Monday, January 7, 2013

Baking and Books: Plain Sweet Scones

This is today's delicious post-bike-ride snack: hot cocoa with fruity marshmallows, a homemade scone topped with strawberry fig jam from the farmer's market, and Margaret Kennedy's The Constant Nymph, about which I cannot rave enough.  (Is't possible that one of the very first books of the new year may end up on my top ten list?)  I make these scones a lot and they're always a hit when we have friends over for tea, so I thought I'd share the recipe here.  These are my own variation on the cinnamon sugar scones found here.

Plain Sweet Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, or plain yogurt plus ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the pieces of diced butter and combine, with your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt and egg until smooth. Using a fork, stir yogurt 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.)
  4. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with approximately sugar. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Sounds delicious! I have been looking for a good plain scone recipe.

    1. I hope you like them (and that they turn out well!) I'm rather fond of these. :-)

  2. Looks like the recipe for a perfect afternoon snack! and so much nicer than my ad hoc scone recipe which involves no measuring and at least one overlooked, but crucial ingredient. I've noted down this title in my wish list - which during these days of not purchasing books has swollen to enormous proportions!

    1. Oh gosh, yes, my to-read list is up somewhere around 250 titles, which is awfully excessive especially considering that I'm not going to read any fiction out of the library for at least a month!

      I'm always impressed by people who can bake without measuring. My husband is one of those people, though watching him put together a recipe without ever once pulling out measuring cups or spoons drives me a little nuts!