My sister-in-law Patricia’s recipe for scones is wonderful! I love making these as a breakfast item for overnight guests or serving on a brunch buffet. Scones are a perfect treat because they are slightly sweet without being sugary. They are perfect to enjoy both on a cold winter day with a cup of tea or coffee, or on a summer day with lemonade or iced tea. This recipe makes 8 large wedge shaped scones or 16 smaller scones so depending on their size, they can be served for different occasions. If I will not be needing the amount the recipe makes, I freeze the formed dough on a cookie sheet for a few hours and then put them in a freezer container. The next time I want to serve some I take them out about a half hour before baking and place them on a cookie sheet and then bake as usual. I prefer the fresh baked taste rather than freezing and thawing after being baked.
This past spring I read Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis and I was so taken by what he wrote I decided to see if going wheat/gluten free would make a difference for me. About a month after doing so I realized I was no longer having joint pain each time I walked the steps. I had just accepted my knees, back and hands hurting as a by product of getting older and probably having arthritis. Without going into a complete summary of the book, one basic is to realize that the wheat we are eating today has been genetically modified for greater production, however, our bodies do not know what to do with it. Thus, the cause of some health issues prevalent today like celiac disease, joint pain and much more. Last May I made the choice for myself to be as gluten free as I can be. That choice has led me to experiment with how to make or bake the recipes I love, wheat/gluten free. There are different flour choices available such as rice, coconut, almond etc. I have learned that a gluten free baking flour needs to be a mixture, not just a cup for cup substitute of rice flour for wheat flour for instance. So, I have made some blends and other times I have purchased a premixed blend and just use that as a cup for cup substitute for wheat flour. When I decided to share this recipe with you, I made it first with my purchased gluten free blend. Although the flavor was great, the texture was chewier and of course the raising of the dough did not happen so they were not as light. As I have learned over these past few months, and have accepted by choice, it was not bad, it was just different. But I wanted to share pictures with you of these light, flavorful scones that I have made for years so I went to the grocery store and bought a bag of regular wheat flour. My second batch came out as the recipe was designed. You will be able to see the marked difference in the pictures below.
I love the blend of cranberry and orange so this is the combination I use most often. If you would like to have more of a variety of flavors here are some ideas using the same basic recipe.
- Replace the cranberries with fresh or dried blueberries and the orange zest with lemon zest. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
- Replace the cranberries with dried cherries and eliminate the orange zest. Add 1 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Replace the cranberries with 2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds. Use lemon zest in place of the orange and add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
- Replace the cranberries with mini chocolate chips and add 1 teaspoon of orange extract.
- Replace the cranberries with cinnamon chips and eliminate the orange zest. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. When cooled, drizzle melted white chocolate on the top of the scone.
- Replace the cranberries with chopped walnuts. Eliminate the orange zest. Add 1 teaspoon of maple extract. Make a glaze of 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 2 Tablespoons of hot water and 1/8 teaspoon of maple extract and frost when cooled.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you will be celebrating it! One of the appetizers I will be serving before dinner is a Fruit Salsa which is from my friend Carol. I will be sharing that recipe next week. With Christmas, Holiday parties, New Years eve and the Super Bowl in front of us it’s a great recipe to have because it is so unique. Also, it does not have sour cream, cream cheese or any other cheese in it so your guests who are watching their calories will love it even more!
- ⅔ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter cut up
- 1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1-2 Tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees
- Measure buttermilk into a 2 cup glass measure or bowl, Beat in egg with a fork and set aside
- In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt
- Add cut up butter and blend with pastry blender or your fingers until mixture is like granules
- Add cranberries, sugar and orange peel and mix lightly to distribute
- Add buttermilk egg mixture and stir until soft dough forms, give a few kneads until well mixed
- Form dough into a ball. If making 16 small scones cut ball in half
- Pat ball of dough into circle about ¾" thick and cut into 8 wedges, repeat with other half of ball if making 16
- Place wedges on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 20-25 minutes for large 18-20 minutes for small or until golden brown
- Remove from cookie sheet onto wire rack and brush with room temperature butter if desired
- Let cool uncovered
A special treat is to serve these with lemon curd