I love scones. Despite their hoity-toity, high tea image, scones are a simple addition to any breakfast, brunch, or dessert menu. I served these cream scones for breakfast this morning and plan on using them as a base for strawberry shortcake later in the week. The recipe makes 16 smaller scones, which is great, because they are not exactly low in fat. I don’t know about you, but I always feel better eating food in smaller portions. Even if I end up eating twice as many, it always feels like fewer calories.
Despite their sometimes dry, tough reputation, scones are light, buttery, and down right delicious when made correctly. The key is to handle the dough as little as possible, keeping all the ingredients cold as you mix them. You don’t want the butter to soften as you mix the ingredients together. I’ve even read a tip to grate frozen butter into the bowl for lighter, flakier results.
Speaking of frozen things, freezing scones is one of my favorite hobbies now. Well, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s seriously a great little trick. I’ve started making double batches, baking one and freezing the other for later. That way, on a lazy Saturday or rushed Sunday morning, I can pull hot scones out of the oven 15 minutes after thinking that hot scones sound good (see the recipe directions for more on this).
So whether you’re looking for a simple breakfast or a stellar dessert this weekend, give these scones a shot in your kitchen!
2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
4 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t. of vanilla
2 T. of sugar for sprinkling on top
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the cream, egg, and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
- With floured hands, pull off a baseball-sized bunch of dough and roll it quickly into a rough ball. Place the dough ball on a floured surface. Using your hands, pat it into a small circle about 3/4″ thick. Sprinkle with sugar and, using a sharp knife, cut each circle into quarters. You should have enough dough to make 4 circles, 16 small scones.
- If baking immediately, slide the scones onto an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool. If freezing to bake later, place the 16 unbaked scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flash freeze until firm. Remove the frozen scones to a storage bag or container and put back in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, place the frozen scones on a baking sheet and follow the baking directions above; no thawing needed.
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