My first few experiences with scones were dry and dense and left me begging for something to wash it down with. That is until this past winter when a friend made cranberry scones when my girls and I came over for a visit. They were so soft and sweet and pillowy! Since then I’ve tried so many different scone recipes, had a few failures that were reminiscent of those first tastes that turned me off to begin with. But most were wonderful. By far these were our favorites. The little creamy pockets of cream cheese really set them off and made them irresistible.
But when we decided to cut most refined sugar from our diet it left us missing our sweet breakfast breads. So I decided to try it out with honey instead. My friend had made those original cranberry scones with honey, so why not? I also wanted to try them with strawberries instead of blueberries. (Note; we also use dairy free cream cheese and rice milk and you can’t tell any difference.) And while I forgot to use both in this particular batch photographed, you can also use half whole wheat flour. They turned out perfectly! We didn’t miss the sugar at all and loved the strawberries (and a bit of lemon) and my daughter told me that she wanted them on her birthday instead of birthday cake. What higher praise could there be?!
1/3 cup butter, cut in pieces
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup raw honey
1 lemon zested and juice squeezed and set aside
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries, thawed, rinsed, drained and coated in a couple of tablespoons of honey
2 ounces cream cheese, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine butter, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and cut with a pastry blender or two butter knives until crumbly.
Stir milk and honey into softened cream cheese, then stir in egg until well-combined. Add the lemon zest and juice. Stir cream cheese mixture into flour mixture until dough forms a ball.
Gently push strawberries and cream cheese pieces into the dough to incorporate evenly. Be careful not to crush the berries or mash the cream cheese pieces.
Coat work surface and your hand with flour. Pull off half of the dough and coat with flour. The dough will be very sticky. Add flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands or work surface. Gently pat it out into a circle and, using a knife or pizza cutter, cut into eight sections. I prefer to separate the wedges before placing on the baking sheets so that the edges get nice and brown, too. Do the same with the second half of dough.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden. Makes 16 scones.
Julie Hunter is a wife and mama, raising 3 spirited girls, two babydoll sheep, angora rabbits and a gaggle of chickens and ducks in the North Carolina Foothills. She spends her days at home, crafting with her children, homeschooling, taking long gathering walks in the woods and knitting Waldorf-inspired toys. You can find her blogging and keeping shop at This Cosy Life.