These are not only my favorite scones but quite possibly one of my favorite foods. It is an absurdly easy recipe from Joy of Cooking which I have used a million times to produce delicious scones in just 20 minutes. These aren't like the overly sweet cake-like scones that you find at Starbucks or the crumbly dry British scones that need to be slathered with butter and jam. They're in between, simple and perfect, moist enough to eat on their own but not dense or squidgy. Just sweet enough to be called a breakfast treat but not so sweet as to confuse it with a dessert.
Yields: 8 large scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
turbinado sugar (or plain white granulated)
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients and whisk well.
Pour in heavy cream and use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix until just combined. Use the side of the bowl to gently knead the dough 5 - 10 times and gather into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, press the dough out into a 8 to 9 inch circle. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Brush with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Cut into 8 wedges, place on baking sheet, and bake 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.
I have done many variations on this basic recipe. Here are some ideas, but I encourage you to be creative and come up with your own!
Lemon (or orange) poppyseed: Rub a teaspoon or so of lemon (or orange) zest into the 1/3 cup sugar. Add 1/2 tablespoon of poppyseeds. Instead of brushing with milk and sprinkling with sugar, make a simple glaze of lemon (or orange) juice with confectioner's sugar and drizzle over the baked scone.
Almond marzipan: Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to the cream. Add chunks of marzipan to the dough. Top with sliced almonds.
Cranberry white chocolate: Add cranberries and white chocolate to the dough. (Even better, add orange zest, too!) Sugar topping or glazed topping would both work.
Chocolate espresso: Add 1 tsp instant coffee powder to dry ingredients, and then add finely chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips would work, too) to the dough. Top with granulated sugar.