I have to say I prefer the blueberry scones recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, but this one is much easier and quicker to whip up, a practical recipe for regular use. It’s also a good scone recipe for the winter, when the fresh berries I usually like to include in them are scarce and expensive. I’ve been meaning to try it since August, when I copied it from a regional cookbook at the lake house (Marblehead Cooks). Scones are perfect when other breakfast goodies are just too sweet for your mood. Sweeter than a biscuit, but not as indulgent or gooey as a sticky bun.
The original recipe did not include the chocolate chips, but they were a nice addition. You can make them any shape you like. I prefer to turn the dough onto a liberally floured board and pat it into a 10″ round and then cut it like a pie, making 8-10 pieces. If you prefer, you can turn it out onto a floured board, sprinkle more flour on the top and gently roll it out an 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick and cut with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Lastly, you could scoop dollops of dough (with an ice-cream scoop) onto a greased cookie sheet like drop biscuits.
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips)
Decorator (demurrer sugar)
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, buttermilk and extract. In another bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, baking powder and the sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in almonds or mini chocolate chips. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir just until combined. Do not overstir or they will become tough.
If you are going to make drop scones, use an ice-cream scoop to drop dollops of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. For a more traditional shape, turn dough onto a liberally floured board, flour your hands and pat dough into a 10-inch round, mounded in the middle. Cut into 8 -10 wedges with a floured knife. Transfer scones to a greased cookie sheet. Beat one egg with one tablespoon milk. Brush tops of scones with this wash and sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until scone springs back when touched. Let cool ten minutes.
If you prefer to ice them, as I have, place 2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time, until you have drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over scones while they are still warm.