Scone Crazy!


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Scones…..

Just the name conjures up images of steaming delicate sweet biscuits studded with fresh fruits and other delectable treats. Can you tell I like them? You bet I do.

And not the cake like over sweetened varieties you get at so many fast service venues.  I have the same issue with muffins. If I want Blueberry Cake, I can bake a blueberry cake. Muffins, as with scones, should be mildly sweet when serving for breakfast or teas-even dessert at my house. In fact, I would find it difficult to find a lot of difference between a well made scone and a shortcake. Both have the distinction of falling into that “sweet biscuit” category. Of course you do have the option of increasing the sweetness; but I prefer to enhance the natural biscuit taste with lots of juicy berries, fresh fruit and even chocolate on occasion!  There are also savory varieties, as with biscuit dough.

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These Fresh Cherry Scones turned out to be one of my new favorite recipes and I didn’t even mind chopping the fresh cherries. Not even bothering to pit them, I simply cut them away from their pits like tiny plums! The end result was so amazing. This recipe uses buttermilk although not all do. Those that do lend a lighter, more delicate result. I prefer recipes that use egg, as most do. But I have run across a few that don’t, leaving the dough a bit dry for my taste, perhaps too much like biscuits. This recipe came from a site called Lisa’s Kitchen where I believe she states her recipe was adapted from an original out of The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger. I made a few adaptations of my own and here is the recipe I used for the scones in the photo.

Fresh Cherry Scones with Buttermilk

2 cups unbleached white flour (or 1 cup white-1 cup wheat)

1/2 cup barley flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 Tbsp oat bran

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces

1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract

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

In large bowl, combine flours, oats, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cherries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and flavorings.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture.  Stir just until combined. Knead a few times on lightly floured surface and shape into 1 inch rounds, placing on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 in. apart. Brush tops with a little milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake for 15-20 min. until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and serve warm

Just about the time we recovered from the joy of these little wonders, we ran across some perfect blueberries! So, what could I do but whip out the bowl, utensils, and recipes to find a velvety warm home for them.

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This recipe didn’t have buttermilk but was rich with two eggs! With nice plump blueberries and a cup of hot coffee,  I can think of no better way to start my day-or finish it for that matter. No, coffee won’t keep me up at night. 🙂

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And let’s not forget one of my all time favorites. The DOUBLE ORANGE SCONE. Yum. I first came across this recipe in my Pillsbury’s Best Cookbook. That is the version I will share with you here. I recently found another that was revamped with some whole wheat flour. You can always experiment. These days I am normally substituting barley flour for about 1/4 cup in most of my recipes. Try this one if you love orange.

Double Orange Scones

2 cups all purpose flour

3 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp grated orange peel

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup drained and chopped canned mandarin oranges

1/4 cup milk

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly grease cookie sheet. In large bowl, combine flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, baking powder and orange peel.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.   Add oranges, milk and egg.  Stir just until a soft dough forms.

On floured surface, gently knead the dough 10 times.  Place on greased cookie sheet and roll or pat into 6 in circle.  Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar and cut into 8 wedges, separating slightly.

Bake for 15-20 min. until golden brown. Remove to wire racks and serve warm.

Sometimes if I feel decadent  I will mix up an orange glaze using powdered sugar and fresh orange juice. Toss in a pinch of orange zest, mix well and drizzle over warm scones. Heavenly!

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Have a nice treat! I mean, day…

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