Scone Mix: six ways from Sunday!

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I WAS WRONG.

Do you know how hard it is to say those words? Sure you do. There’s something about our human nature that simply doesn’t want us to admit being found anything less than perfect.

“Make a mistake – me? Never!”

Well, as any of you know who’s ever taken a wrong turn in Boston traffic; lazed on the beach for hours without applying sunscreen to the tops of your feet; or – been there, done that – spilled an entire half-gallon of vegetable oil on the kitchen floor, mistakes happen.

It’s admitting them that takes courage. And I’m screwing up my fortitude, right now, to admit A BIG MISTAKE I made recently. A sin of pride, really.

I didn’t want anything to do with the topic of this blog post: “King Arthur scone mixes, and everything you can do with them.” I was volunteered for the job when my fellow bloggers suddenly all disappeared – not at their desks, out-of-office email messages firmly in place. It was musical chairs, and guess who was left standing?

Sigh. Use a mix? I don’t think so. I start with FLOUR and I ADD MY OWN INGREDIENTS, thank you very much. Truth be told, when I finally go to that big kitchen in the sky, they’ll have to wrest the bag of King Arthur all-purpose out of my hands before I pass through the pearly gates (excuse the mixed metaphor).

Or maybe I can take it with me – angel food cake, anyone?

Anyway, I dutifully hied myself over to the King Arthur Baker’s Store here in Norwich, VT, and picked up six scone mixes, pretty much at random. First thing I noticed – wow, we have a LOT of different scone mixes – 21, to be exact. And the boxes had a pleasing heft; these mixes weren’t lightweights, capable of producing a miserly 6 or 8 tiny scones. As I loaded my cart, I felt the first gentle breeze of interest riffling across my mind.

To make a potentially long story short, I brought the mixes home. Found the recipe online telling how to use the mix to make not scones, but pancakes, and coffeecake, bread and muffins and shortcake.

Followed the recipes. Was amazed by 1) how quick, 2) how easy, and 3) how GOOD said comestibles turned out to be.

In fact, I was SO pleasantly surprised, I emailed my fellow Web team members the following:

“I know I was joking about scone mixes, but I’m blown away by how good they really are – I am totally going to keep scone mixes in my pantry from now on, for emergencies. They make THE BEST muffins, coffeecake, and quick bread – I’m assuming the pancakes will be just as good. Totally easy, fast, and YUMMMMMMMM…”

To close the circle on this baking experiment, the pancakes (which, in a serendipitous twist, I made using French toast scone mix) were delightful. As were the strawberries and cream shortcake biscuits.

And, for someone whose KitchenAid and Cuisinart get a good workout most days, it was quiet and kind of nice to be able to mix up the batter for all of these recipes using nothing more than a bowl and spoon.

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So, next time I’m at the store, I’m restocking my pantry. Whether I want a quick batch of muffins for my husband and his fellow Saturday-morning trail-clearing volunteers; a coffeecake to bring to my mother-in-law, or pancakes – just because I feel like treating myself – I’m now a mix-master.

A contrite, humbled, happy-to-be-proven-wrong mix-master.

So, nothing like a nice batch of warm muffins first thing in the morning, right? Let’s start there.

Note: Keep in mind you can use any of our scone mixes in any of the following recipes; just pick whatever flavor sounds good to you for whatever treat you’re making.

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Scone mix: Very Berry.

Studded with chopped dried strawberries plus raspberry and blueberry bits, this mix sounded like an interesting way to get started.

1 package King Arthur scone mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons (7/8 to 1 1/4 ounces) sugar, optional, for a sweeter muffin or bread
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) milk
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin pan; or line it with papers, and grease the papers. Depending on the mix you choose, and whether or not you use muffin papers,* you’ll be making 12 to 14 muffins, so plan accordingly.

*Bet you didn’t know how much space muffin papers actually take up; I find that when I use muffin papers, the recipe yields more muffins than when I don’t use papers.

Whisk together the scone mix, salt, and sugar. In a small mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, milk, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix, and stir just until the batter is evenly moist and thoroughly combined. (See that last picture? I’d forgotten the sugar. Lucky most recipes are endlessly forgiving, or we’d all be out of luck, eh?)

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Scoop the batter into the pan. Fill each well to within 1/4″ of the top. A muffin scoop is perfect for this task.

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Garnish with the sugar of your choice, if desired. That’s cinnamon-sugar on the left, coarse white sparkling sugar on the right.

Bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

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Remove the muffins from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack as quickly as possible. Or simply tilt them in the pan, if they’re too hot to handle; this will prevent their bottoms from steaming and becoming leathery.

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Serve warm; wrap any completely cool leftovers and store for several days at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.

Now you can absolutely take that same batter, and make a loaf out of it, instead of muffins.

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But since I’d already used Very Berry to make muffins, I chose another mix for bread.

Scone mix: Vermont Maple Oat

Made with lots of oats and real maple sugar, this mix yields a moist, tender bread, perfect as is or toasted and buttered.

Prepare the batter using the same ingredients called for in the muffin recipe. I dressed the loaf up a bit by sprinkling the top with rolled oats and brown sugar.

Pour the batter into a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Tent the bread loosely with aluminum foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes of baking, to avoid over-browning.

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Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

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When it’s completely cool, wrap the bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. It will slice more easily the next day if you do this.

Next, coffeecake – what’s not to love? One box of scone mix makes a nice 8″ square or 9″ round streusel-topped cake. And even the streusel is made from the mix!

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Scone mix: Cinnamon-Pecan

Pecans, cinnamon chips, and extra-strong Vietnamese cinnamon translate themselves beautifully into cinnamon-streusel coffeecake.

Topping
3/4 cup King Arthur scone mix
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional; depending on the scone flavor
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) melted butter

Batter
remainder of King Arthur scone mix (regular size mix, not bulk package)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, optional; for a sweeter cake
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup (8 ounces) milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square or 9″ round baking pan.

Start by measuring 3/4 cup of the scone mix into a small bowl, for the topping. Add a pinch of salt, the sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Stir gently until the mixture becomes crumbly; if it seems wet and starts to form large clumps, wait 5 minutes, then gently stir again, breaking up the clumps. Set it aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the remaining mix with the salt, vegetable oil, egg, and milk.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the topping.

Bake the coffeecake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the middle springs back when lightly touched with your finger, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

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Remove it from the oven, and serve warm, right from the pan. The cake is moist, and nicely crumbly, and its sugary/buttery streusel simply melts in your mouth. Bring on the coffee!

Next: pancakes. With this easy, mix-based shortcut, you don’t have to relegate them to weekends!

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Scone mix: French Toast.

Scented with nutmeg, studded with cinnamon chips, these pancakes have a real “gourmet diner” flavor, if that’s not too oxymoronic a concept.

1 1/2 cups (about 8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur scone mix*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) melted butter or vegetable oil (7/8 ounce)

*Double the recipe if you like; 1 1/2 cups mix will make 8 pancakes.

Preheat your griddle on medium heat  about – about 300°F – while making the batter.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the salt into the dry mix. Whisk together the egg, milk and oil, and add to the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is evenly moist. If the batter seems thin, let it sit for 10 minutes, to thicken; if it seems thick, add additional milk until it’s as thin as you like. The thicker the batter, the thicker the pancake (and vice versa).

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Spoon the batter by the 1/4-cupful onto the lightly greased griddle; a muffin scoop* works well here. When you see the edges begin to look dry and bubbles come up and not break, turn the pancakes over to cook for about a minute on the second side, until cooked through.

*Using a level muffin scoop of batter for each pancake will make eight 4 1/2″ cakes. Using a heaped tablespoon cookie scoop will make about a dozen 3 1/2″ cakes.

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Serve warm, with the topping of your choice. Cabot butter and real maple syrup for me, thanks.

Note: If you’re not afraid of a little arithmetic, and you have a scale, you can pretty easily figure out how much of each ingredient to use to produce a certain number of pancakes. For the batter to have the correct consistency, the weight of the dry mix you use should equal (within 1/8 ounce or so) the weight of the combined liquids: egg, milk, and butter or oil.   

Let’s move on to dessert, shall we? Just because it’s January, we don’t need to relegate shortcake to the back burner.

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Scone mix: Strawberry and Cream.

Bits of dried strawberry in the biscuit are going to complement our shortcake perfectly.

a generous 1 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) King Arthur scone mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream OR 1/2 cup half & half* or light cream + 2 tablespoons melted butter

*Can you use fat-free half & half, nonfat milk, low-fat milk, or another lower-fat dairy product? Sure; you just won’t be happy with the result. As my husband said about my skim milk experiment, “Maybe I should get out my Skilsaw…”

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

Whisk together the mix, salt, and heavy cream or half & half/butter. Add additional cream (or additional mix) to make a sticky dough, as pictured.

