If you're still looking for something special to make for your mom tomorrow, look no further. These are some seriously fantastic scones.
The recipe comes from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, by Nancy Silverton. In the book, Nancy calls these the best selling scones in the bakery, and after making them I can see why.
Before I tell you any more, a disclaimer: my scones shouldn't have been as thin as they were. I contemplated not posting them until I could make them again, but they are too good to hold back for however long it will take me to get around to doing that. The reason they were so thin is that I made them on an incredibly hot day, and even though my butter started out frozen, within only 5 minutes out of the freezer it was melty. I should have refrigerated my biscuits after I cut them, but I was impatient - on the day I made them I also made 2 tarts, 2 kinds of cookies and ice cream, all in a 5 hour time span - so I popped them in the oven. Ah well...
These are cream scones, and as such are incredibly light and fluffy, studded with chewy bits of crystallized ginger, and flavored with lemon zest. The tops are dusted with sugar before baking, creating a crunchy sugar crust; a beautiful contrast to the soft interior. Can you imagine anything better? They are the most wonderful scones I've ever had; they are lovely in every way.
adapted from Pastries from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar + more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
finely grated zest from one lemon
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks and frozen
4 1/2 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy cream + more for finishing
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Add butter, and using a pastry blender, cut it in until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add zest and toss in with your fingers. Add 1/2 cup cream, stirring with a wooden spoon or tossing with your hands until it is incorporated. Do not overwork dough. If it seems too dry, add remaining 1/4 cup of cream. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board, knead a few times to form a cohesive ball, and pat into a disk about 3/4 inch thick. If dough seems soft, refrigerate for about 5 minutes. Cut dough into circles using a 3" biscuit cutter, and place them 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut as closely together as you can, then re-form the scraps into a 3/4 inch disk, cut as many circles as you can, etc... until you have cut all of the dough. Again, if the dough seems soft, refrigerate for 5-10 minutes before baking. When ready to bake, brush tops of scones with cream, then dust with sugar. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until they crack and are a light golden brown.