Studio Scones

by msmaggiekerr

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So I have a “day job”, I’m a makeup artist. One of the greatest perks of my job is the free food. I love craft services. I remember my first big job was doing Apple iPod in-store advertising for Northern California (awesome!), the photographer was Ben Watts, Naomi Watts’ brother (cool!), and all they wanted me to do was put moisturizer on the girls’ skin and put their hair in a ponytail because it was a lifestyle ad shot (really? ok!), but the Best part was the catering. I kept thinking- you’re paying me to eat food? And dessert? And non-stop snacks? Stop. It. Right. Now; I love my future career.

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That’s what those career fairs should advertise when employers are seeking candidates- free food if you join our company! Because a happy employee is a well fed employee (Google has already caught onto the photo shoot mentality, as have a few other tech companies).

Last week I was working on a Harley Davidson ad, and of course I cozied up to Ann Margaret our craft services person. She made us scones for breakfast on our last day shooting, they were amazeballs: light, buttery, lemony, not at all like the concrete blocks I’ve encountered. I asked her if I could share her recipe with all of you, and she happily obliged.

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A few notes: Ann told me that you can grate the butter instead of cubing it- interesting….. She also mentioned to freeze the berries before adding them into the batter so that they don’t bleed throughout the dough (brilliant!)

2 3/4c all-purpose flour
1/2c sugar
3/4tsp salt
1tbsp baking powder
1/2c cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes
2c frozen berries
zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
2tsp vanilla extract (if you can find Tahitian vanilla, even better)
1/2c to 2/3c half & half
sanding sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon zest. Using a pastry cutter or pulsing in a food processor, work in the butter just until the mixture looks like clumpy sand; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
Stir in the fruit. Make sure they’re coated in the flour mixture.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and half & half.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine until moistened and forms a very loose dough. Don’t work/fold it too much, this will make your scones tough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment and divide it in half to form to 6″ circles that are about 3/4″ thick. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Using a knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating half way through, until they’re golden brown. Cool briefly on the pan, serve warm. Store at room temperature, makes 12.