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Scoop golf-ball sized pieces of dough onto the prepared baking sheet; a muffin scoop filled about 2/3 full makes the ideal size.

Dip the tops of the biscuits in coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

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Leave about 2″ between the biscuits.

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Bake the biscuits for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re a very light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

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To make shortcake, split biscuits horizontally into top and bottom pieces. Add sliced, sweetened fruit and whipped cream to the bottom; then add the “lid.”

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Top with additional whipped cream and fruit, if desired.

See that nice little strawberry decoration I made for the top? Hey, for me, this is very crafty; I just don’t have those Martha Stewart genes.

And now, for the grand finale: scones! Well, the headline says “six ways” – I couldn’t stop at just five, right?

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Scone mix: Cherry Almond.

I couldn’t resist finishing up with this, our top-ranked scone mix. Dried cherries and almond flour give these scones great flavor and crumbly/soft texture.

1 box cherry almond scone mix
8 tablespoons cold butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400°F; place a rack in the upper third. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

Stir together the scone mix and salt. Cut the butter into pats or small cubes. Be sure to use a good-quality butter, since it’s a key ingredient; I’m using Cabot here. Add the butter to the mix.

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Work in the butter, mixing until everything is unevenly crumbly.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg and milk. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. If needed, drizzle in another tablespoon of milk to make the dough hold together.

I find it helps to switch from spatula to bowl scraper towards the end; the scraper is more substantial, and easily scrapes the dry ingredients from the sides and bottom of the bowl into the wet center.

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Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment, and divide it in half. (The directions on the box say to make one large round, but I prefer more/smaller scones.)

Shape each piece of dough into a 5″ x 3/4″-thick round. Brush each round with some milk or cream, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

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Divide each round into 8 wedges, separating them a bit.

Notice the chunks of butter in the cross section of scone pictured at right, above; leaving some of the butter in largish chunks will help keep the scones flaky.

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Bake the scones for 16 to 18 minutes, until they’re golden brown.

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Remove them from the oven, separate them, and cool right on the pan – or on a rack, if you prefer crisper bottoms.

Enjoy warm scones with butter and jam. Or either alone. Or neither. Devon cream or clotted cream are options, if you want to enjoy the complete British scone experience.

Now, admit it – dyed-in-the-wool scratch baker or not, I’ll bet I’ve tempted you to try a scone mix, right? I’m not switching 100% to mixes; just adding them to my repertoire. We have an annual brunch for a large group every April, and I’m already formulating my scone battle plan…

Want to see all these recipes in one spot? Check out Scone Mix Magic.

Want to transform your own favorite scone recipe? Mix your dry ingredients; add the remaining ingredients (butter, milk, egg, cream…) called for in your chosen recipe above; then follow the directions to completion.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Amy

    I always envy the look of these scone mixes when I see photos of them — the results are so lovely — but I just can’t get excited about them for one reason: there’s only one whole-grain mix among them! And, at 22g of sugar per serving, it won’t fit into my diet. I’d love to see the KAF experts tackle a whole-grain scone mix with less sugar (after all, you can always add more but you can’t take it out) for those of us who want a slightly more healthful scone.

    Reply
    1. Susan

      I, too, don’t like to just use a lot of white flour and too much sugar. I have been scouring websites for healthier recipes that include some some whole grain and honey as an alternative to sugar. Yes, lovely mixes that include better/healthier choices would be on my shopping list.

  2. Virginia

    Love these ideas for alternative ways to use the scone mixes! I just made muffins from the Cranberry Orange mix and they are scrumptious with marmalade and butter. Amy, I was such a scone snob before I tried the KAF scone mixes and hid the box of Cherry Almond scone mix in a non-baking cupboard so my family wouldn’t know the next scones were not “from scratch”. I made them and everybody loved them. What a timesaver! I freeze them for 30 min before baking and then bake what we will eat that morning. The rest are tossed in a freezer bag and baked another morning. SO convenient. Thanks for all the great ideas for the mixes. Today muffins, tomorrow pancakes!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Virginia, I had to chuckle, hearing that you hid the scone mix! I hope your family doesn’t read this blog, the cat will be out of the bag (and the mix out of the cupboard…) Enjoy your muffins and pancakes! PJH

  3. Harlene

    Such a timely post! I’m anticipating/dreading making several batches of muffins for an upcoming brunch and VOILA! The solution is at hand as I’ve ordered several boxes of scone mix. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Kalisa

    Like you, PJ, I also prefer to bake from scratch. Scones are my specialty (I have that magic biscuit-maker’s touch, apparently) and I love to stock the freezer with scones to use at my leisure. However, I totally see the appeal of these flavored scone mixes! That is very interesting to see all the different applications beyond the basic scone recipe. Never would have thought you could make pancakes from a scone mix.

