In honour of the royal wedding this morning, I thought I would post a recipe for a tried and true British snack - Scones!
For those of you who are not familiar with Scones these little delights, when baked perfectly, have a crisp exterior and an interior that is light and fluffy with a rich buttery flavor. These can be closely compared to "American" biscuits however they tend to be a touch sweeter. Scones are quite lovely just warm from the oven and are often served with jam, lemon curd, Devonshire, clotted or whipped cream.
The recipe I have provided below is for plain Cream Scones however a variety of items can be added before baking to spruce up this delicacy. (dried fruit, cheese, bacon, nuts, chocolate chips)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into bits)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk, half&half or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, place rack in the middle of oven, line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter or cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingertips (the mixture should look like coarse crumbs). In a small measuring cup whisk together the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix or the scones will be heavy and flat instead of light and fluffy.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently for or five times and then pat into a 7 inch round. Using a lightly floured 2.5 inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream, this helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes about 10 - 2.5 inch round scones.
Scones are best the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days or can be frozen. Scones are also very good as the base of a strawberry shortcake.
Note: This recipe was found at www.joyofbaking.com a video tutorial can be viewed at http://www.joyofbaking.com/scones.html