Scones for a Crowd
These scones are simple to make and can be made start-to-finish in just about an hour. I have yet to have them fail completely, even when I scorch the bottoms.
One batch makes up to two dozen scones, depending on your extras.
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (I take it directly out of the fridge. Works great.)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in butter. (I find it works best to cut the butter into quarter inch slices, then just squeeze it into the flour with my hands until it’s thoroughly mixed)
[If adding extras, they go in now]
Beat the egg in the bottom of your liquid measure, then add milk to measure one cup total of liquid.
Using hands, pour a little of the milk-egg mixture into the dough until it starts to stick together, and it should be JUST SLIGHTLY soggy. (I have never in all the time I’ve made these used the entire cup of liquid)
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface (I flour my surface a lot more than lightly, it makes my job easier) and knead briefly (until it stops feeling soggy on the outside. Don’t over-knead, it makes the scones tough).
Roll dough out until it’s approx ¼ inch thick.
Using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds from the dough and place on baking sheets approx. ½ inch apart. Re-roll dough on floured surface until all dough has been cut/shaped into rounds.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
For sweet scones:
I like to add white chocolate chips and dried cranberries for sweet scones. I have never measured how much I put in, but it’s half-ish of a small bag of chocolate chips and maybe 1 cup of dried cranberries? I just dump it in until it ‘looks right.’
Brush the tops of the scones with egg white and sprinkle with pearl sugar to really impress those minions!
For savory scones:
Add a package of diced ham OR six to eight slices of bacon cooked to a crisp and well-drained, about a cup of grated cheddar cheese (I suppose you could use any grated cheese you like, but cheddar is what we keep on hand around here), a tablespoon-ish of garlic powder, and two or three tablespoons of fresh chives, chopped (or cut into tiny pieces with the kitchen shears, which is INFINITELY easier than trying to slice the little bastards with a knife). The savory variety has actually proven to be more popular than the sweet - I’ve been told by a very reliable source that it’s like eating the best parts of breakfast all in one bite.
I realize that scones are supposed to be shaped into a round and then cut into wedges, but that never works well for a large crowd, and this way it’s easy to grab a couple to eat at your desk during a particularly grueling debugging session. They also seem to bake more evenly (at least in my oven, but my oven is a temperamental old girl). Feel free to bake these in traditional wedges if you wish.
Also feel free to experiment with additions. These happen to be the combinations that have been the most successful with my audience, but if you’d rather have walnuts and raisins, by all means don’t let me stop you.
Bond’s head jerked up and he peered over the screen of his personal laptop at Q, who’d taken a seat across the table from him, long fingers wrapped around a steaming mug, green eyes blinking owlishly through his glasses.
“What are you doing? It’s one in the morning.”
“Working,” Bond replied easily.
Q snorted. “Pull the other one.”
“I had a request for one of my recipes.”
Q quirked an eyebrow, conveying his incredulity with more panache than any spoken word was capable. Bond smirked.
“Whether you believe me or not, I’ve just finished. Is that coffee or bilge-water?”
Q scowled. “Just because you’re unpatriotic about your choice of beverage does not give you the right to disparage it.”
“Mm.” Bond shut the laptop with a snap. “Bilge-water then. Brush your teeth before you come to bed if you’re expecting a kiss goodnight.”
“You’re such an arse.”
Bond grinned. He had another week of mandatory leave. Time enough to keep Q-branch up to its proverbial eyeballs in baked goods and maybe earn himself a toy or two in the process. It couldn’t hurt, and happy minions meant a happy Q, and a happy Q meant many, many things that Bond rather enjoyed while off the clock.
He stretched luxuriantly, rolled his neck until it cracked, then rose, walked around the table and dropped a kiss into Q’s hair.
“You’re still an arse.”
“But I’m your arse,” Bond replied, and sauntered off towards the bedroom.