Home Cooking Recipes
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Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour


Scones for Mother's Day

I have a young friend who is kissin' kin and so of course I may be prejudiced, but I think he is a really unusual young man. When he was about 11 years old he decided that he would like to sell tropical fish as his means of income when he "grew up." But since Rolla, N.D., has a population of only 1,200 folks, he wisely recognized that the market might not be big enough to support his many hobbies and monetary needs.

He thought further and came up with a solution to that problem. He would start a coffee house in conjunction with the exotic fish business. With that in mind he talked to his great-grandmother about a store that she owned on Rolla's Main Street. Would she be willing to rent it to him?

With a smiling, "Yes," in his pocket he set about developing a menu for his coffee house. As this transpired in the summer time and as his mother is a teacher and as teachers love to sleep in whenever possible, he started baking something sweet for her to sample each morning when she awakened. He started out with Rice Krispie Bars and pretty much worked his way through his mother's recipe file.

I'm not certain that he ever reached the S's, as in scones, but if an 11-year-old can whip up brownies and cookies I'll bet a lot of kids will be making breakfast for Mom on May 8 this year.

Yeast doughs are a bit tricky but muffins, biscuits, and other quick breads are easy enough for kids to make. Scones seem to a national favorite quick bread these days, so you could leave these recipes lying round or posted on your refrigerator door as a mild hint.


Dried-Cherry Scones

A favorite at Country Hermitage Bed & Breakfast, Traverse City, Mich. You can make this recipe using any dried fruit, cranberries, prunes, raisins or currents, providing you cut the dried fruit into pieces about the size of dried cherries. Makes 8 scones.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/3 cup buttermilk, sour milk or cream, or yogurt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray or butter baking sheet. With a whisk mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until pea-size pieces form. Stir in cherries. Whisk buttermilk, egg, vanilla and orange peel in small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until dough forms (do not over-mix or over-handle dough). Shape dough into a 6-inch round on prepared baking sheet. Cut through to bottom into 8 wedges and move to about 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.


Cinnamon Bun Scones

What is hot, gooey, drenched in cinnamon and sugar, and can be made in about 30 minutes? Sticky buns made with yeast dough take a much bigger chunk of time than these quickies. Either quick or old-fashioned rolled oats can be used. Makes 12 scones.

Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioners/powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice or milk

Scones: Heat oven to 425 F. Grease or spray cookie sheet. In a bowl mix together well the flour, oats, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine milk, egg and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once and stir with fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. In small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with the pecans and cinnamon; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over dough in bowl; gently stir batter to swirl in mixture but do not blend completely. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 2-inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to rack and cool 5 minutes.

Glaze: Mix together until smooth the powdered sugar with enough juice or milk to make drizzling consistency. Drizzle over tops of warm scones. Serve warm.


Heavenly Scones

This recipe from Judy Burk of Oakland, Calif., calls for hazelnut-flavoring, but any nut flavored extract will do or just use vanilla. If you choose almond, it's nice to add almonds to the flour mixture or sprinkle on top before baking.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini- or coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk, sour milk or yogurt
2 teaspoons nut-flavoring or vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. In a large bowl, stir together 2 3/4 cup flour, chocolate chips, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl beat butter with sugar until fluffy; then beat in the egg. Stir in the buttermilk and flavoring. Scrape butter mixture into dry ingredients; stir just until evenly moistened (do not overmix). Sprinkle 1 teaspoon granulated sugar over bottom of the buttered 9-inch pie pan. Scrape dough into center of pan and gently spread dough into an 8-inch round. With a floured knife, cut through dough to pan bottom to make 8 equal wedges. Sprinkle with another 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or sparkling white sugar crystals (nice and crunchy). Bake until scones are golden brown and just begin to pull from pan sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving.

EPILOGUE: Later the young lad asked his great-grandmother if he could rent a small house she owned which was located about 4 blocks from the Main Street store, because if she did so he could walk to work and would not have to buy a car.

I think we should send him to Washington.


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