Tea and scones are perfect companions to a relaxing afternoon with family or friends.

sconeThe scone is a type of English quickbread (or bread made with a leavening agent), very popular in the British Empire and other countries as well.

It came originally from Scotland, where it was round, flat and as big as a small plate.  Made from unleavened oats, the original scones were baked on a griddle, then cut into triangles before serving.

It was only when leavening agents like baking powder became available commercially that the scone took on the form it has today.

Aside from baking powder, scones are typically made from wheat, barley or oatmeal.  They are usually baked, then served with tea. Scones may be lightly flavored with sugar, and may contain raisins, cheese, dates, onions, bacon, or currants.

Other variations may include fillings such as chocolate chips, blueberries, cranberries, and even nuts. Others may also contain spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg as flavoring.

griddle sconesGriddle scones are still popular in Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand. These are also known as drop scones, from the method of dropping the batter onto the frying pan or griddle for cooking.

Common varieties of drop scones are the soda farls (soda scones) and potato or tattie scones, which are usually part of a full Scottish breakfast or an Ulster fry.

Scones served with jam, clotted cream and tea are what is known as Cream Tea or Devonshire Tea, popularly served in Britain and Australia.

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