Cream Scones (with Variations)

dsc_1334RECIPE #306, DAY #505

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Ginger Cream Scones” from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone*

TIMING: 30 minutes or less

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: Baking sheet, but nothing else specialized

COOK TYPE: Oven, baking

HEALTH: Scones don’t really get the healthy award, but with some ginger and nuts in them, you could say they would make an okay breakfast. Better than Pop Tarts.dsc_1335

EXPERIENCE: I never guessed that I would loves scones. And frankly, I don’t know why on earth I made them, the first time. Turns out, when it comes to sweets, I love scones. They are subtly sweet, but tender and tasty. They can tend to be dry, as well, but that’s just when you reach for the lemon curd or clotted cream. Super yum!

They are also–like biscuits–really easy and quick to whip up, so they make a fairly simple breakfast food.

NOTES:  This is a recipe for plain cream scones. In reality, they need a bit of dressing up, which you could do one of two ways. You could a) apply jam, curd, or cream, or b) bake something into them. Here are the options:

  • 1/2 cup diced, candied ginger
  • 1/3 cup currants**
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries**
  • 1/3 cup raisins**
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries or strawberries**
  • 1/3 cup diced dates**
  • 1/2 cup pecans (candied or not)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (candied or not)
  • 1/2 cup hazlenuts (candied or not)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (candied, chocolate-covered, or not)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • `/4 cup chopped, candied citrus peel

**Any of these should be soaked in warm water and then squeezed out)

Of course, you could combine any of these too. For example: 1/2 the dried cherries + 1/2 the chocolate chips, or nutmeg + cinnamon + candied pecans, or lemon zest + 1/2 almonds + 1/2 the blueberries…

***

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Butter a sheet pan.
  3. If using a mix-in, in a small bowl, toss the mix-in with 1 tablespoon all purpose flour. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, quickly work in 4 tablespoons cold butter. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cream or 1/2 and 1/2, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  6. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, then add in the optional mix-ins. (Do not over-work it.) Turn out onto a clean, flat, floured surfaced. Fold the dough over on itself 10 times, then shape into a disc. Flatten the disc until it is 1-2 inches thick.
  7. Place the disc on your baking sheet. Brush it lightly with cream, then sprinkle it with sugar (preferably with large granules). With a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut the disc into 8 or 12 pieces (like you would cut a cake or pie), but leave the disc sitting neatly together. Bake it for 12-15 minutes, until golden and baked through.

***

Serve with, as I keep saying, lemon curd and clotted cream, as well as hot tea with milk.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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