Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow! My husband and I officially have no plans, no babysitters, no dates, and I have no presents (and the likelihood of him having anything is not good), but we do have lots of candy, so we might be able to salvage the day.

So when I was growing up, my dad would always make scones for our neighborhood 4th of July party and for super special occasions. And by scones, I mean fried pieces of sweet bread dough that we would douse in honey or dust with powdered sugar.

One night when I was in middle school, it was pronounced that we had scones in the house and I was simultaneously puzzled and thrilled because scones were strictly a holidays-only affair. Imagine my horror when I discovered that these scones resembled triangular biscuits. HORROR.

And then I tasted one and all was forgiven. Sweet but not too sweet, melt-in-your mouth texture, flaky, buttery, and crumbly in the best possible way. Call me weird, but I think scones are totally romantic food. If my husband made me scones, I would a) wonder who he was (especially since upon eating these scones for the first time, he said, “What are these supposed to be like?) and b) I would let him pick our next date night, which would probably involve The Phantom Menace in 3D and no talk of scones.

Sara has a fabulous basic scone recipe, but constantly feeling the urge to wander culinarily (I’m 98% sure that’s not a word), I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes and it comes from Pam Anderson at Three Many Cooks.

First, place the oven rack on the lower-middle position (unless your oven bakes hot like mine does or not hot, like mine doesn’t–then use your pretty brain to figure out where it should go. Mine needs to go in the middle). You’ll need 2 cups of flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, frozen butter, sour cream, an egg, lemon zest, and poppy seeds.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Add in the zest of 1 lemon and whisk again.

Grate the frozen butter (a food processor will make the job even easier!) Take a picture because I have determined that grated butter is one of the prettiest, most photogenic things ever in the history of the universe. The fact that I find grated butter so pretty probably says something about me.

Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and use your fingers to combine the mixture so it appears like coarse meal.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and sour cream…

and then whisk it together until it’s smooth. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a fork, trying to ensure the flour mixture is evenly moistened with the egg/sour cream mixture.

Use your hands to press the dough into a ball. It will come together slowly–some portions of the dough will be more moist than others, and it may seem like it’s too crumbly, but be gentle and consistent and it will all come together. I promise. There’s probably some cheesy life lesson in there somewhere.

When the dough has come together into a ball, form the dough into an 8″ disc on a lightly floured surface (I just sprinkled a little flour on the Silpat I was baking the scones on–one less mess to clean up, right?!)

Use a butter knife to cut the dough into 8 equal triangles.

Have I ever mentioned how very bad I am at geometry?

Separate the triangles and evenly space them on a lined baking sheet.

Bake until golden, or about 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While the scones are cooling, whisk together 1/4 cup strained lemon juice, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar (more if you want a thicker glaze). Place the glaze in a Ziploc bag. If you want a thin glaze all over the whole scone, you can drizzle it over the scones while they’re still a bit warm. If you want the squiggles, wait until they’re completely cool. Personally? I would go for a bit warm, glaze dripping down the sides. Seriously…to die for.

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  1. I was scrolling through the post and noticed the grated butter, and it made me stop and go, “ooooh, what IS that pretty stuff??”. Then I noticed your comment about thinking it was pretty, too. So whatever that says about you, it says about ME too! 😉

  2. Since you have given ME so many fabulous suggestions, I just thought I’d share a little bit of joy with you for a change – you mentioned how pretty and photogenic the grated frozen butter is (I agree completely), and I just wanted to let you know that the Microplane grater grates CHEESE just like that! In sweet little curls – so you can have adorable cheese (yes, that’s gilding the lily a little, I know, but how ‘grate’ is that?) every time just by using the medium ribbon side of the super awesome box grater! And I’m normally not a big fan of box graters, but this one is fabulous – mostly because of the adorable curly mini-ribbons it makes out of cheese.

  3. I love scones, although I am used to the fried kind. I love it with honey butter.

    My uncle ran a restaurant in the mall years ago. He also served scones with honey butter. The honey butter was made with Honey, Butter and MARSHMALLOW CREAM! It’s basically the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.

    I love Lemon and Poppy, so I’ll have to give this one a try.

  4. I love these kind of scones!! I make a pretty mean strawberry lemonaide scone (my own recipe) and a cranberry orange scone adapted from somewhere (I can’t remember). Anywhooo, I make my glaze in a shallow wide bowl and dip the tops of the scones in the glaze.. it covers the top completely, it is really quick and it leaves some glaze to run down the sides. Works perfect every time!!
    By the way, I have been watching your blog for over three years now, I do not usually leave comments, but I absolutely admire you two for doing what you have done! I love my kitchen and creating in it is a passion, thanks for helping keep that passion alive!

    1. @Angie: I was just thinking that as I was reading the recipe – I’ve got all the ingredients and I was trying to think of something to do with the lemons sitting on my kitchen table. I’m definitely going to dip mine!

  5. OK Kate, you have convinced me to try this type of scone! Up till now I’ve had a strong loyalty to the fried kind and all their deliciousness; when I saw the baked version of scones I would think “why would anybody want to eat that?”. I had always thought they were hard like biscotti, but “sweet biscuit” sounds awesome!

    I so appreciate you and Sara’s posts for their ability to get me to try new things (although I probably would have been okay having never tried sweetened condensed milk, you two kind of unleashed a monster with that one).

  6. It reassures me that I’m not the only one who grew up thinking that scones were a sweet fry bread. While I grew up in WA, my mom was from UT, so I guess that explains it.

  7. Hi Kate,
    I LOVE your recipe for the Lemon Poppy seed scones, however my husband would prefer blueberry, can I take out the poppy seed’s and add blueberry’s Or Dried cherries??
    Thank you !

  8. I found this basic recipe years ago and everyone goes nuts over them. I usually do plain with chocolate chips, orange/cranberry and ginger with cinnamon chips. The sour cream is the secret. I definitely will try lemon/poppy seed next time. Thanks!

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