“Every true artist is at war with the world.” – Anthony Kiedis
I have a slight problem. You see, every time I open a new batch of jam (which happens quite often), I feel obliged to make a special baked good to deliver said jam straight to my face. As was the case recently, when I decided to open a newly purchased jar of rose petal jam. Bake, slather, eat then repeat – it’s a little habit I cannot seem to break… and one I wouldn’t want to really.
If I had to choose, I would say that scones are my jam delivery vehicle candidate to date. I cannot seem to escape from their buttery, tender and flaky clutches. They are the perfect blank canvas to which you can build, layer and slather on sweet flavour.
I’ve become quite the scone connoisseur of late too. In recent few weeks, I’ve tested and baked up what feels like hundreds, of sweet and savoury scones. I’ve methodically measured, mixed and cut dough so many times – that it has become like my new rhythm, a familiar feeling and process that I just know. I’ve become strong, fast and efficient in the scone baking process and quickly have learnt how to differentiate between good scones…and very bad ones.
So when I recently put my new-found scone skill and knowledge to good use and whipped up a batch, they were an instant success. The resulting Almond and Rose Petal Thumbprint Scones were buttery, soft, slightly nutty – and just a little sweet. Perfect and addictive are other suitable words I would use to describe them too.
I opted for a dough base made from a mix of plain flour and almond meal, with a generous amount of butter and buttermilk added in as well. The almond meal really makes all the difference to an otherwise usual scone base. The addition gives such a deliciously soft, toasty and nutty rich flavour – that I think I will continue to add it into all the scones I bake in the future. I flavoured these thumbprint scones with rose petal jam too – though you could easily use any type of jammy preserve that you have lying around. I imagine that they would be quite delicious drizzled with a bit of white chocolate as well.
Almond and Rose Petal Thumbprint Scones are quite humble looking in appearance and are too simple to make. But don’t be fooled, they are equally as addictive and delicious as any other type of complex baked treat. They are surprisingly hearty, wholesome and light. And are on the verge of being considered a “healthy” enough baked good – that you won’t feel bad for treating yourself and having more than a couple…and I do promise that you won’t be able to refrain yourself either.
I have a current standing love affair with these Almond and Rose Petal Thumbprint Scones. They are my little buttery and crumbly guilty pleasures. For maximum enjoyment eat them fresh and warm straight from the oven on the day they are baked. I like them best slathered with a little bit of clotted cream and served warm alongside a strong, milky black tea.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8.5 ounces / 240 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½ inch / 1.2 cm cubes
- 6 tbsp. buttermilk, cold
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla bean extract
- ½ cup rose petal jam, or other preserve of choice
- 2 egg yolks mixed with 1 tbsp. heavy cream, for the egg wash
- Raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Line two to three sheet pans with parchment paper and set them aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder, sugar and salt. Throw in the cold cubed butter and toss well to coat. Using your fingertips, begin to rub and work in the butter until mostly pea sized pieces remain. Add the buttermilk and vanilla bean extract and lightly stir to distribute. Then, using your hands, gently bring the mixture together until it is just holding together.
- Dump the dough out onto a clean surface. Using the heel of your palm, gently and quickly flatten the dough into a thick mound. Fold it in half, give it a quarter turn then gather it back together in a mound. Repeat this gathering, halving then turning process for a total of three repetitions. The dough should be holding together, but be sure to avoid overworking it, you should still have some flaky flour bits and see some pea-sized bits of butter running through it.
- Form the scones by tightly packing 4 to 5 tbsp. of dough into an ice-cream scoop, and then transfer to the prepared sheet pans – leaving plenty of breathing room.
- Using the back of a teaspoon make a rough indent into the center of the scones then scoop a rough tablespoon of the jam into each indent. Freeze the scones for at least 2 hours before baking, or chill overnight to set the butter solids so that the scones hold their shape.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 375 F / 190 C. Remove the scones from the fridge or freezer. Brush the rims with the egg wash and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake from frozen and chilled until cooked through and golden or when they can be easily lifted off the pan, about 25 to 30 minutes.