One of the downsides to either being a military family or living in a largely military community is the constant
knowledge that either you or your friends are going to move away. Sooner or later.
It's a really hard reality to deal with sometimes.
Last year, one of my dearest friends moved back to her homestate of Wisconsin with her family after her husband separated from the Army. They had lived here 3 short years. Saying goodbye pretty much stunk.
Since her husband is still in the Reserves, she decided to come back to VA to visit all their friends here during his 2-week commitment this June, so we got to spend some great time together with her, her kiddos, and her new baby Charlotte.
I went to a little brunch another friend hosted for her....and wanted to bring along a tasty treat.....and these were the perfect thing.
I've made scones before, ones with apples or pumpkin, specifically. And I love them.
These are more adaptable to different flavor combinations.....and even plain, they're absolutely wonderful.
Tender, light and flaky, and ever so buttery, the simple version would be delightful slathered with jam or honey....and the version I made here, with dried cherries and almonds, was perfect with just a little glaze on top.
Everyone loved them.....and while I can't wait to try the other versions too, I have a hunch that the Cherry Almond Scones will forever be my favorite. I'll let you know if I change my mind.
Simple Scones (from Allrecipes - USA Weekend columnist Pam Anderson)
Yield: 8-9 large scones or 18 mini scones
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup dried raisins (or currants or chocolate chips)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated orange rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried cranberries for the raisins.
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding a generous teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind (zest) to the dry ingredients and substituting dried blueberries for the raisins.
Follow the recipe for Simple Scones, adding 1/2 tsp. almond extract to the sour cream mixture and substituting chopped dried cherries for the raisins.- Optional glaze for top: Mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and 2 tsp milk. Drizzle over the top of cooled scones. Garnish with slivered or sliced almonds if desired.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in dried fruit or chocolate chips if using.
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. (Alternately, to make mini-scones, pat into a 8 inch square. Cut into thirds both length-wise and width-wise, making 9 squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.)
Bake until golden, about 13-15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.