It get busy around here at Christmas and I find myself running out of time. Like everyone I want to have on hand something other then cookies or cake to serve guests or just for coffee. Scones are a wonderful addition to your Christmas baking. They can also be work.
You can find great recipes and instructions on how to make a great scones. There are many videos that show techniques in handling the dough so your scones are light and delicate. But by the time the holidays begin I am warn out, tired of baking and cleaning up after myself in the kitchen. I also have a limited budget to work with. Items like butter, sour cream and cream cheese can be budget busters. This is where baking mixes can be a big help with saving time and money. Sometimes you just want something that is not overly rich that you can enjoy with a hot drink or start your day out with.
Here in southern United States, we have a biscuit mix that is in our local grocery stores this is Southern Biscuit Formula L Complete Biscuit Mix. I discovered it several years ago on the shelf of my local Walmart store and now find others are carrying it also. It is also offered on line if you can’t get it locally. I normally don’t post recipes using a product that may only be available regionally. This recipe may also adapted to other biscuit mixes that you can find in your region.
This picture was taken at 6 AM and I am stumbling around waiting for my coffee to perk. I am tired and the idea of standing in front of the stove cooking a 5 star breakfast is not going to happen. The Martha Steward in me is on strike and I don’t care about whether “it is a good thing,” or not. I am not going to drag my mixer, food processor or waffle iron out. I am not going to flip eggs, pancakes or fry anything. This Santa’s helper is whipped. I can’t even perk up enough to think about a “yum-o” right now and blend up a smoothy. It is more of a semi-homemade moment.
I grab the biscuit mix and look at the instructions. Then I sigh and decide I am not even up to making sausage gravy. Maybe I have a can of it in the back of the cupboard. Nope I don’t and the cats are now looking at me wanting me to open a can of cat food for them. My fault I should of stayed away from the cupboard that is a sign for them in the morning “it is time to eat.”
I now have my first cup of coffee in hand and the cats have left out of the back door to do what ever they do outside before the sun come up after they eat. So it is back to figuring out how to feed everyone else. The biscuit mix is still sitting out. I think God said “let there be light,” and a light bulb turned on in my brain dead head or maybe I have been watching too many Christmas baking videos on You Tube. The idea of scones flash through my head. Why not all I have to do is sweeten the batch of biscuits and add some dried fruit? I don’t have to use expensive butter and measure lots of other ingredients.
If you are using a different biscuit mix that has a basic recipe that calls for less mix then what I am using, adjust the sugar and fruit down.
Here is what I did.
Preheat oven 400 degrees.
The recipe for using Southern Biscuit Mix calls for:
3 1/4 cups of mix
1 1/4 cups of butter milk
( I keep powered butter milk on hand to bake with and mix it with water according to instruction.}
To that I added:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
The cherries and chocolate chips I had on hand but you can use raisins, blue berries, semi-chocolate chips, nuts and other dried fruits.
Mixed in a large bowl. I used my hands. Remember to mix your dry ingredients first then add your vanilla to your liquid before mixing together. I put the dried cherries into the dry mix before adding the milk.
Flour the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan. You are not going to bake in this pan. It is to help you shape the dough in a rectangle. You don’t even need a rolling pin. If you are using a different baking mix that makes a smaller batch you can use a 9 inch square pan.
I just patted the dough evenly into the pan. I tried to handle the dough as little as possible because I wanted the scones to be flaky.
I flipped the pan out on a flour service. Now you cut them into triangles. I used a pizza cutter but a knife will work . Use what you have.
Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper so they don’t touch. They spread while baking.
Brush them with a little milk or cream to make them brown on top. Sprinkle them with finishing sugar. That is a coarse sugar. I used coarse cookie sugar sprinkles.
Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Then with out opening the door turn your oven off and reset your timer for 10 more minutes. Then take them out. They will look like this or a little lighter. Everyone’s oven is different. Mine oven runs a little hot and brown faster.
While they are baking you can quickly clean up because you only have the bowl, pan, measuring utensils and pastry surface.
I sat down then and enjoyed a couple on a paper plate with my second cup of coffee. They smelled so good and tasted just right not too sweet, wonderfully flaky morning treat. The sun is now shining through the window and the day is starting to look better. Everyone will think you out did yourself. Hide a few to nibble on while wrapping presents later in the day.