I've never attempted making scones. I think scones intimidated me because I didn't grow up eating them. But many mornings while I was on vacation in Ocracoke this past fall, I ate chocolate chip scones at the Ocracoke Coffee Company shop. I've been eager to try baking them myself and only recently attempted it. I feel like I have found THE recipe that I will go back to again and again in this cookbook: "Baking: 350 recipes and techniques, 1,500 photographs, one baking education" by James Peterson.
These scones are easy to make and left people at the office raving about them. Actually, they are so easy that you could whip them up on a week day morning and not have to wait for a weekend. Enjoy!
3 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups milk or heavy cream plus more as needed
1 cup dried cranberries, cherries or diced dried apricots, soaked for 30 minutes in just enough hot water to cover, drained
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, surgar, baking powder and salt. Arrange the butter on top so teh slices don't overlap and cut through the mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Add the milk and stir the mixture long enough to absorb the milk and any loose flour. If you still see loose flour, add another 2 tablespoons milk. Spriknle the cranberries over the mixture while sthirring so they are evenly distributed in the dough. Stir together the dough with a rubber spatula for about 1 minute. Don't overwork the dough.
Dump the dough out onto a work surface and use your hands to gather it together in a mound, then flatten it into a disk. At this point, it may be necessary to knead it a little to get it to hold together in a loose shaggy mass. Roll it out into a 3/4-inch thick disk. Cut the disk into 8 wedges and put them in a baking sheet.
Turn down the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the scones are pale brown.
Makes 8 servings.