Saturday, December 15, 2012





  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips, nuts, or a combination, optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk


  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar or cinnamon sugar, optional

Tips from our bakers

  • For a less traditional, slightly sweeter scone, increase the sugar in the dough to 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces).
  • Scones are best served warm. They're delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Why freeze the scones before baking? Because 30 minutes in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier.
  • To make free-form rather than wedge-shaped scones, increase the half and half or milk to 3/4 cup. Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, dollop the scone dough in 1/3-cupfuls onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the scones in a preheated 375°F oven for about 30 minutes.
  • These simple scones are a wonderful blank canvas, awaiting your palette of chips, nuts, or fruit. Some of our favorite combinations are butterscotch chips and pecans; chocolate chips and dried cherries; and diced crystallized ginger and diced dried peaches.
  • Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs liquid during humid weather, and dries out in dry weather. In summer or when it's hot and humid, use the lesser amount of milk or half and half in this recipe; during winter, or when it's very dry, use the greater amount. Either way, start with the smaller amount, and drizzle it in till the dough is the correct consistency.


1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
2) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
3) Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you're using them.
4) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk.
5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
6) Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
7) Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5" circle (if you haven't incorporated any add-ins); or a 6" circle (if you've added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4" thick.
8) Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
9) Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
10) Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
11) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
12) Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the say through; the edge shouldn't look wet or unbaked.
13) Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they're completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.

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