1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely-chopped dried apricots, divided
2/3 cup white chocolate baking chips, divided
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
1 cold egg, beaten*
About 1/3 cup chilled half-and-half cream*
1/3 cup white chocolate baking chips
* Why do your ingredients need to be cold? It is important that your ingredients (both fats, liquids, and eggs) remain cold. The purpose is to keep the butter solid and not let it melt. If your dough is kept cold, it will have little bits of dispersed butte r. In the heat of the oven, that butter melts into the dough but leaves pockets and layers in the scones. If it's hot in your kitchen, freeze your butter before making scones. Cold butter makes scones rise higher!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle of oven. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with vegetable-oil cooking spray.
Tip: Chill the bowl and any utensils you will be using in the refrigerator before making the scones.
In a large chilled bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the chilled butter into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas.
Reserve 2 tablespoons chopped apricots for topping; set aside. Stir remaining chopped apricots and 1/3 cup white chocolate baking chips into the flour mixture.
Add chilled egg and just enough chilled half-and-half cream until dough just leaves side of bowl and forms a ball. When making scones, work the dough quickly and do not over mix. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Pat or roll into an 8-inch circle on cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate.
Tip: Prior to baking, place the tray of scones in the refrigerator for about 5 to 10 minutes to ensures that the scones remain cold before baking.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your scones. The temperature of the scones should be at 200 degrees F. when done.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.
Topping: While the scones are baking, prepare the topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining 1/3 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave for 15 to 20 second intervals. After each interval, stir (even if there is no sign of melting). Once melted (usually after 4 or 5 cycles in the microwave) place melted chocolate chips in a small resealable plastic food-storage bag. Cut off small corner of bag; pipe small amount of melted chips over the baked scones. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons chopped apricots. Pipe remaining melted chips over scones.
When the scones are done baking, remove from oven and top with the prepared topping. Serve warm or cool.
Tip: When the scones are cool, wrap airtight and hold at room temperature for up to one day or freeze to store longer (see Freezing Scones below). To reheat, unwrap scones (thaw wrapped, if frozen) and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees oven 8 to 10 minutes or until warm.
Yields 8 scones.