Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Classic" Cream Scones

One of my duties as hostess of our annual family tea party is to bake scones. I serve scones with homemade lemon curd and strawberry jam.  The scone course is my Mom's favorite part of the tea.  I don't know if she likes the scones or curd more but she always looks forward to this tea time treat!

Scones are basically a sweet biscuit.  They have a nice flaky texture and are a great accompaniment to tea.  They can be made in all shapes and sizes, and include whatever "add-ins" sound good.  As we have so many other food options at our tea, including the lemon curd and jam, we prefer our scones plain.

For our "Let It Snow"-themed tea I used a snowflake cookie cutter to make these scones. I brushed them with water and sprinkled with baking sugar for a little sparkle.

The day after our tea found me done with chores, ready to relax, do a little reading, and with some leftover lemon curd. I baked a batch of scones, brewed a pot of tea and had a little quiet time. Such a nice treat!

"Classic" Cream Scones

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon peel to the dry ingredients as a great way to have lemon with your tea!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup (heavy) whipping cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup currants or raisins (optional)
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together the cream, egg, and vanilla. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the currants or raisins, if desired.

With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured cutting board. Using a floured 2 1/2-inch-diameter round biscuit cutter or a glass (or a cookie cutter), cut out rounds from the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet. (Alternately, the round can be cut into wedges.  Do not separate the wedges until after baking). Gather the scraps together and repeat until all the dough is used. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg mixture, if desired.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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