Nailed It or Failed It: White chocolate macadamia scones

Published 9:34 am Monday, May 6, 2019

ran across this recipe in the April 2019 issue of Real Simple magazine while I was waiting for an appointment the other day.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Scones


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—3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

— 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

— 1 Tablespoon baking powder

— 1 teaspoon kosher salt

—1/2 teaspoon baking soda

— 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inches pieces

— 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

—1/2 cup white chocolate chips

— 1 cup whole milk


— 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

— 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

— 1/4 cup whole milk

— 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

—1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

— Flaky salt, for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until sandy. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in nuts and white chocolate chips

Make a well in dry ingredients and gradually add milk, using a for, to stir into a shaggy dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until no dry spots remain.

Roll dough to an 8 x 10 inch rectangle, about 3/4 inch thick; cut into 12 square and transfer to prepared sheet. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Make the glaze: Melt butter in a medium pot over medium. Add sugar and cook, stirring until sugar is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add milk (mixture will bubble and seize). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring until smooth and caramel colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in kosher salt

Spoon 1 tablespoon glaze over each scone. Top with nuts and flaky salt, if using.

The picture of the scones looked good enough to eat, and I quickly took a picture of the recipe, knowing I was going to make these things as soon as possible.

I only had to add a couple of ingredients to my weekly grocery list to be prepared to make these scones on Saturday afternoon.

Early Saturday afternoon I preheated the oven, prepared a baking sheet and set out to put this recipe to the test.

I don’t have a food processor, so I use my Ninja Blender since it has a pulse setting on it.

As I measured the ingredients for the scones, I poured them into the blender and pulsed it a few times to combine the dry ingredients; I added the cubed cold butter and pulsed again just until the mixture appeared sandy.

I poured the mixture into a bowl and added the white chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

After making a well in the center, I poured in the milk.

Since I buy skim milk, I decided to combine it with some heavy whipping cream hoping that would suffice for the whole milk (both of these items are what I had in the refrigerator — I didn’t want to buy whole milk just for this recipe because I knew the rest of it would go to waste).

Now I’ve never heard of a shaggy dough and had no idea what that meant, but my best guess was that you barely combine the wet and dry ingredients.

So, I gently combined the ingredients with a fork and poured the dough out onto a floured surface.

I kneaded the mixture until all of the dry ingredients were incorporated.

While writing this article, I did look up the shaggy dough on the internet, and I was right in my thinking. It’s a dough that doesn’t have a smooth consistency; it’s lumpy though all of the dry ingredients are there.

I patted the dough to an 8 x 10 rectangle and instead of cutting it into 12 pieces I cut it into 16 parts.

The pieces were still a good size.

I placed the cutout dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and put them in the oven.

I set the timer for 12 minutes then turned around to view a complete mess in my kitchen.

It seems I dirtied more baking utensils, measuring cups and spoons, etc. than I ever thought possible for one pan full of baked goods.

And I still had more to do. It was time to dirty more things while I made the glaze.

I melted the butter in a small saucepan and added the brown sugar.

I didn’t have enough light brown sugar and ended up using mostly dark brown sugar.

It took what seemed like forever to get the sugar to melt, and again I wasn’t sure what the recipe meant when it said it would seize.

As I stirred the mixture, I figured out that means the mixture crystallizes.

But I kept shaking like the recipe stated and the mixture melted.

Once the butter/sugar mixture was smooth, I took the pan off the stove and added another combination of skim milk and heavy whipping cream.

Once the milk was combined, I put the pan back on the stove and cooked the mixture for about 10 minutes.

The recipe said cook till it was caramel colored; since I used dark brown sugar the mixture was caramel colored from the get-go.

I removed the pan from the stove and added the salt.

About that time the oven timer went off, and I removed the scones from the oven to cool a bit.

After removing them from the pan, I placed them on a cooling rack.

To not waste the parchment paper they baked on I put it under the cooling rack to catch the glaze if it dripped off the scones.

I used a measuring tablespoon to spoon the glaze over each scone and then sprinkled the remaining nuts on top.

I love sweet and salty stuff, so I did sprinkle some flaky black sea salt on half the scones.

As I suspected some of the glazes did drip off the scones and having the parchment paper underneath helped with clean up.

Once the scones were cooled completely, I had to have one.

I opted to eat one that had the black sea salt on it and loved it.

I ate half cold and heated the remaining half in the microwave.

It was good either way, but I liked it warmed up a little bit better.

Brad did take a bite of one and said he thought they were good, but he’s not a scone person.

Now while I was at the grocery earlier in the day, I’d run into Joe, a friend from church who reads my articles.

He asked what I was cooking, and after a brief conversation he said, “I love scones.”

And I decided right there if the scones turned out, I’d take him a couple and see what he thought.

There’s another Jo at church that is always bragging on my articles, and I decided I had plenty to share and took one to her too.

I also decided to share with my mom and brother, since there were still plenty of scones left that I didn’t need to eat.

Brad even took a few to work for some friends.

The reactions ranged from “I love them” to “they had a little too much salt for me.”

Lauren, one of Brad’s co-workers, fellow church member, and expert scone maker let me know she liked the glaze and nuts on top.

I asked her what she thought about the actual scone, and she said she thought it was good, but it was a little dry.

I asked her if she felt I kneaded the dough too much or baked them too long and she wasn’t sure.

On the other hand, Joe had shared with his wife Susan, and they both liked the scones.

Susan especially liked the one that had black sea salt sprinkled on top. She, like me, likes sweet and salty things.

I received the most generous thank you note from Jo — she had shared the scone with her daughter, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law (who’s from North Carolina and who Jo occasionally sends my articles).

They all agreed the recipe is a keeper.

Brad’s co-workers had good things to say, and so did my mom and brother.

Hands down this recipe is a winner, and I Nailed It!

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.