Red Velvet Scones w/Cream Cheese Icing


Well, about a month ago, this was going to be a Valentine’s Day scone post. But the first batch turned out so awful that I couldn’t share it (bland!). And then I kind of forgot about it (maybe that was not so unintentional?). But now, going through my blog archives of unposted, half-finished recipes and titled, half-scribbled recipe ideas, I find this one. I think it’s time to dust it off and let it loose… In all honesty, I don’t plan on spending much more time on it, not being a Red Velvet fan myself.

Red Velvet Scones
They turned out presentable, at least… And that icing…yum yum.

To be honest (and maybe I shouldn’t say this), but this certainly isn’t my favorite recipe I’ve come up with. But  I may be a bit jaded, as I’ve never really understood why people go crazy over Red Velvet recipes. Once I looked into the recipe itself, I realized that it’s basically a little bit of chocolate flavoring with red food dye. Huh. Not quite sure I understand that one. BUT…the cream cheese icing is awesome! So if you like faintly flavored chocolate items with rich, cream cheesey frosting, then give these a try! And tell me what you think…and how they could be improved!

Yield: ~16 medium sized scones
Prep time: 30-45 minutes

Chilling time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: at least 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Scones:
2 cups flour
1/2-cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-3/4 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla butter emulsion (or 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of vanilla beans (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
2-1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp red food coloring
6 tbsp unsalted butter, diced and cold
approx. 1 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or a pinch of dry vanilla beans (you can use vanilla extract here as well, but I like the look of the vanilla beans in the frosting rather than just an off-white frosting)
2 tbsps half & half

Instructions:

1) In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla butter emulsion, vinegar, sour cream, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and a pinch of vanilla beans (optional). Whisk gently to mix and set aside.

2) In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder with the red food coloring and stir into a smooth paste. Add 2-3 tablespoons of buttermilk until you get a runny, smooth mixture with no chunks of cocoa powder.

3) In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; whisk to mix.

4) Add the butter to the dry ingredients and work in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Try not to leave any big chunks of butter or your finished scones will look spotty (trust me).

5) Add the cocoa powder/food dye/buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk lightly to combine. Then create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the well. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, until nearly all the floury bits are moistened. Carefully add any additional buttermilk if needed–just enough to bring the dough together (this dough goes from firm to soft very quickly).

6) Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and give a couple of kneads to bring the dough together.

7) Flatten out into a long log about 1/2-inch high and cut into smaller sized triangles. These will spread out a bit while baking, so cut smaller than you think you want. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least two inches from one another.

8) If your dough turned out soft, chill in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, or until the scones are noticeably harder. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 400F. (It’ll take about fifteen minutes or so to reach temperature.)

9) Bake at 400F for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until firm on top and a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean.

10) While the scones are baking, make the cream cheese icing. In a stand mixer (or with a hand held mixer), put the cream cheese in the bowl and beat until smooth and uniform. Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean seeds); beat to combine. Add half & half as needed to reach the desired consistency. (I only needed a splash, maybe 1/2 tbsp worth.)

11) When the scones have finished baking, allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for another 5 minutes.

12) Take your cream cheese drizzle and, using a spatula, place the icing into a plastic sandwich bag, stuffing the icing down into one corner. Then cut the very tip of the corner off the bag and squeeze the frosting onto the scones in desired pattern.

13) Allow the scones to cool, so the icing can set, and enjoy!

 

Results:

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Red Velvet recipes. I had intended to offer this recipe around Valentine’s Day, but my first attempt was a bland failure. This one, although much better, certainly seemed bland to me. It needed the cream cheese icing–but I have a feeling that is just because I’m not a huge Red Velvet fan. (That said, the cream cheese icing was delicious.)
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