Scones used to be the stuff of my childhood storybooks. A lot of those books used to be by British authors and they would conjure up elaborate evening teas in the homes of gentle folk (including various Dukes and Duchesses, Earls and their Ladies, the local Squire and his wife, the Vicar in his Vicarage or perhaps the local Parish priest to mention more than a few)
Sometimes the tea time scene would be at a public tea room somewhere but they all featured little tea cakes, crumpets, thin cucumber sandwiches and scones with a pat of butter, some preserves/ jam and most definitely clotted cream! I must say that since cream was never one of my favourite things, the idea of a “clotted” cream seemed even more awful.
That aside, most of these foods were then unknown to me outside the pages of the books I used to read. They lent an almost mysteriously magical quality to the 12 or 13 year old that I was, just like those midnight feasts at boarding school and picnics with ginger beer and very exciting if somewhat highly improbable adventures that happened every school holidays!
It has been many years since I left those books behind, though I did revisit them sometime back when it was my daughter’s turn to discover those books. This time only difference was that not only could I explain to my daughter what crumpets and scones were, I could make them for her and let her decide whether she liked them or not.
My daughter likes scones very much though she and my husband prefer the sweeter ones, while I prefer the savoury ones. I have a version which I make in the microwave that’s pretty quick to put together. While those scones are quite good, these oven baked ones do not really take all that much more time to make.
I adapted these Coffeehouse Scones a bit to make mine and you can see the changes I made in the recipe that follows. My daughter loves anything butterscotch but you can always replace the butterscotch chips with chocolate chips or even leave them out all together if you prefer.
These scones are sweeter than the average scone and sprinkling a bit of sugar on top of the dough before baking produces a slightly crunchy top layer to the scones.
The way I understand it, Coffeehouse Scones seem to be more of an American version of the English scone and are typically sweeter with glazing or sugar on top and triangular in shape. Looks like they get their name from the fact that they are indeed sold in coffeehouses!
Butterscotch Chip Scones
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (or granulated white sugar)
- 1 1/4 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 100 gm salted butter chilled , cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk cream or for brushing on scones
- 1 1/2 tsps sugar granulated for sprinkling on scones (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Blend the chilled butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives, or even by pulsing in the food processor a couple of times. You can do it by hand too.
- The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Add the butterscotch chips and mix. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough. Here is an excellent post/ tutorial on how to make scones.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick.
- Cut this circle into quarters, then cut each quarter into 2 or 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles), whichever you prefer.
- Place the scones on a parchment (or foil) lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the cream or milk and sprinkle the sugar on top of this. Stack the baking sheet with the dough on another baking sheet. This prevents the bottoms of the scones from over browning during baking.
- Bake at 200C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
- Serve at teatime.