Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Dear Mom,
Every year I agonize over what sort of baked goods to give my neighbors for Christmas. I can knit under pressure but cooking and baking under pressure doesn't work for me. Plus I am surrounded by good cooks. I cannot compete with their delicious cookies, candies and that mouth-watering spiced pumpkin nut bread that Michelle brings over every year. (There might be a cul-de-sac riot if Michelle did not make that bread.)
Finding the right recipe that is tasty/easy/holiday-ish but not a duplicate of what my neighbors are already baking has been my annual challenge. I even pressure myself further by feeling that I should have a "signature holiday treat" for my neighbors.

A few weeks ago I stumbled across this recipe for "Super Simple Scones" in the Harvest Kitchen Gooseberry Patch Cookbook. I have grown to love these cookbooks. They are full of recipe winners and completely support your theory that any cookbook that tells the name of the person contributing the recipe is bound to be filled with only the best recipes. Nobody wants their name associated with a bad recipe.
The Young Lady and I have given this recipe several test drives. We've made several variations and can think of more to try. We haven't had a bad scone yet.
This year my neighbors will be receiving a cloth-lined basket filled with a variety of scones. And if all goes as well as I hope it will, this may become our annual gift.

Super Simple Scones
makes 8

1 1/2 cups biscuit baking mix ( We used Bisquick)
3/4 c. whipping cream

Optional ingredients: orange zest, lemon zest, dried fruit, chocolate chips, cinnamon, etc.

That's it! Can you believe it!?

Place biscuit mix in a bowl and slowly stir in cream. Turn mixture our onto a floured surface and  knead in optional ingredients. Roll and shape into an 8- inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet ( I always use a silpat) at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

So far, my favorite combination of optional ingredients is the zest of 1 lemon and 6 oz dried blueberries.  The chocolate chip scones were gobbled up quickly and I was afraid there might be a fight over the butterscotch chip scones. We've also made cinnamon raisin scones, cranberry scones and a cranberry/orange zest combination.
The recipe is easily doubled. In fact, I think we've doubled it every time and divided the dough so we could make several combinations with one batch.