MAKE-AHEAD HOMEMADE SCONES
My dear friend, Caitlin Blaylock, is a talented artist with the rare gift of being able to work magic from both the drawing board and the kitchen table. She's always creating the most amazing recipes and I frequently go to her for ideas when I'm hosting and need a meal to impress. I recently asked her for one of her go-to breakfast recipes and she was kind enough to write this blog for me to share with you! I hope it's as helpful for you as it was for me. Enjoy!
I am not (nor have I ever been) what you could describe as “a morning person.” Which means getting breakfast on the table with any sort of regularity never happens in our house. On a regular week this doesn’t really matter - but on those days when people come to visit and I’m serving breakfast, this scone recipe is my go-to secret weapon. I’m sure it will soon be yours too! It meets all of my qualifications for a breakfast recipe: easy, impressive and requires minimal time in the kitchen the morning of (allowing me time to think about other things- like table setting)
Homemade scones can be daunting. But I promise they are not! Especially if you keep these three things in mind:
Handle the dough as little as possible. (Another win! A recipe that tells you to actually spend less time doing something?!) Similar to pie crust, it’s easy to overwork the dough and this results in a chewy, tough scone. Mix just enough that the dough holds together.
Use chilled butter. Cold butter is the secret to flakey scones. Keep the butter in in the fridge until you add it to the dough. Or better yet- do what I do and chill your cut scones in the refrigerator overnight and pop straight into the oven the next morning.
Watch your add-ins. Stick to dry ingredients for your add-ins. Things like dried fruit, spices, chocolate chips, nuts or cheese are easily interchangeable. If you add frozen fruit you are adding a bunch of extra liquid which affects the dough’s consistency. Which in turn affects the final scone’s consistency. You’ve been warned.
So give it a try! Make the basic scone dough then add in whatever fits your fancy and frost if desired. I’ve included two of my favorite variations below- but the possibilities are endless. Leave a comment below and share your favorite flavor!
BASIC SCONE DOUGH INGREDIENTS
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter (1 ½ sticks)
1 cup buttermilk (Don’t have buttermilk? Create your own using milk + vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cube the butter and place it back in the fridge to chill while you mix the other ingredients. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir well with a fork to mix and aerate. Add the butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives, or work it in using your fingertips, until the mixture looks like fresh bread crumbs.
Add the buttermilk and add-ins of your choice (up to 1 cup). Mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and press so it holds together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly twelve times. Pat the dough into a circle ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 18 pie-shaped pieces. You may refrigerate the dough up to overnight at this point. When you are ready to bake, place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet or stone. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the tops are browned. Cool for a few minutes before frosting.
MY FAVORITE VARIATIONS:
To the basic dough add currants or dried cranberries (about ¾ c) and 1 teaspoon orange zest (grated orange rind)
Make a glaze of orange juice and confectioners sugar- thick but liquid enough to drizzle off a spoon. Once baked scones have cooled slightly, dip scone tops into glaze, or drizzle over top.
To the basic dough add pecans (about ¾ c)
Top with Maple Glaze
MAPLE GLAZE INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half, or milk
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
MAPLE GLAZE INSTRUCTIONS
While the scones are baking, make the maple glaze: place maple syrup, half and half, butter, and brown sugar in a medium size microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute, then stir well to smooth out any lumps.
Add powdered sugar to the warm mixture to make a thick, but drizzle-able glaze. Adjust by adding more powdered sugar to thicken or cream to thin.
Dip tops of warm scones into mixture, or drizzle glaze over scones. Let scones sit for 15 minutes to let glaze set before serving.
| Credits: Author - Caitlin Blaylock; Photography - Jacintha Payne, Abigail Cavanaugh, & Caitlin Blaylock |