It’s snowing, again. When it snows I have my own personal bake-off. Today I thought scones for breakfast would please the fam damily. This recipe is one I’ve been using for years. I like to add dried fruit to my scones. You can dice up apricots, or dried cranberries or dried blueberries. Trader Joe’s has freeze dried fruits. I love using them in scones. I also love chocolate chips in scones. I like to use the mini chocolate chips, but any kind of chocolate will do. Okay, I love scones. Today I made plain scones because I made some strawberry rhubarb jelly last week. A little butter on a warm scone, topped with jam or jelly is heavenly.
2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 to 2 cups of chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips (optional)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or flavoring of your choice
¾ cup half-n-half or milk (I use 2% milk)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. If you using an 8-wedge scone pan, lightly grease the wells. Or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I have recently decided I like using the cookie sheet method better. Scone pans are difficult to clean. Round scones bake more evenly. My new revelation. Ta.Da.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. It’s okay for some larger chunks of butter to remain. I used to use my hands to do this. They have been achy this winter, so I bought a pastry blender. What a difference this makes. It does a great job, does it quickly and my hands don’t hurt afterwards. Yay me.
CHANGE: I have found, accidentally, that you should put the cold, cubed butter, in the bowl and then pour the sugar over the butter. Coat the butter in sugar. Give it a quick stir. This helps separate the butter cubes, and mix with the rest of the ingredients easier. So, butter, then sugar, and then add the flour, baking powder, and salt. It’s much easier to mix all the dry ingredients this way, rather than dumping them all in at once. I promise.
Measure milk in measuring cup and add the eggs and vanilla extract. At the risk of sounding too Martha-Stewarty or Ina-like, use a good vanilla. I like to use vanilla extract that has some flecks of vanilla bean in it. It enhances all your baked goodies. Beat together to break up the eggs. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
If you want raspberry scones, I strongly suggest using freeze dried raspberries. I use 1/2 a package of the Trader Joe’s freeze dried raspberries. Gently stir them in at the end. Trying not to break them up. Using freeze dried fruits adds the fruit flavor, without extra liquid.
I use a scone pan, but you can you a muffin tin, or parchment paper. See the original recipe for those cooking directions. I like to sprinkle my scones with sparkling white sugar for a great crunch. You can use granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar, or just leave them plain. Bake scones in pan for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. On a cookie sheet, they take anywhere from 15-20 minutes depending if you make 6 or 8. Check the bottom of the scones for browning. Remove from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve warm with butter and jam. These freeze well too.