2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces*
1 cup chopped fresh or dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, or a combination of flavors
1 1/4 cups chilled heavy cream (approximately)*
Sugar for topping
* 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 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with vegetable-oil cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk or stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt thoroughly. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas.
Stir in the fruit or nuts, and then slowly stir in the cream, just until the mixture binds together.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat the mixture into a round or square shape. Sprinkle with flour and roll to approximately 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into rounds, triangles, or squares. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush with additional heavy cream. Note: 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.
Space 1-inch apart onto prepared baking sheet.
NOTE: When making scones, work the dough quickly and do not over mix.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
Tips: When the scones are cool, wrap airtight and hold at room temperature for up to one day or freeze to store longer. To reheat, unwrap scones (thaw wrapped, if frozen) and plac e onto a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees oven 8 to 10 minutes or until warm.
Yields 12 scones.