Tea Time

by bakelikeacook


Let’s face it. Scones have had a bad rap for some time now. Most people think of them as crumbly, slightly sweet cakes that are so dry that you feel like you have just taken a bite of a dust storm. In England, they are a staple for high tea where they are small and bite sized and enjoyed with a dainty cup of hot tea.  Since we in America don’t do a lot of high tea, we buy them at Starbucks with our oversized coffees.  Personally I like scones. I even like them a bit on the dry side. After all, they are to be enjoyed with a cup of tea (or coffee).

Making scones is quite simple as well.  They are made in the same method that biscuits are made, but with some sugar and sometimes other flavorings.  If you have ever made biscuits, you can make scones.  And if you have never made biscuits (I’m talking from scratch here!), then don’t worry.  It’s easy.  These scones are actually very moist with the addition of pumpkin puree.  Surprise you friends/family/loved ones this weekend with some fresh scones for breakfast–or high tea.

Pumpkin Scones

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Nutmeg, fresh grated if possible
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup buttermilk

Combine all dry ingredients together. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and cut in the butter until small chunks remain. If mixing by hand, use a pastry blender, two knives or your hands to break down the cold butter into smaller pieces. Add the sugar to the mix and gently mix. Combine the pumpkin and the buttermilk together until blended. Add this to the flour/butter mixture and mix until a dough just forms. At this point if you think your dough is too wet, add a tablespoon or more flour. If you think it is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of buttermilk. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.

Knead a few times to bring the dough together in a somewhat smooth mixture, using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Pat or roll the dough into approximately an 8″ circle (I like to keep them on the thick side).

Cut the dough into 8 wedges. At this point you can cover and chill them and bake them later. If you want to bake them now, preheat the oven to 375F.  Put the scones in the refrigerator to chill.

When the oven is ready, brush the scones with a little buttermilk or regular milk and top them if you like with cinnamon sugar or sugar in the raw. {You will see I have topped some of them with some extra muffin crumble I had laying around (who doesn’t have that?). If you want to make a small batch of your own, I will include the recipe at the end. It’s very simple-I promise}.

Bake the scones until they are just golden brown on the edges and the centers are set, about 15-20 minutes. If you want to glaze them,  allow them to cool until just warm to the touch.  Combine some powdered sugar with milk or even orange juice until it is the consistency of Elmers glue.  Add a pinch of spice if you would like.  Enjoy them fresh with hot tea and a large brimmed hat*

*hat optional

Tips from A Cook:

Some tasty additions: add some finely chopped candied ginger or chopped bittersweet chocolate (or mini chocolate chips), or grated orange zest

Roll the dough a bit thinner and make smaller bite sized ones–for your high tea!!

Use cream instead of buttermilk for a richer scone

And now, as promised:

Muffin Crumble

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup All purpose flour

6T cold butter, cut up into small pieces

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cinnamon (optional)

Combine everything together and mix until crumbly.  See??  Easy!  I wouldn’t lie to you!

Relax–It’s just baking!!