scones are my favorite breakfast treat : ) Love the combo of almonds and apricots. Agree with you about vacations – sometimes my husband and I plan them around where we get to eat haha
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alexandra January 25, 2013

I’m so glad to hear from another scone lover! :) And thank goodness I’m not the only one who does a ton of food planning for vacations; I make lists of places where I want to eat and schedule them into the daily activities!

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Kate @ Kate from Scratch January 25, 2013

These sound amazing. I love a great scone. These look wonderful!
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alexandra January 26, 2013

Thank you! Scones deserved to be loved – that’s why I’m always shocked when some people don’t like them!

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Erika January 25, 2013

LOL I am the exact same. I LOVE Costco samples. And when I started grocery shopping in Houston, I discovered that this chain called HEB is the absolute king of food samples. They have a station where they do cooking demos and give you samples!! It’s awesome.

Speaking of Costco and replicating things, I would love for someone to try to replicate their All-American chocolate cake. It is pure chocolate magic. I am not allowing myself because I would end up eating all 80 trials I’m sure I’d have to go through to perfect it ;)

I did try replicating Sprinkle’s red velvet cupcake…didn’t go so well. And I made Tartine’s scones at home after eating an absolutely huge, craggy, sugar-sprinkled one at their bakery and OMG AMAZING. But…it was from their cookbook so I don’t know if that counts! Love the photos, as usual! That orange towel is so cheery :) And sorry I keep writing essays as comments, geez.
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alexandra January 26, 2013

Okay, the day I see an HEB somewhere, I’m going. DONE!
And I would LOVE to see someone replicate the Costco chocolate cake, too. I agree – it’s amazing. :) It can’t be me either, though. I’m like the only cake eater in my family, so experimenting with a chocolate cake recipe would be totally dangerous. And I just looked up the Tartine recipe… I need to try that too! It sounds amazing.
Thank you so much for the “essay comment” haha, including the photo compliment – it makes my day! And long comments are always welcome; I love reading them. :)

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Ari @ Ari's Menu January 25, 2013

Almond PASTE??? What is this amazing sounding ingredient you speak of, and why have I never used it?!
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alexandra January 26, 2013

You’ve never had almond paste?! Oh my goodness, you’re missing out! From what I’ve read, it’s like marzipan, although I’ve never had marzipan so that’s why I can’t say from experience. Marzipan is supposed to be softer and sweeter, though. If you like the flavor of almond extract, I guarantee you’ll LOVE almond paste. It’s similar, but not liquid and therefore biteable, haha

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Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen January 26, 2013

These look delicious and your photos are gorgeous!
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alexandra January 26, 2013

Thank you so much! That means a lot, especially because I work really hard on my photography. :)

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Belinda @themoonblushbaker January 26, 2013

This looks like a solid recipe for scones. In Australia our scone are very close to our hearts and perfect scone is always debatable, but this recipe with the almond paste seems to tick all the boxes. Wonderful flavour combo,
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alexandra January 26, 2013

Wow, thanks for the awesome comment! I’m so glad these meet your scone standards. :) I take scones seriously, too.

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RestauranteDeLux January 26, 2013

Nice! :)

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sally @ sallys baking addiction January 28, 2013

These look amazing. Simply amazing. Stunning and the photography is gorgeous. I love a great scone recipe and this one seems to be the one which would not disappoint!
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alexandra January 29, 2013

Thanks Sally! That means so much :) As you know, food photography takes TONS of work and dedication, so your really makes my day. And these scones are definitely not ones to disappoint!

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Pam January 12, 2014

I was wondering if you could make these the day before and leave frozen until the next morning?

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alexandra January 12, 2014

You mean, freeze before baking and then bake the following morning? If so, yes, absolutely! I’ve kept them in the freezer for a few weeks before baking with no problem at all. If you do it this way, take them out of the freezer while your oven preheats, since they’ll be colder than they would otherwise be if you’d only frozen them for an hour. Also, be sure to test them with a toothpick when they’re done in case you need to tack on a couple minutes to the baking time.

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Pam January 12, 2014

Thank you, that is exactly what I mean!

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Cheryle April 15, 2014

Hello, getting ready to make these almond apricot scones but I have a question about the proper amount of butter.
Your recipe says 4 tablespoons (1/2 cup) but 1/2cup is 8 tablespoons so please advise which it is.

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alexandra April 15, 2014

Hi Cheryle!
It actually says 4 ounces which = 1/2 cup butter by weight. The weight measurements are the most reliable to use when baking so that’s why I include them and recommend them, but if you want to measure by volume, that’s of course fine too. (Just make sure you measure your flour correctly!) I hope you love these; they’re a favorite around here. :)

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Cheryle April 15, 2014

Oh my word! I was confusing tablespoons with ounces!
Thanks for prompt reply!
I’ve been baking for over 50 years! Happy to add your recipe!

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alexandra April 15, 2014

Not a problem! Enjoy!

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