May 9, 2008

A recipe of welcome: Tried-and-true Scones

Alrighty! So this is a fantastic, tried-and-true recipe passed along by my generous colleage Katie.

Scones are fun because you can make them sweet or savory, use seasonal ingredients, and top them in a number of ways. My favorite rendition so far uses chopped strawberries and a simple buttermilk icing.

2 C flour
1/2 C sugar (white, fine)
1 T baking powder
6 T butter
1/2 C buttermilk

additions: berries, chocolate, etc. (see below)
1/2 C powdered sugar (for icing)

2/3 C chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate), or
1/3 C each chopped candied ginger and chopped dry apricots, or
1/3 C each dry cranberries and cranberries, or
2/3 C fresh berries, reducing buttermilk a little, or
2/3 C raisins, or
the zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 4000.

Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry blender or pair of butter knives. Mixture should resemble "coarse crumbs"--or, in my experience a mix of small lumps and somewhat-loose dry ingredients.

Add 2/3 C of additions; stir until evenly distributed.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add buttermilk. Stir quickly, until mixture coalesces, cautiously adding more flour if necessary.

Put mixture onto a floured surface and pat or press the mixture into an 8-in round (flat on top). Using a flour-covered knife or pizza cutter, cut into 6-8 wedges (like a pizza). Place on a buttered cookie sheet (or on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper if you prefer). If desired (particularly for savory scones), brush the tops of the scones with melted butter.

Bake for 14 minutes at 400.

ICING (if desired)
Put the powdered sugar in a bowl or cup and add a little buttermilk at a time, just until the mixture will barely run off the end of a spoon. When the scones are done, cool them on a rack placed over paper towels or the sink and drizzle them liberally with the icing.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!! These are truly delicious; my coworkers and family LOVE them.

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