I make hot crossed buns every Easter weekend, but this morning ran out of time for the dough to rise. Considering the frequency freshly baked biscuits and scones make an appearance around here, I thought I’d make a batch using currants and chopped candied citron – my usual hot crossed bun combo – and top them with the same simple icing drizzle I use for my annual buns. It worked a charm, and we were eating in half an hour.
You could of course use any biscuit or scone recipe, and top them with icing crosses – I opted for a simple drop scone in order to maintain the roundness of a typical bun. I used an ice cream scoop, making them even more perfectly domed. Cut more solid dough into rounds and top with crosses once cooled, so the icing doesn’t melt on the surface. Unless you want it to.
Hot Crossed Scones
You don’t need lemon for these – they’d be as delicious without – we just happened to have a lemon sitting on the countertop.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
grated zest of a lemon or orange (optional)
1 large egg
3/4 cup (ish) milk
a handful of currants, raisins, or chopped candied citron
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425F. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter (and zest, if using) and blend it with a fork, whisk, pastry blender or your fingers (or do it all in the food processor, if you have one), leaving some lumps no bigger than a pea.
Crack the egg into a measuring cup and add milk to make it a cup. Stir it together with a fork and add to the flour mixture; stir with a spatula until just barely combined. Add the currants, raisins or other dried fruit, stir a couple more times, then drop the sticky dough in large spoonfuls onto a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or less if you made small scones, until golden.
To make the crosses, stir the powdered sugar and milk together with a fork until smooth. Spoon into a snack-size zip-lock baggie, seal and snip off a corner. Pipe out the crosses on top of each cooled scone, then discard the bag.
Makes 6 good-sized scones, or more smaller ones.