We don’t bake much around here. That’s what the Hy-Vee is for. But you can’t get scones at the Hy-Vee.
I love puffy drop raisin scones. I used to eat them every day at a coffeehouse
At the Great Urban Neighborhood Coffeehouse (I will henceforth call it GUNC), you sat on the patio, fed the birds, and chatted to people: the priest who liked to drown his urban parish problems in a cappuccino, the poets who somehow got you to treat them to coffee, the city councilwoman with a haircut just like yours, and the housewives/part-time-teachers/freelance-everythings who made up your elite circle. After pouring libations to the sparrows, we sometimes coasted downtown in a friend’s Camry to the nut store. (She lived on nuts like a squirrel.)
And then it was Bye-bye! And back to work. We worked out of our homes.
Then the gangs and addicts moved more aggressively into the neighborhood. You know those post-apocalyptic science fiction novels? It was like that. It changed fast. One day somebody at the GUNC pulled a switchblade out of his sock.
And then the coffeehouse closed. And then we moved, because there are only so many times you can find someone passed out in the hall of the apartment house before you think it might be time to leave.
So I found an easy recipe for drop scones in Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu Cookbook. Anybody can make these.
And for non-bakers, I have recommended a few substitutions at the bottom of the recipe.
Mollie Katzen’s Yogurt Scones Recipe
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
1 1/4 firm yogurt
1/2 cup (packed) raisins, sultanas, or currants
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Sift together the first 5 ingredients. Then cut together with butter and brown sugar, using a food processor (steel blade attachment), pastry cutter, or electric mixer–until uniformly blended. It should resemble coarse meal. If using a food processor, transfer everything to a bowl.
3. Beat the yogurt together with 1 egg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the yogurt mixture along with the dried fruit. Mix as minimally as possible, with swift, decisive strokes, until well blended.
4. Drop by rounded quarter-cup measures onto the lightly greased sheet. Beat the remaining egg. Brush the tops with beaten egg (the softness of the batter might require you to pat, rather than brush, it on).
5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm, with butter and good preserves.
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 dozen scones (single servings)
And here are some of my own SUBSTITUTIONS if you don’t have all the ingredients.
1. if you don’t have wheat flour, and what non-baker does?, you can use ALL white flour.
2. If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use WHITE sugar. I like to blend the two.
3. If you don’t have butter, you can use margarine.
This is a foolproof recipe. You can probably make other substitutions–anything to avoid a trip to the store.