Sunday Morning Coffee: SWEET or SAVOURY SCONES
Some Sunday mornings, it’s all I can do to drag myself out of bed and turn the oven on, let alone dream up a complicated treat for coffee time. On those days, the temperature is set to 425°, and I throw together some variation of this basic scone recipe. For a tea party or morning coffee gathering, make two varieties at the same time, or choose to make one batch of either sweet or savoury. The recipe doubles easily to serve a crowd.
BASIC SCONES [makes a total of 12 medium sized or 16 small]
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter [ you can use hard margarine, but butter really is better]
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup plain yoghurt OR 2/3 cup buttermilk
Stir together flour sugar, salt and baking powder
Cut butter in until crumbly. At this point, if you are making sweet and savoury scones, split the flour mixture between two bowls. Add any one or two* of the following to each bowl [amounts given are approximate for a FULL recipe: halve if you are making two varieties – add more or less to taste].
*or none for lovely plain scones perfect to serve with butter or jam.
- 1/2 cup raisins, currants, dried cranberries, glazed fruit
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped strawberries or cherries, whole blueberries or other berries
- 1/3 cup dark,milk, white chocolate – chopped or chips.
- 1 tablespoon or so of grated orange or lemon rind [I like to combine lemon rind and finely chopped candied ginger]
- 1/2 cup shredded apple [you may need less liquid if the apple is juicy]
- finely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
- cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled medium or sharp cheese – cheddar, asiago, swiss, etc.
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion or minced onion
- 1/2 cup chopped ham
- 2-3 slices bacon, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
- garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper to taste
In a separate bowl, beat together egg and yoghurt. Pour into flour mixture [half to each bowl if you’re making two varieties], adding just enough to moisten the mixture so that it clumps together but is not sticky. Depending on the thickness of the yoghurt, you may need to add a tablespoon or so of milk if the mixture is too dry.
Knead two or three times to form a ball, then pat each ball into a 6″ round on a greased cookie sheet: if you are only making one variety, make two 6″ rounds. Score into wedges: I usually do 8 small wedges; for larger scones: 6 wedges. You can also roll the dough out about 1″ thick on a floured board and cut into rounds with a glass or biscuit cutter.
Optional: brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar [or cinnamon sugar for apple or nut scones]. For savoury scones, you may wish to brush with milk and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.
Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Serve warm.