Joline Cook, Calais, ME
2 cups all-purpose flour OR
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar (or 1 Tbsp. Splenda)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2-3 Tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
⅔ cup milk
1 large egg
Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the pieces of butter are the size of peas. Add optional ingredients (below) and toss lightly.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg; add the milk and blend. Add this all at once to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork and begin combining the wet and dry ingredients. Mix only until dry ingredients are absorbed. Do not kneed. Set the ball of dough in the center or a prepared baking sheet (parchment paper or greased) and pat gently into a round about 1" thick and 7-8 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut the round into eight wedges, separate the wedges. (You can also cut dough on a floured pastry cloth or cutting board and then transfer the wedges to the baking pan.)
Brush scones with a mixture of 1 large egg and 1 Tbsp. milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar (this is enough for several batches of scones). Bake until the scones are deep golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a wedge come out clean, 18-22 minutes (check after 15 minutes). Scones will keep up to two months in freezer, if well wrapped. Thaw at room temperature and warm in a 325° oven.
Optional Ingredients (scone variations):
Cherry-Vanilla―⅔ cup coarsely chopped dried cherries & 2 tsp. pure vanilla
Chocolate―1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
White Chocolate-Cashew―1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate bar (or white choc. chips) & ½ cup unsalted cashews
Double Ginger―½ cup ground ginger & ½ cup medium-finely chopped crystallized ginger
Date-Walnut―¾ cup chopped dates & ½ cup chopped walnuts
Cranberry-Walnut-Pecan―⅔ cup dried cranberries & ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Savory Rosemary―2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary (top scones with kosher salt instead of sugar)
Other options―blueberries, raspberries, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, orange, lemon flavors, let your imagination roam.