Baking Laurie’s Scones a Little Lighter

Laurie's scone

Laurie’s scone

There’s something special about recipes. They are shared and with that passage of a piece of paper from friend to friend, a bond is deepened. Suddenly a person becomes a part of your world, possibly for the rest of your life. When that recipe is shared again, it can make its way around the world. With Laurie’s scones, that’s the case.

I used to work for an Internet marketing company, and one of the best decisions I was ever a part of was to bring Laurie Dunlop onboard. Laurie is one of the truly good people in this world, and she is a helluva cook.

Laurie ‘s scones.  I say “her” scones, but that recipe actually came from her friend, Harriet Kihlstrom. I don’t know Harriet, but her recipe for easy and tasty scones have made their way into my cookbook. Laurie is an army wife, and her recipes are collected far and wide. Harriet, wherever you are, thank you!

Laurie would bring scones into the office on occasion, sometimes with my homemade james and jellies. She always added currants and a dollop of strawberry jam before baking. She knew how to lighten her scones, and using her trick with milk, I’ve added a few tricks of my own.

Laurie’/Harriet’s recipe is below the pictures. I think this technique will work with any scone recipe, allowing you to enjoy a scone without quite as many calories. Alton Brown has a recipe that looks pretty good.

Cream – my first swap, courtesy of Laurie, is for the cream. Cream does something amazing to scones, but I can swap it out for whole milk, 2%, or even fat-free and still have a really tasty treat. I may sacrifice a little “creaminess,” but the texture is still good, and the flavor is still amazing.

Sugar – the first time I made Laurie’s scones, I accidentally left out the sugar. All of it. Her recipe has two tablespoons plus sugar for sprinkling. I somehow left out the two tablespoons. Fortunately I caught the mistake before baking, so I still used about one or two teaspoons of sugar sprinkled over the scones. Maybe it’s my Southern “biscuit” upbringing, but I didn’t really miss the sugar. I normally use one tablespoon now unless company is coming.

Size – by cutting my scones a little smaller, I’m still able to enjoy that scone flavor without quite as many calories. I mean, with butter and flour as the main ingredients, there’s only so much to cut, but I love these, so I had to find a way! By cutting the scones a little smaller I end up with 14 scones instead of 8 or 10. I could probably cut them even a bit smaller. When I make them into squares, I usually get 12 similarly sized scones, and they don’t require geometry to cut.

Treatment – I normally just barely pat the scone dough together. This batch below I worked a bit so the pictures would look nice. My suggestion — on a dry day, add a little more milk; on a wet day, use a little less. It takes five minutes at the most to measure/mix/pat/cut the dough, so make them a few times, and you’ll get a feel for it. The less handling, the more flakiness, so you get that great texture even with slightly reduced calories.

scone dough

scone dough

scone first cut

scone first cut

scone next cuts

scone next cuts

baked scones

baked scones









(Adapted from Laurie Dunlop’s Scones (Harriet Kihlstrom’s Scones))

  • 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 stick butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup dried currants – optional
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c milk or heavy cream plus extra for brushing
  • 1 tsp sugar for sprinkling

Whisk dry ingredients.

Cut butter into dry ingredients, then mix in currents if using.

Fork beat egg into milk or cream.

Fold into dry mixture and mix until comes together into a ball.

Hand press into 8″ circle on parchment/cookie sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut into wedges.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

(Sorry there’s no way to print the recipe separately. Just highlight and print selection, if you can!)

So when I got up early today, I decided to make a batch of Laurie’s scones. I enjoyed them with the strawberries I picked yesterday, along with a cup of Cabin Creek Roaster’s coffee in my favorite vintage Pyrex restaurant mug. It’s easy to appreciate the little pleasures in life when they require little work and taste so good, and I get to enjoy them here in the Shenandoah Valley! What’s your favorite type of scone?

coffee, scone, and berries

coffee, scone, and berries

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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