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Why I Keep Baking Scones

baking sconesThere is a reason I keep baking scones, and that is because in addition to being a delicious way to start Saturday morning, unlike many other baked goods, scones are incredibly forgiving. They are the indulgent old aunt and exciting new love interest all in one tasty, craggy dome of batter. They can adapt to your whim as well as your pantry, and they never fail or fail to please. I am aware that I write about scones even more than I write about my family… I don’t love scones more, but they have fewer opinions, and that is what I’m getting at.

I have a basic go-to recipe that I adapt on a fairly regular basis. I make them sweet, savory and sometimes a mix. I use whatever milk-ish product I have on hand (including unsweetened vanilla almond milk) often using a mix and match approach if I’m short on one. I have used both fat-free and full-fat yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, heavy cream, sour cream alone or in combination, all with commendable results. Sometimes I use frozen butter, sometimes just cold. It all works, it’s all easy, it’s all good.

baking scones

Because I’ve memorized the recipe I can whip up a batch of scones while I’m still half asleep and stumbling around in my questionable Saturday a.m. attire. In about a half hour I can sit down with a hot cup of coffee and a fresh from the oven scone, slathered with butter, and no matter what else is going on life feels great for at least a little while. 

Do I want you to bake scones? Only if you really want to. But, if you’re considering it let me reassure you that you need few ingredients not much equipment and just about no skills for great reward. Do you have a ten-year-old handy? They can make a batch while you sit on the couch and read, or nap. Why did you have those kids anyway? Learning to make coffee and scones are life skills that will serve them well, it’s not too soon to train them.

This might be a moment for me to rail about how few people actually know how to cook anymore. About how we have failed the last two generations by eliminating home-ec and shop. I could get up on my soapbox and rant about how disconnected we are from where food comes from, or even the most basic skills that let us enjoy a simple homemade meal. Why we would rather throw things out than try to repair them, including shirts with missing buttons, or skirts with torn hems? As we become more dependent on bought i.e. processed food and disposable everything what else are we sacrificing? But I won’t. I’ll talk about scones.

A homemade scone will fix almost anything for at least a few minutes. Baking scones won’t pay your bills, cure your chronic pain or depression, nor will it find you a job or a lover, but if you allow it, it will offer you a few moments of pleasure and contentment. And as you sit down with your hot beverage of choice and a scone you made with your own hands, with delicious and wholesome ingredients, please give in to this small pleasure. I hope you will succumb. 

Basic Scone

Basic Scone


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5` tablespoons butter (cold or frozen)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream (or sour cream, full fat, plain yogurt)


Search this site for all types of scones both savory and sweet. You can add almost any combination of add-ins 1 cup at a time. Apples, pecans and cheddar, bacon and scallions with smoked gouda, blueberries and lemon zest, shredded zucchini and mini chocolate chips... 


Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 (400 for convection)
Mix flour, baking powder and salt to combine
If butter is frozen, grate by hand or in the food processor, if not, cut into small cubes
Step 2
In a mixing bowl, or the bowl of the food processor, add flour mixture to butter and pulse or mix with a pastry cutter to combine until butter is incorporated, mixture will look like coarse sand
Step 3
In a separate bowl beat eggs and cream together
Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and combine with a spatula, do not over mix
Put in any additional ingredients and mix gently until well incorporated
Step 4
Use a scoop or half-cup measure to scoop out eight scones
Flatten a tiny bit, but leave outside craggy
Bake 16-18 minutes, turning pan after 8 minutes
A toothpick inserted should come out clean when they are done








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  • March 6, 2017 - 7:40 am

    Peggy Gilbey McMackin - Delicious. I’m not much of a scone baker myself but with your easy directions perhaps I’ll have my ten-year-old grandson whip up a batch after school some day!ReplyCancel

    • March 6, 2017 - 8:14 am - Peggy, I bet he can do it! When I use frozen butter I just grate it in the food processor, than add the dry ingredients to that and woosh it about ten times.

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