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Scones: The Hoity-Toitest Quick Bread

Scones seemed so hoity toity when I was young. Like it was only to be consumed on special occasions. The first time I made them I was surprised at how easy they are. Such a payoff – instant fancy. I’ve included two scone recipes: one sweet, one savory. Fast Raspberry Scones and Roasted Red Pepper Scones. They do not use heavy cream, but buttermilk. (Need a buttermilk shortcut? Mix 2 cups milk with either 1 tablespoon vinegar or real lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes and voila! I use this whenever I make buttermilk pancakes or waffles – it works!)

I’ve also discovered by accident that they freeze well and they make it from freezer to the table within a minute in the microwave. (Last year, while pregnant and not so attentive to measurements & math, I accidentally quadrupled my flour and had something like 40+ scones, most of which I sent to work with the hubs.) I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and putting them in a zip top freezer bag was enough to keep their fresh taste.

So one of these days, when you need a pick-me-up, brew some coffee and have a scone for breakfast. And be sure to use your fine china.

Fresh Raspberry Scones (from Everyday Food)

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces – I’ve also used blueberries)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a food processor, pulse together flour, cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse until pea-size pieces form. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg yolk. Slowly pour buttermilk mixture through feed tube into processor, pulsing until dough just comes together.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle raspberries on top. Knead three times to fold in raspberries (there may be loose pieces of dough and a stray berry or two). Gather and pat dough into a 1-inch-thick square and cut or pull apart into 2-inch pieces. Place pieces, about 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets and sprinkle tops with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  3. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let scones cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Red Pepper Scones (from foodnetwork.com)

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/3 cup roasted, peeled, and diced small red bell pepper
1/3 cup roasted, peeled, and diced small yellow bell pepper
(I used 2/3 c jarred roasted red pepper, sliced)
1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or mix 1 c milk w/ 1-1/2 t lemon juice or vinegar)
1 egg, beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

In a food processor, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper briefly (about 3 pulses). Add butter and process to a “mealy” consistency. (I mixed ingredients in a bowl with a pastry cutter)

Add herbs, cheese, and roasted red peppers, processing briefly to combine. Transfer mixture into a large bowl, add 1 cup buttermilk and stir to moisten. If needed, add more buttermilk, up to 1/4 cup.

Place dough on a floured surface and form into a disk, 3/4 to 1-inch in thickness. Cut into wedges, brush top of each wedge with egg wash. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Place on rack and let cool to room temperature.

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