Growing up I never really ate scones, much less heard of them. Then I learned it was a popular item in the UK, not so much here in the United States. When I eventually did try one, it was dry. It tasted like a dry sweet biscuit. I did not care for it. I would rather go with my moist blueberry muffin.
Later, while working at a bakery, I told myself I would try one. Low and behold, it was fantastic! I guess wherever I had it before just did not know how to make them properly. I decided I wanted to try my hand at making some.
I experimented with different flavors and additions. From cranberry orange, to raspberry and white chocolate, my scones were a hit!
ADD YOUR FLAVOR!
Below is the basic recipe. Just add in your favorite ingredients to make them to your liking. My favorite combos are:
Orange & Cranberry- substitute 1 tsp orange extract for vanilla, add 1 cup candied orange and 1 cup dried cranberries
Orange & Chocolate chips- substitute 1 tsp orange extract for vanilla, add 1 cup candied orange and 1 cup chocolate chips
Raspberry & White Chocolate chips- add 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup white chocolate chips
Blueberry- add 2 cups frozen blueberries
Cranberry- add 2 cups frozen cranberries (chop if whole)
Chocolate Chip- add 2 cups chocolate chips (any variety you like!)
Cinnamon- add 1-2 tsps cinnamon and 2 cups cinnamon chips (or butterscotch chips, yumm)
Toss ingredients into dough after breaking up the butter
You can always add more or less depending on your flavor preferences. Personally I prefer a lot of chunks and bold flavor!
Frozen fruits should stay frozen. DO NOT THAW! Frozen fruits don't burst as quickly when you bake them as fresh ones do. So they are better to use because they will hold their shape for the most part.
The last thing you want to do when the scones come out of the oven is top them! Either with a glaze while its still hot or dust them with some powdered sugar (as seen in picture above).
I like to mix it up whenever I make mine. However a simple powdered sugar glaze (1 tsp milk to 1 cup powdered sugar) will simply do the trick. You could add additional flavor into the glaze, more vanilla extract, some orange extract, ground cinnamon, or even melt some chocolate and let it flow.
TIPS & Tricks
Make sure your butter is cold. Cold butter helps the scones rise and retain moisture. This is key to a good scone. So if you feel your butter is warming up, because most of us have warm hands, go ahead and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes, then continue to work with it.
Heavy cream wash before baking. In addition to the moisture butter gives, heavy cream on top helps. However, its role is to create a nice golden crust-like top. Try to avoid using milk as it is lower in fat. The fat in the cream helps it sit on top of the scone verses just fully soaking in.
Do not shape by hand! It is best to use a metal utensil such as a bench scrapper or a cookie cutter to cut your desired shapes. Using a bench scrapper is the best way to achieve the classic triangle look. With the cut sides it helps the scone rise and get that soft flaky-like texture. If you do not use a metal utensil, and you use your hands, you will not achieve that same rise and it is more likely to come out dry.
BASIC SCONE RECIPE
For the Best Moist Scones!
All Purpose flour 3 cup (12 oz and some for rolling out)
Granulated sugar 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP (1.5 oz)
Salt 1 tsp
Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter, cold 1/4 cup (4 oz)
Egg 1 ea (1.75oz)
Vanilla 1 tsp
Milk 5/8 cup (or just over a half cup) (5 oz)
Heavy cream (for brushing on top)
Combine the 2 3/4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Chop up cold butter into small chunks then toss into flour mix. Break up butter until they are about pea size. (If butter begins to soften then put in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden back up. You want the butter to stay cold.)
Whisk together the egg and milk just until combined. Make a well in flour mixture and pour milk mixture into it. Slowly combine ingredients with hands, without breaking up the butter, by folding ingredients into each other. Dough will be sticky. Wrap dough and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, so the butter stays nice and cold.
Roll out to about a half inch thick, or desired thickness. Cut shapes with either a dough cutter or cookie cutter. *See tips & tricks above
Place cut outs onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush scones with heavy cream.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool.
Store in air tight container for freshness.
Scones can be frozen prior to baking. Place in an airtight container or wrap heavily with saran wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months for freshness.