Nothing says “comfort” quite like scones and biscuits, and at this point in the season we could probably all use a little comfort. We’re partial to feel-good food that isn’t junk, so although these may not be low-calorie, the calories they do have are wholesome, nutrient-rich calories. We find that pretty comforting in itself.
The British ancestor of these griddle scones is probably the “girdle” scones that housewives used to make on a thick sheet of iron with handles that was placed directly over hot coals. Today, you can certainly use a griddle on top of the stove, but, to tell you the truth, my best griddle scones are made in an ordinary black cast-iron skillet that I keep well seasoned.
Since you want a tight dough for these scones, very little milk is needed and no matter what cooking utensil you use, remember that the rounds should be fairly thin so the scones will be crisp on the outside.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup sugar (or one of Care2′s recommended natural sweeteners)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
½ cup finely chopped dried fruit
1 large egg, beaten
Milk, if needed
Butter or olive oil for greasing griddle
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices. Add the butter and rub it in quickly with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Add the fruits and stir until well blended. Add the egg and stir until a dough forms, adding a little milk if the dough seems too dry.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, roll out about ¼-inch thick, and cut out rounds with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter. Roll the scraps together and cut out more rounds.
Melt about 1 teaspoon of butter (or olive oil) on a heavy griddle or a medium-sized cast iron skillet over moderate heat and cook about four rounds until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining rounds. Serve warm.
Makes about 24 scones.
Adapted from Biscuit Bliss, by James Villas (Harvard Common Press, 2004).