Is it a biscuit or a savory scone?


I have been noticing recipes for savory scones for quite some time, and they are fantastic! I have made a few of those recipes and have really questioned the difference between biscuit baking and scone formulas. They have the same basic ingredients: flour, leavening agent, salt, butter and milk or buttermilk. Sugar seems to be a key difference in that biscuits have less than scones, yet savory scones have very little sugar as well. Then there is the similarities in the basic method. Both biscuits and scones have cold butter (some biscuits have cold shortening in some combination as well) which is a requirement if you wish to have light, flaky products. So, when do you call it a biscuit and when should it be referred to as a scone? Here is the rule at our house: if it’s dinner time then it is a biscuit, and if it is breakfast or brunch, then it is a scone. Either way, these are delicious!

These are made with roasted sweet potatoes. I word about this ingredient. I know that different areas of the country call these by various names. Whether they are called yams or golden sweet potatoes really doesn’t matter because they all taste great. I like to use the orange sweet potatoes from my local grocery store because of the color of the biscuit/scones.  Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong!

Begin by preheating an oven to 425°F and roasting your yam or sweet potato until it is soft to the touch. Allow it to cool completely.



The vegetable is combined with fresh ground nutmeg and buttermilk and ground in a food processor until smooth.


I also use the food processor to combine the flour, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt. This mixture is quickly pulsed to mix.


1 1/2 sticks of cold butter is added and pulsed until it is the size of small marbles, or peas.


The two mixtures are combined until a soft, sticky dough forms.

The dough is turned out onto a floured board. Resist the urge to use a rolling pin as the dough is too soft and tacky to roll out. Using floured hands, pat the dough into a circle, approximately 3/4 of an inch thick and, using a 2 1/2 inch floured, fluted biscuit cutter, punch out the discs.




Just to confuse the biscuit/scone controversy even further, I brushed the tops with melted butter (like a biscuit) and sprinkled them with vanilla sugar (like a scone).

These were baked at 425°F for 25 minutes.


They are nice and light, just as a biscuit or scone should be, and they rose nicely with many layers.




Whatever you choose to call them, you will be happy you gave them a try!




Sweet Potato Savory Scones

  • Servings: about 12, 2 1/2 inch scones
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These savory pastries are a flavorful addition to your dinner or as a slightly sweet treat at Sunday brunch



-1 lb sweet potatoes, 2-3 small potatoes or 1 large one

-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

-2 to 4 Tablespoons buttermilk, cold

-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-3 Tablespoons brown sugar

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon allspice

-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

-1 1/2 sticks butter, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Poke the potatoes with the tines of a fork and bake until tender, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Allow the potato to cool and then peel and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the nutmeg and 2 Tablespoons of the buttermilk. Process until smooth and add more buttermilk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, to thin the puree if needed. Set aside.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to briefly combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small marbles or peas. Fold in the sweet potato mixture until just combined, do not over mix.
  3. Turn out the soft, sticky dough onto a well floured counter top. Pat the dough, with floured hands, into a disc 3/4 inch thick. Cut out scones with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Bake at 425°F until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.



A Muffin Query

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A Muffin Query


There is no shortage of great recipes during the holiday season and I recently came across one for a delicious looking quick bread. The recipe, which was titled A to Z Bread, was a pretty standard quick bread formula, but what made it stand out was the number and type of variations it included. In a little under an hour and a half I could make two loaves with a variety of options. But what to choose? Many of the combinations sounded great and I couldn’t decide. It occurred to me that it would be fun to enlist my friends and family in the process, so I went with muffins, which are easier to portion, instead of a full loaf and I split the batter so that I could try out a couple variants.

I combined the dry and wet ingredients as per the recipe and added the 1 cup of pumpkin.

Then I split the batter equally, and yes, for those who know me, I did use my scale for that!

I added ½ cup butterscotch chips to one batch and ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips to the other. Each batch yielded 10 standard sized muffins when measured by a scoop and they were baked off at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Now, lets be honest here, muffins are really just cupcakes with a tighter crumb. They are not healthy or good for you, so why not own that! I always glaze my quick breads and did not see a reason to stop now. I made two types of basic glazes for the different muffins. The pumpkin butterscotch was iced with a cinnamon vanilla bean shown here.


Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze

The pumpkin chocolate was topped with a mocha coffee glaze. I was pleased with the results. The muffins were moist and had that nice crumb that is associated with quick breads. It was now time to start the competition.


My first test subject were my two good friends from culinary school. We had a split vote, one cast for each flavor. One of those friends asked her husband to weigh in with his opinion and he voted for the mocha muffin. My son also went with the mocha flavor but my husband and daughter were clearly in the butterscotch camp. If you are keeping track that makes the score even, three votes for each variation. That makes me the tiebreaker. It was a tough position to be in but I finally choose butterscotch.

Now I am the first to point out that seven data points are not statistically significant and there is no way that this study would make it through a rigorous peer review process, but the bottom line is this. They were both quite tasty and I had a lot of fun with conducting this sweet survey! I can see a possible recurring query segment in my near future. If you have an idea for me, please let me know!

Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla paste

1/4 t. cinnamon extract

1 T. milk, plus for more consistency

Combine sugar, vanilla paste and cinnamon extract. Add the milk, 1 T. to start and whisk. Add milk in small amounts until desired consistency for drizzling.

Mocha Coffee Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 T. Dark cocoa powder

2 T. prepared coffee, cooled

1/4 t. coffee liqueur

Combine sugar, cocoa powder, coffee and coffee liqueur. Whisk together adding more coffee if a thinner glaze is desired. Thin with more coffee or milk if needed.