The bright flavor of lemon and the herbaceous aromas of lavender permeate these adorable fluffy and moist scones. Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea, these scones are simple to make and are a wonderful treat!
Baking – On Hold?
The last few weeks has been a little rough for me. As I was looking towards the end of January, I was planning on returning to work having been on FMLA for the past month to rest. I was also completing several doctor appointments to try and understand exactly what was causing additional health issues for me. However as the end of my first month of FMLA neared, though I generally felt improved from my previous state, I was still struggling to make it through a full day without needing a nap and felt fatigued after an hour or two of activity. I was also having increasing pain in my abdomen and back that was becoming disruptive to my sleep. It seemed like a number of things were pointing this current bout of illness continuing. Unfortunately, this was the situation and after having a procedure to remove a kidney stone I am now continuing to recover at home.
Scones are Comfort Food
One thing that has been helping me through this whole ordeal these past few weeks while I’ve been at home has been baking. Specifically, I had to make a batch of lemon lavender scones which filled my house with wonderful aromatic baking fragrances and were a comforting thing to eat as well. Many people crave certain things when they are feeling unwell or recovering. My number one comfort food of choice is actually a cheeseburger – followed closely by baked goods and pastries (lol). This time, it was these scones that danced around in my head while I laid around my house resting. It became a little obsessive, similar to how the Pink Peppercorn Shortbread Cookies were for me a couple months ago. So as soon as I felt rested enough, I was in the kitchen making scones.
Baking Scones from Scratch
Scones may seem intimidating, but they are actually really simple to make and are perfect for someone like me who might be a little too sore right now to work a dough any more than this recipe requires for these scones to turn out perfectly.
How To Bake Scones
For these scones, you start by sifting the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together so that you have an evenly blended mixture of the dry ingredients ahead of incorporating the butter.
I like to cut my butter into several smaller pieces before working it into the dry ingredient mixture by hand. Some people prefer a pastry cutter or fork for this kind of work, but the former I feel is unprecise and it therefore takes longer to cut in the butter completely. The latter allows you more control but is hard for me with arthritic hands to hold while applying necessary squishing force to cold butter. So instead I cut in my butter by hand and get a hand exercise at the same time!
Finishing your Scones
As you fold in the wet ingredients, you will see this is going to be a sticky dough and lots of flour is going to be involved when you pull the dough out of the bowl for a quick knead prior to shaping. The scone recipe that I adapted this from called for shaping the dough into a rectangle before cutting into triangles. However, I have tried this a several times over the years and personally feel I get more consistent scones with a round shape.
The drizzle of lemon lavender icing adds a lovely touch of tang and makes these scones a pretty addition to your breakfast or tea table. These scones are best the day they are made, but also keep well for a couple days in an airtight container at room temperature. We keep ours on the counter and would have them with our morning coffee. What a way to start the day!
Tips for Making Soft and Flakey Scones
When mixing the wet ingredients in with your dry mixture, be very careful not to overmix. I barely pull the ingredients together in the bowl (as you will see in the photo further down), and then dump the whole thing out onto a well-floured surface. Through the kneading, I pull the dough together the rest of the way. As soon as it gets to that point, I stop kneading and pat it into shape. Any more than this makes the scones tough when baked and that is not a texture a scone should have.
Lemon Lavender Scones with Icing Recipe
Adapted from the recipe of the same name from Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook: Favorite breads, pastries, sweets & savories
“Lemon Lavender Scones.” Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook: Favorite Breads, Pastries, Sweets & Savories, by Leslie Mackie and Andrew Cleary, Sasquatch Books, 2006, pp. 58–59.
Makes 6 scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (or approximately the zest of a medium lemon)
- 2 tsp chopped dried lavender
- 4 tbsp butter, chilled
- 6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet for the scones by lining with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- Add the lemon zest and all but ½ tsp of the dried lavender to the sifted ingredients. Incorporate with a wooden spoon.
- Next cut in the chilled butter using either a pastry cutter or your hands until all the butter chunks have been broken down and the texture of the dry ingredients with the butter is like a small crumb and if you squeeze the ingredients together in your hand they loosely hold together.
- Next combine the buttermilk and yogurt together in a small bowl before folding into the flour mixture. Only mix the ingredients together until they are barely (or maybe not even quite) combined. This is critical to preventing a tough scone.
- Coat your hands and a clean worksurface with flour. Pull the dough out of the bowl onto the worksurface and finish pulling the dough together by hand, again – working until just combined.
- Gently shape your dough into a flat round approximately 1” thick. Cut this into 6 wedges before transferring each to your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the scones on the center rack of your oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Scones should be lightly browned when finished. Allow scones to cool on the baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling. Set the baking sheet with the parchment paper still on it aside…you will use this later.
- Meanwhile, make the icing for the scones by mixing the lemon juice, remaining lavender, and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. You will be able to identify the correct consistency if while mixing the icing thinly streams from the spoon if lifted from the bowl. If yours is thick (like thick cream of wheat or oatmeal), add lemon juice as needed to the icing until the correct consistency is obtained.
- Take your wire rack with your scones and set it back on your used baking sheet (I am trying to save you dishes!). Using a spoon, drizzle the prepared icing across the tops of each scone in a tight zig-zag pattern. Allow frosting to set slightly before serving…or just immediately devour one in the kitchen. Why not?