Can we talk about scones for a minute? Actually, for many minutes.
They are so good, right? Are they part of a good-for-you-balanced breakfast? Not a chance. But, are they delicious and the perfect treat with coffee at breakfast or brunch? Absolutely.
Scones are sort of a cake-like biscuit, with baking powder as the leavening agent. They are light and airy and only slightly sweet.
Scones originate from the UK and were originally large and flat, like a plate and baked on a griddle. Later, when baking powder became more available to everyone, scones were baked in the oven and the baking powder added to make them well-leavened. This is how we know them today.
Scones are usually lightly sweetened, but they can be found in savory varieties as well, incorporating cheese, onion, bacon, and even potatoes, which are commonly a fried type of scone and served as part of a full Scottish breakfast.
You can add lots of different things to scones, like fruits and nuts. My favorite type of scone is cranberry-orange. When I was a barista many years ago, the coffeehouse I worked for had some really delicious cranberry-orange scones.
Up until now, I’d never made scones. I got a scone pan as a wedding present 7 years ago and I never used it. And after making these, I’ll probably still never use it. You don’t need one. Anyway, it’d been awhile since I brought in some treats to my office, so I thought I’d whip up some scones since I wanted to try them anyway.
You guys, they are really easy! I did mess up a little bit in that I put too much liquid to my dry ingredients, but you live, you learn, right? I just added some more flour and it was fine.
This recipe is just a basic scone recipe that you can add to whatever you want. I made chocolate chip and, of course, cranberry-orange.
You just need:
3 cups all-purpous flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk (or half and half)
whatever mix-ins you want
In a large bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
Using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives if you don’t have one, but I suggest getting one to make it easier), cut in the butter. I ended up taking all this butter out and making smaller pieces to make it easier to cut in. Make sure your butter is cold. Don’t freak out at how much butter is in this picture; I doubled my recipe, so there isn’t really THIS much butter in one recipe!
In a separate bowl, mix together your egg and milk. Slowly add in a little at a time to your dry ingredients until the flour is moistened and the dough forms. This is where I made my biggest mistake. I added in all the wet ingredients at once and my dough was so wet! I had to add more flour to even it out. It ended up fine, but just remember to add little bits at a time. You may not even use all the milk and egg.
The basic dough is done. Now you can add whatever you want. For the chocolate chip scones, I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. For the Orange Cranberry, I added the zest of an orange, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1/2 cup-ish of dried cranberries. You can add more juice if you want a more robust orange flavor, but keep in mind you may have to compensate the extra liquid with a little bit more flour.
I kneeded the dough and then turned it out on a lightly floured board. Using your hands, shape the dough into a round disk about 1/2 inch thick. Caution: This will make really big scones. If you want them to be smaller, just divide the dough and make two disks.
Now cut the circle into 8 triangles, like a pizza and put on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.