Afternoon tea and chocolate pecan scones

Afternoon DelightNV Cook June July '16

Traditional afternoon tea is perfectly paired with buttery chocolate pecan scones.

By Leann Grunwald

There is something very special about traditional afternoon tea. This British custom is an exquisitely beautiful way to entertain.

History is uncertain as to when afternoon tea was first introduced in England, but the celebration became fashionable in the 1840s.

Credit is given to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, for pioneering the tea trend, due to the long stretch of time between lunch and the evening meal, which was often served as late as 7 p.m.

Anna found herself understandably famished, and began inviting ladies to enjoy tea and scones in her rooms at Woburn Abbey. She continued this practice upon returning to London, where her afternoon tea time quickly caught on and became an increasingly fashionable tradition among the social hostesses of the upper classes.

Scones are a dense shortbread that are best enjoyed with a cup of tea––comforting and undeniably delicious. They first began as a Scottish quick bread, originally made with oats and baked on a griddle. Today’s version is typically made with flour and oven baked. As for the origin of the word, some say it comes from the Dutch word schoonbrot, which means beautiful bread. And, indeed it is.

Delicately dense, lavished in butter or preserves, sweet or savory, nothing compares to freshly made warm scones. I believe the Duchess of Bedford would consider scones the ultimate comfort food.

Happiness is knowing there are scones in the oven!

 

Afternoon Tea Chocolate Pecan Scones

Yield: 12 scones

Prep Time: 1/2 hour

Inactive Time: 1/2 hour

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 78 Minutes

Level: Easy

 

4         cup bleached all-purpose flour

5          tsp. baking powder

1          tsp. sea salt

2/3       cups sugar

1 1/2    sticks cold butter, diced. Plus 1 ounce of melted butter for the advanced method if desired.

4         large eggs, room temperature

1         cup heavy cream, room temperature

2          Tbsp. pure vanilla

2         cups high quality semisweet chocolate chips

1          cup chopped pecans. More as desired for topping

 

Glaze

1          cup confectioners sugar

Orange zest as desire

1/4       cup freshly squeezed orange juice, adjust the powdered sugar for desired texture

 

METHOD

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in large bowl, then drop butter into flour.

Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until small flakes form.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, cream, and vanilla.

Pour egg mixture over flour mixture, then scatter chocolate and nuts over and stir to form a dough

Turn dough onto floured surface, knead lightly for 1 minute. Sprinkle dough with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Divide dough in half. Form each into disks.

Wrap in wax paper and chill for half an hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees for half an hour prior to baking.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper

 

FORM SCONES

Place each disc on a lightly floured surface, using a chef’s knife, cut six wedges.

Transfer scones to baking pan(s) 3 inches apart

 

BAKING

Bake scones for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on oven.

Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Place chopped pecans over scones and drizzle orange glaze over scones as desired.

 

MAMA G’S TEA TIME ETIQUETTE

  • Spread a scone with butter first, then jam
  • Ladies always look into, not over the teacup when sipping
  • Tip teacups just ever so slightly when tipping!
  • Cup to mouth when sipping. Never leaning. Posture has meaning
  • Raised pinky fingers––never
  • Place the napkin on a chair if you must leave the table
  • No fretting. Upon departure, leave your unfolded napkin to the left of the place setting
  • Everyone agrees, small bites of food only please.
  • If able, place plates no more than 1 inch from the edge of the table
  • Milk and lemon together in tea? Goodness me, just can’t be
  • Ladies never fill their cups fully––three quarters full, at most

 

Afternoon Tea

Read this my dears, and you will see how to make a nice cup of tea.

Take teapot to kettle, not the other way round and when you hear that whistling sound

pour a little in the pot––just make it nice and hot.

Pour that out and put in the tea, loose or in bags, your choice, you see.

One bag for each two cups will do with one extra bag to make a fine brew.

Steep 3 to 5 minutes then pour a cup. Then sit right down and drink it up!

––Patricia Winchester

 

TIP

Use a springform pan to cut dough into uniform discs. Everything in the kitchen is a potential tool for something more than it was intended. Guests love fabulously pretty scones and it begins with shaping the dough.

 

It may be a British tradition, but these fabulous local spots know how to do high tea right, with teas, petite sandwiches, and delectable desserts.

 

English Rose Tea Room

carefreetea.com

(480) 488-4812

201 Easy St., #103, Carefree

 

 

The Phoenician

thephoenician.com/lobby-tea-court

(480) 941-8200

6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale

 

Arizona Biltmore

arizonabiltmore.com/restaurants-and-dining/high-tea

(855) 689-2878

2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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