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Kiss My Scones

Blueberry Oak Scone Blueberry Oat Scone with Lemon Curd Photographed on Fiesta Dinnerware
By Lori Grossman

Happy Anniversary William and Kate (or to use the correct form of address, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge)! Yes, a year has gone by since that beautiful wedding on April 29, 2011, when Princess Diana's oldest son, Prince William, married Katherine Middleton. I'm a fan of almost everything British, so I was up in the wee small hours to see the live transmission on TVl.

Also, I wrote an article called Royal Wedding Tea (check it out if you missed it) for those of you who wanted a royal snack while watching the proceedings.

I included one scone recipe in that article, but I'm going to focus exclusively on them this time. First, I wanted a definitive answer to the question: "How do you pronounce the word scone?" I called a store that carries all kinds of British goodies, and here's what they told me. You can say scone (rhyming with "stone"), or scon (like "Ron"). Either way is correct.

It's generally accepted that scones came from Scotland. They started out as flat, round cakes made with oatmeal and baked on a griddle. Did you know that there's a place in Scotland called Scone Palace? The Kings of Scots were crowned there (maybe that's where the name came from).

There are many scone variations these days, depending on which part of the world you happen to be in. I'm told that in the UK, many people still prefer to make their own scones, often using treasured family recipes. The four recipes I've included will give you an idea of the different kinds of scones you can make. The Cornmeal Sage Scones are considered savory, as opposed to sweet, and are delicious served with a simple main course and a veggie.

You can store unbaked scones in the freezer. Just place them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. When they're frozen, stack them in resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to one month. If you're baking a frozen scone that needs a sugary topping, sprinkle it on when you take them out of the freezer, then bake. They taste best when eaten the same day, but I'll bet you won't have any leftovers to worry about!

Lemon Cream Scones

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream (you can substitute milk, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for topping, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (for topping, if desired)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl using a whisk or electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Using a fork or electric mixer, cut in the butter. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream (or milk). Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until a rough, sticky dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently (about 6 times), just until the dough holds together. Divide into 3 equal portions and pat each into a 1- inch thick round about 6 inches in diameter. Use a knife to cut each round into quarters, making 4 wedges. The scones can also be cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter to make 10 to 12 smaller scones.

Place the scones about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar, if using. Place the baking sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until scones are crusty and golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes 12 scones.

Buttermilk Scones

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Work butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and fold in with a rubber scraper until absorbed. Continue adding buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together and there are no dry patches.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into two balls and pat each ball into a 7-inch circle, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut each circle into 6 equal wedges. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake, rotating the baking sheet after about 10 minutes, until the scones are puffed and golden brown and the bottoms are lightly browned (about 16 to 20 minutes).

Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 12 scones.

Blueberry Oat Scones

  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (don't thaw if using frozen bluberries)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a cookie sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the 1/3 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, beat egg slightly. Add orange juice and orange peel. Beat well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Stir in blueberries.

On a floured surface, gently knead the dough to make a smooth ball. Place on the greased cookie sheet. With floured hands, press dough into an 8-inch round. Cut into 8 wedges, but don't separate them. If using topping, brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. Serve warm. Makes 8 scones.

Cornmeal Sage Scones

You can make a special spread to serve with these scones by blending 1 teaspoon minced chives with 4 tablespoons of softened butter.
  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sage. Mix well.

With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough about 10 times. Place on the sprayed cookie sheet. Pat dough into a 6- to 7-inch round. Cut into 8 wedges, but don't separate them.

Bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve warm. Makes 8 scones.

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