Scones never used to be my thing. I'd enjoy them on occasion, but I usually found them dry and lackluster. Why would I make or eat something that left my mouth feeling parched for water? I think being a picky eater has rubbed off on my son. . . if only he was willing to eat vegetables like he eats fruit. . .
One day I was browsing through smittenkitchen.com and found a scone recipe I was willing to try. These had promise that they wouldn't be dust biscuits. I made them, and fell in love. I love them so much that I haven't made a scone from a different base recipe in several years.
What I normally do with this recipe is double it. Not because I could eat a whole batch by myself, but because I can freeze the scones before baking. This way I always have scones on hand for a breakfast (or afternoon) treat, or for drop in company. For potluck breakfasts with friends, I like to bring "sconies," which is this recipe, shaped into smaller scones. I usually end up making these smaller size scones because my 2 year old loves them, and it's easier for him to hold. Now if only I could find some clotted cream in eastern NC. . .
Red, White & Blue Cream Scones
Makes: 8 large scones, or 16 sconies
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup dried blueberries, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
Place oven rack to the middle level and preheat oven to 425°
In food processor, fitted with metal blade, place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse 6 times.
Remove the cover, and sprinkle butter cubes evenly over dry mixture. Replace cover, and pulse 12 times, with each pulse lasting 1 second. Remove cover and sprinkle the dried cherries, dried blueberries and white chocolate chips evenly over mixture. Replace cover and give the food processor 2 to 3 more pulses.
Pour mixture into a large bowl. With a spatula, stir in the heavy cream until mixture is just moistened, about 30 seconds. Do not over mix or you will have hard scones.
Turn bowl out onto a clean work surface, and make sure to get all the little pieces and excess flour. Give the dough about 5 kneads, while working it into a rough ball (if making sconies, at this point divide the ball in half). Take the dough ball and gently pat down to an 8 inch circle (for sconies, press both balls into 4 inch circles), working so that it has an even top and patting the sides to keep them somewhat structured (you can also press it into an 8 inch cake pan, then flip over to release). Cut circle (or circles) into 8 wedges, using a bench scraper (preferred) or a knife.
Place wedges on a ungreased sheet pan and bake 12-15 minutes (sconies 10-12 minutes), until tops are lightly browned. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
*If freezing: after cutting wedges from dough circles, place wedges on a lined sheet pan and freeze. Once frozen I place wedges in ziplocs or wrap well in plastic wrap. To bake, just extend bake time a couple minutes.