It has been awhile! I’m happy to be posting again, and happy that you’re here reading.
Things at Emma’s have been pretty topsy-turvy as of late — mainly because at the end of June, we welcomed a new member into our family: Katie. That’s right, Emma’s a big sister now. And, the first two weeks after Katie’s arrival lulled me into a false sense of security — and then BAM! she doesn’t sleep consistently anymore, all routines are blown away and we have to figure out how to have the most basic of tasks completed in our days.
It’s actually probably one of the reasons why these scones are so appealing to me. They’re simple, easy and delicious. Our family has always been big fans of scones and our usual bakery, although they make wonderful breads, has scones which we find far too buttery. They look delicious and they are tasty when you start to eat them, but I find should I finish a whole one, which inevitably I always do, I start to regret it quickly.
The first time I made these scones, I did half a batch plain and half with raisins only. The conversation I had with Emma about them sums up the response we’ve had to these scones every time we’ve made them since.
Me: Emma, where did all the scones go? Did you eat three?
Emma: They were so yummy I couldn’t help myself.
The recipe is flexible – use other fruits if you prefer or none at all. I actually make these in one-bowl and because I use a flat-bottomed one (something like a pie plate would even work), the countertop never gets dirty because I mix the ingredients, knead, shape and cut the dough all in the one bowl. Parchment-lined cookie sheet makes for easy cleanup. All of these are particularly important now when time has become a little tighter. Did I mention I’ve made these a few times since Katie arrived even? (Update: November 2011 – nearly every weekend!) Yes, they’re that easy.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- rind of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup mixed dried cranberries and raisins (optional)
- 1/4 cup skim milk, plus some for glazing
- 1/4 cup natural unsweetened yogurt
- 1 large egg
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425F.
In a large, flat-bottomed bowl 8 inches wide or more, mix the flours, baking powder and salt. Add butter and using your fingers (or a pastry blender, two knives, whatever suits you), rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, lemon rind and dried fruit (if using).
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk and egg until well blended. Pour it into the flour mixture and mix until it forms into a sticky dough. Try not to overmix – knead 6-12 times max. Lightly sprinkle the top with flour and shape it into a round on the bottom of your flat-bottomed bowl. Cut into 8 equally sized wedges.
Place the wedges on to the prepared baking sheet. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each with a bit of milk. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes until they are lightly golden. They are best served warm, but can be cooled on a wire rack and reheated later.
Tips and suggestions:
- These scones scale up and down very easily and are very flexible with additions and flavours. RecipeGirl posted a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Scones recipe which inspired our own version. Just increase the brown sugar to 5 tablespoons (instead of 2), add 3/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the dry ingredients, leave out the lemon rind and dried fruit, and eliminate the milk and add 1/2 cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients. Follow the remaining steps as described above. We skip the glazes and icing — G’s not a huge fan of those types of things and we’re already sweet enough around here.
- The dough can be pretty sticky to work with. If you find that it is really difficult, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour over top of your dough as you shape and get it ready for cutting. A really light sprinkle should do the trick.
- Although I always make the recipe in a flat-bottomed bowl as I describe in the recipe, if you don’t have one, go ahead and do the kneading, shaping and cutting a lightly floured surface. I do that work in the bowl so it limits my cleanup requirements.
- When using canned pumpkin for the pumpkin version of these scones, there will be a lot of pumpkin puree left over. Spoon the puree into 1/2 cup portions in ziploc bags and freeze them flat. They’ll be easy to store and when you make the scones next time, you can run the frozen bag under warm water for a minute or two. Your pumpkin puree will be ready for use.