Friday, September 28, 2012

Scones, however you like

Believe it or not, I have had the most kitchen failures with scones. I blame it on the butter and my attempts to turn them vegan. Here is the one recipe that turns out consistently (no, it's not vegan). It's sweet and buttery, a bit biscuit-like, and so very easy to adapt. The beauties below are my latest: dried cranberry and almond.

The two tricky parts of this recipe are one, deciding on what goodies you will use to fill the scones, and two, how much buttermilk to use. Regarding the first issue, this a great issue to have. What will it be? Chocolate chips? Raisins? Blueberries? Nuts? You decide. As for the buttermilk, I've needed varying amounts depending on the day. You will need anywhere between 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup of milk, but you shouldn't need more than that. Even if the dough seems dry, you will find that it comes together as you knead it. A perfect dough will be a bit sticky and manageable.

Pat the dough into a 1 inch round and then decide how you want to cut it. A biscuit cutter works great if you have one, but the rim of a glass or mug works just as well (I usually end up with four large scones when I use a glass). A cookie cutter will also work, but ideally you want to use a cutter at least 1 inch high. Otherwise the dough spills over the side and makes it harder to finish your cut. Another option is to cut the dough into triangles with a knife or pizza cutter. Enjoy the scones fresh from the oven or store them in an airtight container for a few days.

Makes 4-6 scones

2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar, raw or granulated
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, cold
2/3-3/4 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sliced almonds (optional)
1/2 c. fruit or chocolate (blueberries, dried raspberries, chocolate chips)

Preheat your oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two forks.

Add vanilla and milk, mixing just until combined. Fold in fruit or chocolate.

On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough into a 1 in. round. Cut with a lightly-floured biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass. Brush tops of scones with buttermilk.

Bake on center rack for 20 minutes.

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