My notoriously bad puns just keep popping up here. I can’t seem to help it. Before Passover starts next week, I’ve been trying to get all the urges to cook with leavening out of my system. Maybe this played a part in the weeks of anise cookies, or the slew of bread baking, or the other baking that I’ve been doing. Or, I just really like to bake, especially when it is blustery outside.
Luckily, I got another blustery day to flex my baking wings! Boston is supposed to get 2 inches of rain before this current storm heads out to sea. It seems a perfect opportunity to keep baking, no?
It is, at the very least, as good a reason as any to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea and a scone. Happily, I made scones the other day and wrapped them up for just such an occasion!
I first started making scones while working at Williams-Sonoma. They sell an amazing scone mix that used to be less than $3 a box. At that price, and with the employee discount, it was significantly cheaper than any store bought scone, or even the raw ingredients needed to make my own scones from scratch. For awhile I was in box-scone mix heaven. I thought it was the best value for dollar item available in the store. I convinced many customers of this as well.
Then, one day, they raised the price of the mix. And they didn’t raise it just a little. It flew up. Skyrocketed. I could no longer justify my box-scone habit and had to find an alternative. After a bit of recipe mash-ups, I once again have scone bliss. Except now it is homemade-from-scratch-scone bliss.
NB: This is a messy recipe – I hope you like to get your hands dirty!
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. salt salt
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. yogurt or sour cream (I’ve also had success with buttermilk. This is a forgiving recipe)
1 large egg
1/4-1/2 c. of flavor additives (nuts, dried fruit, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
3. Whisk egg and yogurt (or sour cream) to combine.
4. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
5. Add butter, working it into the flour mixture until it forms a grainy dough. You can use a pastry blender, but I find it is easiest to do this by hand. It will look like a bowl full of little pea sized grains. If the butter is on the cold side, the heat from your hands makes it easier to combine.
6. Add yogurt/egg mixture, stirring with a fork to combine.
7. When it becomes too difficult to stir, finish mixing with your hands to bring together as a dough.
8. Add any additional filling items. I used raisins and pecans this time. Other tasty additions are: chocolate chips, walnuts, cranberries, blueberries. The list could go on – use your imagination.
9. Separate into two giant balls.
10. Smoosh balls onto cookie sheet.
11. Use butter knife, score flattened dough in a cross.
13. Cook for 15-17 minutes, until they turn golden.
14. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.