Tea Party Afternoon Dessert Recipes: Scones

Tea Party Afternoon Dessert Recipes: Scones

Scones are a delightful pastry commonly served with jam or butter. They have a buttery and flaky exterior while being soft and moist on the inside. They are commonly enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or alongside coffee or tea in the afternoon.

Traditional English scones are round, light, and airy, similar to American biscuits. In the United States, scones are typically triangular and slightly denser, resembling muffins. Unlike biscuits, scone recipes include eggs to provide structure.

To make a basic scone, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter (grated to achieve a crumbly texture)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (adjustable for a more savory taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (for leavening)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (to aid the rise)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to balance sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (substitutable with heavy cream, buttermilk, or canned coconut milk for dairy-free option)
  • 1 large egg (provides structure)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants (can be substituted with various flavorings, see variations below)

Instructions to make the scones:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven rack in the lower-middle section.
  2. Combine 1/3 cup sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and grated butter in a bowl until a coarse meal forms. Add raisins or dried currants.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg and sour cream until smooth.
  4. Combine the sour cream mixture with the dry ingredients to form dough clumps.
  5. Place the dough on a floured surface and shape it into a 7- to 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick.
  6. Sprinkle the dough with a teaspoon of sugar and cut it into eight triangles.
  7. Place the triangles on a cookie sheet, about 1-inch apart, and bake for 15 to 17 minutes until golden.
  8. Allow the scones to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Grate frozen butter to achieve a crumbly texture for flaky scones.
  • Mix the dough minimally by hand to avoid overworking it, resulting in a crumbly batter.
  • Brush scones with buttermilk or heavy cream before baking for a golden brown hue.
  • Refrigerate the dough before baking to reduce over-spreading.
  • For gluten-free diets, use gluten-free flour and adjust baking time accordingly.

Variations: Scones can be customized with various flavors and add-ins, such as chocolate, berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc.), fruits (bananas, peaches), zests (orange, lemon, lime), nuts (pecans, walnuts), spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), and extracts (mint, vanilla, almond, anise). Feel free to mix and match these ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

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