    The French Toast mix sounds delicious and looking at the ingredients, I see there isn’t much in the way of “extras” like preservatives and other strange ingredients that you find on the typical box mix. Looks like a good thing to tuck away in the pantry for those days when you just don’t want to break out the scale or measuring cups. At the very least, it is much less guilt-inducing than popping open a tube of “dough” to feed a crowd (or yourself, no judgement here!).

    Maybe one day my local grocery store will stock KAF box mixes. We just got the White Whole Wheat Flour (yay!) and Gluten Free Flour in addition to the regular White and Bread KAF, so here’s hoping!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Kalisa, we’re totally on the same wavelength. So often when looking at a boxed mix, the list of ingredients (beyond the recognizable flour, sugar, salt) is daunting; we really strive for “clean labels” for our mixes. They’re a nice convenience, as you say – having everything measured, especially when you know the ingredients are top-notch. As for the “biscuit-maker’s touch” – I envy you! And yes, here’s hoping your local stores will carry more of our products soon. Have you ever tried our store locator? It’ll tell you the closest store to you offering our scone mixes. Cheers! PJH

  5. Kathy

    I was also a total snob and never bake anything from a *gasp* mix but in a moment of madness bought the Cherry Almond mix. OMG, was that good! I didn’t know you could do all of these other things with scone mixes but I’m looking forward to trying them.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They really are something special! I tend to make everything from scratch as well, but I love our scones. Jon@KAF

  6. Maria

    Great article! I was wondering though, since you can use the scone mixes to make muffins and pancakes etc. can you use the pancake mix to make scones and muffins etc.?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Probably, Maria – I’d definitely add some sugar, though, as pancakes are fairly plain. Give it a try, let us know, OK? Great idea! PJH

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Brenda, in theory, this should work; but it hasn’t been tested, so no guarantees. If you try it, let us know how it goes, OK? Thanks – PJH

  7. Phyllis

    I must say that for a long time I ignored the KAF scone mix. First, I was not a fan of scones since the ones you buy are usually like eating cardboard and making them from scratch just seemed like too much work, though I have done it. Second, I, too, will admit to a certain amount of “mix” snobbery. That changed a couple of years ago when a friend, who knows about my KAF addiction, gave me a variety of scone mixes and a scone pan for Christmas. What an epiphany! I discovered that the word “mix” is not synonymous with “tasteless, dry, and artificial”. Though I’m still discovering my favorite flavors, I’m never without a couple of boxes of peaches and cream in my cupboard. And now, the idea of peaches and cream pancakes? The world is my oyster!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      We are so glad to hear that you took the plunge and were so pleasantly surprised by the mixes. Have a great time “playing” with the new ideas! ~ MJ

  8. dukeofdata

    Please don’t forget that these mixes can make very tasty doughnuts too! I’ve used the Strawberries and Cream and Blueberry Sour Cream mixes to make great doughnuts. One box of mix, using a recipe similar to “Pancakes” above, will make about 12 doughnuts.

    Reply
  9. mumpy

    i haven’t tried them myself, but DD2 requests some KAF mixes every year on her christmas list, and says they’re wonderful…..so i’ll be sending her the link for this blog and see what she does with it!

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    Yep, I’m one of those mix “snobs”. When you need baking therapy, a mix won’t help much but when your children text to say they are coming for breakfast, having a mix on hand with a few ingredients to add to it certainly makes things easier. I’ve used the scone mixes with great success “just to make scones” but these ideas are great and may prompt me to scroll through the varieties to see what might appeal to my family. Thanks for your suggestions and as always your great blog with its informative pictures.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, I hear you, Rachel…loud and clear. I prefer to bake everything from scratch but they sure come in handy at the right time! Elisabeth@KAF

  11. Erin

    Love this post! Have you done this type of thing with other KAF mixes? Would be super interested for alternative suggestions for how to use things like, say, the cheddar bread or pumpernickel bread mixes.

