I've developed a real love of scones. I never ate them growing up, probably because my mother doesn't care for them and I took her word that they weren't very good. Honestly, the first time I had a scone (other than one unimpressive grocery store bakery scone) was when I was about 27 and decided to try a recipe. Since then, I've made several more recipes for scones and have really liked them all.
This recipe came about because I wanted to make two different types of scones- savory and sweet- but didn't want to end up with 24 scones for 2 people. I found a rather neutral scone recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, made it as a base, then divided the dough and added mix ins to each bowl. Both varieties turned out really nice, and complemented each other well: one with dried cherries, chocolate, and almond extract, and the other with cheddar and a generous amount of black pepper. I served the scones with scrambled eggs, bacon, and grapes on a Sunday morning, and it was an awesome, rather extravagant seeming breakfast.
Quick Note: The original recipe says to try freezing the scones for 15 minutes before baking because they'll rise even more, but I skipped this part. Next time I'd like to try it, but the scones turned out really well anyway. The recipe also said you can sprinkle coarse sugar over the sweet scones before baking. I didn't have any, so just skipped it, but would like to try it at some point.
Cream Scones Two Ways
3 C flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix together in a large bowl. Scoop 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a second mixing bowl.
For Cherry Chocolate Almond Scones:
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 C dried cherries
1/3 C milk chocolate chips
about 1 C cream (may need more or less)
1 tsp almond extract
Into one of the bowls of base scone mixture, stir the 3 Tbsp extra sugar. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips. Measure out 3/4 C cream and stir the almond extract into it, drizzle over flour mixture. Gently toss and stir dough together, adding a little more cream if needed so you have a soft, not too sticky dough. You may need to use your hands. Be sure to combine the dough just enough so it comes together, form into a ball. Set dough aside.
For Peppery Cheddar Scones:
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Into the other bowl of base scone mixture, stir pepper and cheddar. Measure out 3/4 C cream and drizzle over flour mixture. Gently toss and stir dough together, adding a little more cream if needed so you have a soft, not too sticky dough. You may need to use your hands. Be sure to combine the dough just enough so it comes together.
Make the dough into a ball and place it off to the side on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place the other dough ball on the other side of the pan, near the opposite corner. Pat the dough balls out into 6 inch wide rounds. Brush with cream, then cut each round into 6 wedges. Pull the wedges slightly apart from one another.
Bake scones in preheated oven until golden on top and they look cooked through on the sides, about 18 minutes. Let cool on the pans for a few minutes, then pull them gently apart and serve with butter.