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Try scones instead of biscuits

A recent vacation south reintroduced me to the wonderful tastes of scones for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea or, face it, anytime. So, try these recipes this week for a change of pace and surprise taste! I’ll even eat them as a snack at bedtime.

LEMON POPPY SEED SCONES

• 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

• 1/4 cup white sugar                

• 4 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt                       

• 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

• 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces   

• 1 large egg

• 1 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed

• Grated zest of one lemon

GLAZE:

• 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted plus

more if needed

• 1/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed

• Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

• Dash of kosher salt

• Poppy seeds, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the poppy seeds. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or two forks to crumble the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and there are no large chunks of butter.

Mix the heavy cream, egg and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture; stir gently with a fork until all is combined. The dough should be crumbly, but if it is too crumbly to work with, splash in a small amount of heavy cream.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together into a rough rectangle. Using a rolling pin to roll it into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle (use your hands to help shape it if necessary). Trim edges with a knife. Cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make 16 triangles.

Transfer the scones to a lined baking sheet and bake until just golden, 15- 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer the scones to a rack to cool.

FOR GLAZE: combine the powdered sugar, milk lemon zest and juice and salt in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth, adjusting the thickness with more powdered sugar or milk if necessary. Place the rack of scones over the baking sheet to catch drips, then spread the glaze on the scones. Before the glaze sets, sprinkle the poppy seeds lightly onto the scones.

EASY DIABETIC SCONES

• 1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda             

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. granulated Splenda, divided

• 1 tsp. cream of tartar           

• 1 cup shredded zucchini

• 3 Tbsp. margarine, chilled and cut into pieces

• 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips     

• 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, 2 tablespoons Splenda and cream of tartar.

Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips, tossing well.

Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Sprinkle remaining flour evenly over work surface.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead 4 to 6 times. Divide dough into 2 portions. Pat each portion into a 5-inch circle on prepared baking sheet. Score each circle into 6 wedges.

Sprinkle each circle evenly with remaining Splenda. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden and center is dry. Cool slightly, then separate into wedges.

I found that scoring the dough allows you to bake it as a whole so it stays moist, but also allows you to easily break the circles into individual wedges after baking.

STRAWBERRY BUTTER: Combine 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and 1 stick softened butter in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the butter is combined. Spread on scones, toasted bread or pound cake.

HINT OF THE WEEK: Try serving homemade fruit dip with apple slices, grapes, melon wedges and strawberries. What a refreshing side dish. Stir together a 16-ounce container of sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com