My first memory of being in the kitchen was baking with my grandmother, Shirley. This is a woman who loves to bake homemade pies, cookies, and my favorite: scones. To clarify with you, however, I am not a baker, nor do I aspire to be one. The chemistry and precise measurements always throw me off. Although I am no Betty Crocker, I do love to make drop scones. They are flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness—and fairly easy to create.
My grandmother set the precedent for proper scone creating for me at a very young age. She has a solid recipe that she has used for many years, one that was passed on to her by her mother. She uses dried fruit (mainly, dates) as her main flavor component.
When I make scones, I enjoy mixing it up a bit with the add-ins. I like to use dried fruits, like my grandmother, such as dates, currants, figs and nuts. It’s wonderful to have a sweet, fruity-filled scone with a morning cup of joe, but I tend to crave savory foods instead. Add-ins such as smoky bacon pieces, mild cheddar cheese, chives/green onions make for a delicious, savory delight.
At The Chopping Block, a lot of the chefs make scones for students to enjoy at the beginning of class. I’ve learned an important tip from each chef who has made these: do not overwork the dough. If the dough is overworked, the scones will resemble something like a hockey puck after baking. When making scones, please keep this in mind!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, and cut into 1 tbsp pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. If you’re adding any sweet or savory ingredients, add them now to the flour mixture (if adding savory ingredients, omit the 1/3 cup of sugar). Cut in cold butter pieces, use your fingers to work in the butter so it resembles something like course meal.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk slightly with a fork, then add to dry mixture. Work the mixture only slightly, but until well blended. Do not overwork the dough, or you’ll end up with dry, hard scones.
4. With floured hands, transfer the mixture to a floured surface, and pat into a square/rectangular shape. Use a pastry cutter or a knife to cut into triangle or square pieces.
5. Place on an ungreased sheet tray, about an inch apart. Brush with heavy whipping cream.
6. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!