Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Need a Quick Lower-Calorie Baked Treat? Try My Scones!

If you crave something sweet but hate to punish yourself with all those terrible calories, then I have the perfect solution to your troubles--the marvelous scone, which can be ready in approximately 12 minutes!

To those unfamiliar with this remarkable little treat, scones (pronounced scons) come to us from the Scottish people who invented them as a cheap form of bread.  However, their popularity quickly spread across the entire British Isles where they are usually served with tea.

Although scones are closely related to biscuit dough, my favorites are the sweeter varieties.  Since there is only a small amount of sugar in the recipe I'm sharing, raisins are nice  compliments as they naturally sweeten the tiny quick breads while giving you some extra iron.  If you want fewer calories, you just skip the raisins.  These scones even taste good with less sugar (a tablespoon or two) if you prefer an even skinner bread version to serve with dinner.

I found the secret to prepare a first rate batch of scones is not to overwork the dough.  Do not use a rolling pin, instead just pat the dough and cut into squares.  Too much fussing will produce a tough scone, but your baking efforts will be rewarded with tender flaky scones if you handle the dough only slightly!

 My Favorite Scones!
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup water

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the margarine until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the raisins just to mix.  Make a well in the center and add all at once the beaten egg and water.  Stir with a fork until the dough follows it. 

Then turn the dough out on a floured surface and cut into squares.  I like to make 15 larger scones out of this recipe.  If you want to eat less, then just make smaller ones by dividing your dough into more pieces.  (Remember, smaller ones will bake faster.)

Grease a baking pan.  I use a 11-1/2" x 8-1/2" size for the 15 scones.  Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes until very lightly browned on the bottom  for the larger size like I made with this recipe.  Smaller ones bake in approximately 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. 

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