3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces*
5 ounces cream cheese, chilled, cut into small pieces*
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, chilled**
1 large cold egg*
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
* Why do your ingredients need to be cold? It is important that your ingredients (both fats, liquids, and eggs) remain cold. The purpose is to keep the butter solid and not let it melt. If your dough is kept cold, it will have little bits of dispersed butter. In the heat of the oven, that butter melts into the dough but leaves pockets and layers in the scones. If it's hot in your kitchen, freeze your butter before making scones. Cold butter makes scones rise higher!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle of oven. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with vegetable-oil cooking spray.
Tip: Chill the bowl and any utensils you will be using in the refrigerator before making the scones.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar; whisk together to mix.
With a pastry blender or two knives, cut chilled butter and chilled cream cheese into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, stir the chilled buttermilk and cold egg together. Add the liquid mixture and walnuts to the flour mixture; stir just until mixed. The dough will be stiff and slightly sticky. If necessary, turn the mixture onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until the flour is combined. Do not over-knead as this will make a tougher scone.
On a lightly floured surface, shape and pat the dough into a circle or rectangle about inches thick. Cut into wedges, squares or circles with a floured knife and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Scones can be cut into any shape you desire. Use a drinking glass to make circles, or cut into squares or wedges with a knife. Dip the edges of the cutter in flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Do not pat the edges of the scone down; instead leave the cuts as sharp as possible to allow the scones to rise in layers.
Bake 12 to 20 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned (depending on the size of your scones). A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your scones. The temperature of the scones should be at 200 degrees F. when done.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.
Remove scones from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
Makes 8 scones.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Add enough milk to make a good spreading consistency. Frost the scones while they are still warm.