Scones are an essential for afternoon tea! For this week’s Tea for Tuesdays feature, I’m making almond poppy seed scones. Moist, dense, crumbly, and not overly sweet, they’re a unique variation on the more common lemon poppy seed combination. Visit the Afternoon Tea homepage here.
Welcome back to the second week of Tea for Tuesdays!
If you’ve ever had an afternoon tea, or even a cream tea, you know that scones are a non-negotiable on the menu. A good scone is the foundation of the spread.
You may have finger sandwiches or mini quiches, petits fours or truffles, madeleines or biscotti, but you know there will always, always be a scone. And along with it, probably some cream, jam, and curd.
Since I love tea, I guess it’s sort of a given that I love scones. That’s why it’s actually my third scone recipe on the blog, after my Earl Grey scones with rose and lavender icings and cardamom orange scones with orange glaze.
Scones are great as well because you don’t have to make them for a special occasion — they’re just as good for a weekend brunch or a weekday grab-and-go breakfast as they are for an elegant afternoon tea.
Today’s recipe is for almond poppy seed scones. Now, if most people were to fill in the blank, _________ poppy seed scones/muffins/cake, they would write “lemon.”
I was never a huge fan of lemon poppy seed baked goods growing up. After cross country meets in high school, someone would inevitably bring mini muffins as a post-race snack.
There were usually blueberry muffins, banana nut muffins, and one muffin speckled with the familiar black polka-dot of poppy seeds. I usually ended up going for the banana nut ones, but I always checked the top of the box to see if maybe, just maybe, the speckled muffins were not lemon poppy seed, but almond poppy seed.
Probably 29 times out of 30 they were lemon poppy seed. But on the rare chance it was almond poppy seed? I had hit the jackpot! It was truly a rare treat.
If you’ve never tried almond poppy seed in your baked goods, now’s a good time to start. You’ve been missing out!
Nowadays I like lemon poppy seed as well, but almond poppy seed is still my preferred flavor combination.
These almond poppy seed scones are moist and crumbly, and are not only infused with almond extract, but also topped with almond slivers and drizzled with an almond glaze.
While that may sound like an almond overdose, the almond flavor in the scones is on the subtle side, and the drizzle of glaze on top is just enough to make sure you satisfy that craving for almondy goodness.
With my other scones I’ve dipped the entire top of the scone in glaze, but for these guys it was a bit overkill. Almond extract is one of those ingredients that’s very easy to overdo, so a drizzle was just perfect — and it allows the beautiful almond slivers to show through on the top.
These pair nicely with lemon curd (bringing in the lemon poppy seed element) or orange marmalade.
So pop the kettle on and whip up a batch of these almond poppy seed scones!
Have you had almond poppy seed baked goods before? Are you a lemon poppy seed fan? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Make-ahad options: You can make these scones a day or two in advance. Make sure the glaze is completely hardened before storing in an airtight container.
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Almond Poppy Seed Scones
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream plus a little extra for brushing the tops of the scones
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 8 tbsp /half cup cold unsalted butter diced
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Sugar with large crystals like what you would get for cookie decorating
- Slivered almonds
For the glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tsp cream
- 2 tsp milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt.
Add cold butter cubes and pulse in the food processor until mixture has the texture of wet sand. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips, or use a large metal whisk like a potato masher.
Beat egg, cream, almond extract in a separate bowl. Pour into food processor bowl, along with poppy seeds, and pulse with flour mixture until just combined.
Pat mixture into a ball and shape into a 7 inch square. Cut into a 9-square grid, then cut each square diagonally to make 18 triangle-shaped mini scones. Arrange on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with cream and shake on sugar crystals liberally. Press slivered almonds into the tops of each scone.
Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until you can see golden brown around the bottoms of the scones and tops are lightly golden at the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
For the icing
Mix together powdered sugar, extracts, and cream. Decide after mixing if it is the right consistency or if it needs the milk. Add the milk if necessary. If it’s still too thick, mix in additional milk, 1 tsp at a time, until it is thin enough to easily drizzle but not runny.
Spoon icing into a heavy ziploc bag and cut off a very small corner for drizzling icing. Pipe it in a zig-zag pattern over the tops of all the scones. Let icing dry completely before storing in an airtight container.