i decided this year i would make all my christmas presents. i managed to convince my family this was a good idea. so i set out planning the perfect baked good for each member of my family. some were easy and some not so easy.

my brother, Jeff, is engaged to Miranda. i love her - she is fun, outgoing and just an all around incredible person. the only problem is she is a pickier than me - which believe me is hard to do. but i figured i couldn't go too wrong with baking.

Miranda is a teacher and i figured it would be cool if i did some sort of a breakfast baked good that she could grab on her way to school. i was totally sold on my buttermilk berry muffins. i have yet to meet anyone that didn't like those - but i called my brother just incase. yea - she doesn't like muffins. he told me she likes raspberry white chocolate scones.

so off i went to find the most perfect "looking" recipe i could. this is not that easy surprisingly. i finally ended up logging into my account over at Cook's Illustrated and there it was - blueberry scones. blueberries/raspberries - close enough. and they did what i had thought about in my head - use frozen berries.

i think now is about the time to get something out in the open. i will always push the limits of a recipe. i figure if a little of an ingredient is good - a little bit more will be even better. don't laugh - you know you have done it. word for advice - the first time you make a recipe - don't do this.

i used more berries than the recipe called for. they seemed fine when they went into the oven - i would even argue they looked damn good. i checked on them halfway through time - and oh my - it was not good. because i used too many berries - they started to "slide" over and just didn't look that great.

even though they didn't look perfect - they tasted wonderful (thank god). alex now refers to these scones as "busted scones" - so without further ado - i give you busted scones a la picky cook.

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones
inspired by Cook's Illustrated blueberry scone recipe

raspberry white chocolate scones

It is important to work the dough as little as possible - work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and workbowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). Fresh or frozen berries can be used (if frozen - do not defrost). Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (I used frozen)
1/2 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup sour cream 
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon table salt 
zest of one lemon 
1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
vanilla sugar to sprinkle on top

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Following photo at left, grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place raspberries in freezer until needed.

grated butter

2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

wet ingredients

butter and flour

3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.

5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle raspberries and white chocolate chips evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones

6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

raspberry white chocolate scones

raspberry white chocolate scones

To Make Ahead:
After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

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