Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas, Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett, Food Styling: Rebecca Kracke Gordon
Total Time:
33 Mins
Yield:
Makes 8 servings

Reviewers give our Best-Ever Scones 5 stars and it is easy to see why. If you are looking for buttery layers, melt-in-your-mouth flavor, and plenty of sweet and savory variations for customizing, this scone recipe is just the ticket. So, just how many variations are we talking? Well, for team sweet we have Chocolate-Cherry, Apricot-Ginger, Cranberry-Pistachio, and Brown Sugar-Pecan. Camp savory includes Bacon, Cheddar, and Chive; Ham-and-Swiss; Pimiento Cheese; and Rosemary, Pear, and Asiago. We even included a tip on how to make bite-size scones, a perfect treat for your next party or get-together. Our recipe allows room for plenty of riffs and customization that will appeal to both master and novice bakers alike. You might be surprised to learn that it only takes about 30 minutes to yield 8 delicious, bakery-worthy scones. If you want to bake up an extra batch for good measure, we won’t blame you.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Freeze 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cream, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Step 2

Turn dough out onto wax paper; gently press or pat dough into a 7-inch round (mixture will be crumbly). Cut round into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops of wedges with remaining 2 Tbsp. cream just until moistened.

Step 3

Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Chef's Notes

Sweet Variations

Chocolate-Cherry Scones: Stir in 1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped, and 2 oz.coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate with the cream.

Apricot-Ginger Scones: Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger with the cream. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze after baking.

Cranberry-Pistachio Scones: Stir in 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted pistachios with the cream.

Brown Sugar-Pecan Scones: Substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans with the cream.

Savory Variations

Bacon, Cheddar, and Chive Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3-oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper with the cream.

Ham-and-Swiss Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese and 3/4 cup finely chopped baked ham with the cream. Serve warm with Mustard Butter: Stir together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard, and 1 Tbsp. minced sweet onion.

Pimiento Cheese Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (3-oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and 3 Tbsp. finely chopped pimiento with the cream.

Rosemary, Pear, and Asiago Scones: Omit sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh pear, 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, and 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary with the cream.

Festive Touch

Bite-Size Scones: Pat dough into 2 (4-inch) rounds. Cut rounds into 8 wedges. Bake as directed for 12 to 13 minutes.