Super Duper Scones

            If you’re into all things British (Hello!!! wedding of Prince William) you need to know about the scone. The scone is the British version of quick bread and is said to be of Scottish origin. Pronounced “skon” or “skoan”  it’s a cousin to the Scottish griddle cake known as a bannock. In the beginning scones were made from oats and flour and were a stable of everyday life, much like bread. The scone has evolved into a more sophisticated quick bread that can be served at breakfast as a snack or a late night treat.

          A perfect scone is not only a thing of beauty, it tastes not too sweet not too bland and is made from flour, butter, sugar, milk or cream and baking powder. A not so perfect scone (too much flour, not enough sugar or flavoring) tastes like cardboard and crumbles all over you. The typically classic English scone is made with currants and is a tea time staple, typically served with cream and butter and jam.  In the colonies we tend throw everything but the kitchen sink in the mix and enjoy the results.

         A classic scone is triangular shaped because scone dough is usually rolled out into a circle and then cut into eighths (I use my pizza cutter). Scones can be prepared on a griddle but most of us prefer making them in the oven. I like using a specially made pan that’s perfect for scones or corn bread. Scones are super easy to make and once you assemble the ingredients they can whipped up in about 10 minutes.  You just have to make sure that you don’t get freaked out that the dough is sort of crumbly and it won’t hold together, it will. Just don’t add to much flour when you’re rolling it out and you should be fine. Scones typically cook at a high temperature and are done in 15 to 20 minutes so are the perfect treat anytime of the day even when you don’t have time.

 

Note: Scones taste best when eaten immediately after coming out of the oven and stay fresh for about 2 days.

SIMPLE AND CLASSIC SCONES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1/8 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk or cream or non dairy substitute

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute for glazing

Preheat oven to 425 and use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet. In a bowl sift together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. Stir in the sugar and milk and mix to form a soft dough. You may need to add a little more flour or milk to get the right consistency but try not to over mix the dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead it gently and then roll it out to 1 inch thick. You can cut it into 8 triangle wedges or cut it into 2 inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Reroll the remaining dough and cut the remaining scones. Brush the tops of the scones with milk to glaze. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter or whipped cream and jam. Makes 8 to 12.

You can add nuts or chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit if you like.

CORNMEAL AND PECAN SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1 cup corn meal

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup cold butter

1 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl combine the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles Add the buttermilk and pecans. Mix to combine. The dough will be kinda soft. On a floured surface roll out the dough until it’s about 1 inch thick. Cut into 2 to 3 inch rounds. Re roll left over dough and cut out the rest of the scones. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Bake for 12 to15 minutes or until the top is light golden. Makes 12.

LEMON SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons cold butter

1 cup whipping cream, plus a little for brushing

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

LEMON GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Heat the oven to 400. Grease a large baking sheet and set it aside. In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest and mix gently. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the cream, the yolk, and the vanilla. Mix slightly and then use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients, just until the dough holds together.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with cream. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and remove them to a cooling rack.

While the scones cool, make the glaze. In a bowl combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, butter and whipping cream and mix until it’s smooth. If the glaze is too thick add a little water, too thin add a little more powdered sugar. When the scones are at room temperature drizzle the glaze over the top. Makes 8 scones.

Modified from the about.com

ORANGE AND CRANBERRY SCONES (dairy or pareve)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, chilled, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped or 1/2 cup dried cranberries

5 to 6 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

2 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute

sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix them together. Cut in the butter until the flour mixture resembles tiny pebbles.  Stir in the cranberries and add 5 tablespoons of orange juice and zest. If the dough doesn’t form a ball, add more juice. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

Submitted by Charlotte Mays Detroit MI

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SCONES (dairy)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1 egg

6 tablespoons cold butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small pebbles or breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg, buttermilk, almond extract and mix until just combine. Add in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and mix to combine. The dough will be slightly sticky. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and then, using floured hands, knead it gently three or four times to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut it like a pie into 8 wedges. Place the scones on to the baking sheet and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.  Makes 8

WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPERRY SCONES (dairy)

1 3/4 cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold butter

2 large eggs

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

2 tablespoons milk

Coarse sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in. Cut in the butter using two knives. Stir in the chocolate chips and raspberries and set the dough aside.

In another bowl whisk together the eggs and the cream until combine. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg mixture in. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir until just combined. It will be dry and crumbly and won’t hold together well.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and using well-floured hands, pat the dough into an 8 inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into eight wedges.

Brush the tops of the scones with the milk and sprinkle the top with sugar. Transfer the wedges to the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 8.

Modified from Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition

 

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