    Reply
  12. waikikirie

    I admit it. Box mix snob here. But if my beloved PJ says they are good, it’s gospel in my kitchen…teehee. Will be checking out my local Hannaford’s grocery store. I know they have some of your mixes but (blush) I don’t know which ones. I will change that with my next shopping trip.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Waikikirie, you’re such a hoot! Yes, hie yourself down to Hannaford’s, see what they have. I hope you’ve taken advantage of our 21% off scone mix promo, too (are you on our email list?) It ends tonight… PJH

  13. JuliN

    This was a wonderful post that gave me the alternative way to reach out. I admit that I had had the snobbery of being a “scratch” baker and all the accolades for it — I am known as a superior baker in my neighborhood and I work at it. The reality is sometimes it is so much work to do my job, that I can’t do the work of shopping and baking, too..

    I am also in a food ministry that takes meals to people after surgery, birth, etc, and everyone loved my cinnamon bread and rolls. Trouble is, these take a while and sometimes I want to help, but since I work more than full time, I shied away from some baking opportunities because I couldn’t work out the logistics. I just placed an order for a variety of scone mixes. Who cares if it was a mix as long as it tastes good and was presented with love? Isn’t this the primary reason we bake in the first place?

    I already have an experiment planned. I ordered a number of scone mixes to make for Valentines Day. My plan is to make them and then take baskets of assorted goodies to my neighbors, two of which are English. I’ll let you know if they feel loved.

    Juli

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Juli, what a lovely note. You’re EXACTLY right – I doubt many of us bake just for ourselves. Baking is truly a giving thing – you bake, you give it away, you feed someone’s hunger and your own hungry heart. I hope your Valentine experiment pans out (pun intended; groan…) And yes, please let us know when you feel the love – PJH

  14. alienodr

    this has nothing to do with baking . when i open the page for the scones or any other recipe i always see a group of 5 colored boxes on theleft side -indicating facebook,-blue, pinterest-red, twitter-pale blue, email-grey, and a orange plus. these symbols always cover the left side and extend in to the body of the recipe. can these be eliminated or moved somewhere else on the page

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you hover with your mouse just below the orange plus, a small pale grey triangle will appear. Click on the triangle and those icons will disappear.~Jaydl@KAF

  15. JuliN

    I thought I should report in with the results of my Valentine’s Day scone mix experiment. So far, I have delivered goodies to 10 households in my neighborhood, with a few more planned for later today. I’ve actually been taking goodies for the last two days, as I only have one oven, and didn’t want any of the goodies to get stale. We had a good size snow hit yesterday, so some of my deliveries were postponed until today.

    I used the Muffin/Bread instructions, and baked my “Bread” in half-size bundt pans. One box of scone mix = 2 small bundts. I baked the bundts at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

    Another option is the “mini-bundt” pan, in which case 1 Box of scone mix = 12 mini-bundt cakes + 1 mini loaf. I baked the pan of mini-bundts 15-18 minutes, and the mini loaf for 20-25 minutes at 350.

    One of the things I concentrated on was making sure the glaze was special, so things seems more “treat-like”. I used the glaze recipe on the box as my base recipe. Here are the combos:

    Apple-Cinnamon bundts with Apple glaze (substituted Boiled Cider for cream in the glaze)
    Lemon-Blueberry with Lemon Glaze
    Harvest Pumpkin with Vanilla Bean Glaze
    Very Berry with Razzmatazz (Raspberry Liquor) Glaze — for the adult only households
    Chocolate Chunk with Vanilla Glaze (I was out of cocoa)
    Apricot Sour Cream with Orange Glaze
    Vanilla Raspberry with Razzmatazz Glaze

    I wanted to presentation to look festive, so I put each cake into the clear KAF bread wrappers, and tied with red & pink Valentine ribbons. On the top, I taped a kiddie-style valentine (like the ones you got in grade school), on the back of each I wrote “I’m glad you’re my neighbor”.

    To put it mildly, my neighbors have been thrilled. It’s been a colder and snowier winter than normal here in Cincinnati, and I think a lot of us have only ventured out if we had to. We’re gotten a tad house-bound, I think. I’ve had several phone calls from some of the first receivers, and the reviews are great on all flavors.

    This is the first time I’ve attempted to bake something for a larger number of people when I’m working / volunteering more than full-time. This would not of happened if it had not been for your blog about the mixes. I just wouldn’t have had the time. Thank you, KAF, for the excellent ideas.

    Reply
  16. brybecky1

    You folks saved the day again. We can always count on finding help from King Arthur Flour! Savory Mini-Muffins were a hit with all 5 boys at the table. Added Montreal seasoning with garlic, onion, pepper and a touch of parmesan. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply

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