Recently I reconnected with my sister-in-law who’s settling in for retirement in Moses Lake. (I was maid-of-honor at their wedding 54 years ago!) She and my step-brother have been like snowbirds for a number of years, sometimes in Ocean Shores and sometimes in Arizona. My nephews, their wives and children live in the eastern part of Washington, so it means their nuclear family is mostly nearby now and I was so happy to find out about the move.
I told her oldest son that I’d like to mail her some cookies on a fairly regular basis as I’d done for my mother for the past few years, and he said she’d like it. It took a few messed up phone/text numbers but we worked it out and the first thing she requested was mini raspberry scones. Not knowing how long it takes USPS Priority Mail packages to travel across the mountains from Seattle to Moses Lake, I suggested cookies, found out that my brother’s favorite is peanut butter. Since she loves raspberries, I chose for her but didn’t tell her.
I made and shipped both my “Peanut Butter Butter Cookies” and my Raspberry Butter Cookies*. It took five, count ’em, five days to get there! USPS quoted me six days, so I was grateful it only took five, but honestly! The drive is only five hours, but the mail doesn’t travel in a straight line.
Anyway, obviously I cannot send raspberry scones, even with Priority Mail, unless I want to pay $60 for overnight express, which is ridiculous. However, the thought of making them appealed to me, and NOT like those doughy scones filled with raspberry jam which can be bought at our State Fairs. So, longer story short, I made the full-sized scones for breakfast today and shared them with my neighbors. The secrets: adding frozen raspberries to the buttery dough at the same time as the liquid; a quick brush of half-and-half and sprinkle of sparkling sugar after they’re cut and on the baking sheet; and a drizzle of fresh lemon glaze as soon as they’re out of the oven. Oh, boy, are they good! (See 12/28/2021 update: better & easier recipe in new post. It skips the molding, shaping and the brushing on milk before the sparkling sugar! It’s based on my own drop scone recipe and the result is tastier than this version.)
Recipe makes 6 big scones. 375 for about 25 minutes. Parchment on your cookie sheet. Then: (1) Dry ingredients into the bowl & whisked: 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt. (2) Then grate in 3/4 cup cold butter, which is 1 1/2 sticks (and whisk the grated bits into the dry ingredients every time you get a little pile) and refrigerate this mix for 20 minutes or so to re-firm the butter (or, if preparing in advance, until you’re ready to work fast.) (3) Wet ingredients: Mix 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk (lowfat is okay) (Quantity is otherwise known as 7/8 cup but who has such a cup?) (4) Get approximately 1 1/4 cup frozen raspberries ready to be hand-crunched into the batter as you pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and quickly get busy with a wooden spoon. (5) It’s not easy to mix (and it’s necessary to be quick) so after it starts turning into dough, pour it out on a plastic or rubbery cutting board and use your hands to knead it into a rough ball. Then flatten to approximately 1 1/2 inches thick circle, cut it into 6 wedges and lift the cut pieces onto the parchment. (6) Brush with half-and-half or milk and sprinkle with some sparkling sugar. Be quick as the baking powder is already working its first “action.” Pop them into the oven and bake. (7) While they’re baking: Mix 3/4 cup of powdered sugar with a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice until it’s of glaze consistently which can be drizzled from the spoon over the scones when they’re golden brown and done in the middle. (I use bamboo skewer to test for doneness. Doughy scones are yucky.) Then enjoy, and you will enjoy if you’re a raspberry lover, especially with that lemon drizzle.
Note: to make mini scones, make the dough in the same manner, but mound it into a square rather than a circle, cut it into 9 squares, then cut each of those squares in half diagonally.