Scones are the ideal home-baked breakfast bread: not only do they mix up in minutes, their baking time is short compared to yeast doughs. This recipe calls for raisins, but I often use other dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries or blueberries. Since scones are best fresh from the oven, consider giving bags of scone mix as gifts. Simply combine the dried ingredients in a gift bag (florists’ cellophane corsage bags are ideal). Put the raisins and coarse sugar (about 1/4 c.) in separate fold-top sandwich bags, knot those bags and put them in the gift bag containing the dry ingredients. Print the instructions below, add that to the bag, and tie with a decorative ribbon.
- 1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 T. sugar
- 1 T. baking powder, preferably Rumford
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/3 c. golden raisins
- 1 c. heavy cream
- Milk, if necessary
- Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
- Coarse sugar, such as turbinado (sometimes sold as Demerara or Sugar in the Raw), for sprinkling.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and raisins in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Pour in the heavy cream and mix until a stiff dough is formed. (If the mixture is too dry, add some milk by tablespoonfuls until the dough forms.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 12-inch by 6-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 3-inch lengths crosswise, then cut each rectangle into triangles. Place on a greased sheet pan – preferably one lined with parchment paper – at least 2 inches apart and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar and place in the hot oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. Makes 6 scones.