Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cheese scones

GuzziSue reminded me that all scones are not created equal.... but, I was so busy doing berry and sweet scones during the past week that I totally forgot about anything savoury..... acckkkk! Silly me! Cheese scones below, Guzzi....

So.... if sweet scones need a Sweet Tea Biscuit base.... guess what savoury scones require? .... just a simple Tea Biscuit recipe.

Tea Biscuits

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
4 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 2/3 cup firm butter
2/3 cup milk (approximately)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. (I don't use salt because I use salted butter and I just don't like a very salty flavour)
Cut in fat with pastry blender, knives or fingers 'til no large lumps of fat remain.
Add milk a little at a time..with fork or spoon 'til mixture will form a ball around the fork. (Too little milk makes a stiff dough... too much milk makes a sticky, difficult to handle dough.)
Turn dough out onto floured board;knead lightly. Gently roll out or pat to 3/4 inch thick for large biscuits, 1/2 inch for small biscuits. Cut with 1.5 or 2 inch cookie cutter. Brush top with milk or milk with beaten egg yolk for a shiny surface.
Place on un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 to 425F for 10 -20 minutes. Makes 12-18 biscuits 3/4 inch thick.

To save time or to create a more rustic appearance....drop onto baking sheet by spoonfuls instead of rolling and cutting.

Cheese Scones

To dry ingredients add 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 2 cups grated, medium or old Cheddar cheese. For liquid beat 2 egg yolks in measuring cup; add milk to make 2/3 cup. Use smaller amount of fat.
For something different....brush tops with milk; sprinkle with poppy seeds, celery seed, sesame seed or cumin seed.

Tomato Cheese Scones

Add 3/4 cup grated Cheddar Cheese to dry ingredients. Reduce baking powder to 2 tsps and add with 1/2 tsp baking soda. Replace milk with tomato juice.

Try adding some small chunks of onion cooked in butter or bits of tinned tomatoes or perhaps some minced peppers.... call them Confetti Scones... or, how about some herbs of your choosing? Sky is the limit as usual.... I love to experiment. I've tried sun dried tomatoes... those were tasty... oh, I want to try some savoury scones this week....... it never ends does it, this cooking? ... and, of course....the eating! The best part..... and now for some jumping jacks and a run around the block....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Basic Scone recipe

Scones are really just a sweet tea biscuit recipe with a tweak or two. Add some raisins, currents or other fruit .... add some cream, buttermilk and lemon zest..etc... and you have a lovely snack or breakfast treat...although I prefer them for any other time of day except breakfast myself. For brekky...I want gives me energy for the better part of the day and I am not hungry before noon....

So, first of all, here is the recipe for the sweet biscuit... and following that... some "tweaks". This is the same sweet biscuit topping I use for my Apple Cobbler. A very versatile mix from an old and trusted friend.....The Canadian Cookbook.

Sweet Tea Biscuits

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (I use salted butter so don't use salt as well)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firm butter
1 egg

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in fat with pastry blender, knives, or fingers, 'til no large lumps of fat remain.

Beat egg with fork in a measuring cup and add milk to make 1 cup. Add to dry ingredients and mix gently with fork or spoon. Turn dough onto floured board; knead lightly for about 7 turns... turn dough to smooth side... roll 3/4 inch thick and cut with 2 inch cookie cutter.

For shiny surface brush top with milk or milk containing beaten egg yolk; place on unbuttered baking sheet. Bake at 400 to 425 F for 10-20 minutes depending on size.

To save time... mix dough a bit longer and drop by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheet instead of kneading or rolling. More rustic appearance but still great texture.

Currant Scones
to the above recipe; add 1 cup raisins or currants to dry ingredients. Sprinkle with sugar.. bake 410F for 20 minutes.

Lemon Cream Scones
in Sweet Tea Biscuit recipe, substitute buttermilk or sour cream for milk, add juice and zest of 1 lemon, reduce baking powder to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Roll 1/4 inch thick;brush with egg white, sprinkle with sugar to glaze; cut into triangles; or drop by spoonfuls; bake well separated on baking sheet at 425 F for 15 minutes.

To this I also add 2 more tablespoons of plain yogurt and some blueberries, or, in season, Saskatoon berries....mmmmmm...... The dough is pretty sticky and wet, but I never roll it out...I love the rustic look of spoon dropped dough for my scones, although this last time I was probably one spoonful of yogurt too soft.... they were slightly more rounded versus standing up a bit.

The texture was wonderful...

Saturday, August 16, 2008


...... blueberries in all the stages of ripeness....just because I love the colours!

Today, it is 32C or 90F.... not really the perfect day for baking. I have been known to turn on the oven when the house gets to 92F ... I figure if it is hot already...what difference could it possibly make?

Today I decided to try something else though.... I wondered if I could just bake some in my electric frying pan instead of turning on the oven.

Guess what? the answer is yes. However... it does take longer than the 20 minutes in an oven...and....the tops do not brown. They appear almost ..uhm...... steamed looking on the tops.... . but..the texture is great... and the bottom is lovely and golden. The Saskatoon berries were swollen to bursting and seem even sweeter than straight off the bush.

I placed my cooling rack on the bottom of the pan.... put the dough on double thickness of foil... and placed on top of the rack.

I had the pan at 400F and did put on the lid. If moisture accumulated inside the lid (I can see it because my lid is glass) I just wiped it off, in an attempt to prevent steaming. I thought it might even be possible to brown the surface...but the answer to that seems to be Oh, well....they are delicious and the garage smells like scones...I placed the pan on the workbench..... keeping it cool as possible in here til I have to turn on the AC....

Back later with the recipe ....