I made these for brunch on Mother’s Day 2005. They were especially good served with peach butter. The scones do not have to be rolled and cut into shapes. Small, slightly flattened balls of dough work well too. I also served these at my thesis defense in July 2005. I made a double-batch which I do not recommend; it requires too much stirring and results in tough scones.
4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, chilled
1 stick butter
1 cup diced or slivered dried apricots
1 large egg
¼ cup milk, plus more for brushing
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in cream cheese and butter using fingers, a pastry blender, a fork or a mixer, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in dried apricots. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, ¼ cup milk and vanilla. Combine liquid and dry ingredients, and stir until dough becomes cohesive. (The more you work the dough, the tougher it will get.) Turn dough out onto floured surface and fold it over several times, until it holds together. Pat dough into a ¾-inch thick rectangle. Cut out scones with a round cookie cutter, gathering scraps and rerolling dough. Brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Place scones 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn oven off, leave door closed, and bake for 8 minutes more, or until scones are light golden brown. Serve hot, with clotted cream or butter and jam or raspberry curd.