Saturday, December 22, 2012

Frugal Friday: Inexpensive Baking Gifts

Christmas is almost here and most of you may have finished your baking, but if not.. then I have an idea you might want to try for your gift giving.

I normally make a lot of goodies but this year our budget just could not handle another $40 or more in baking supplies. I love being able to give a little something away so I decided to make homemade bread and scones, instead.

I have 2 marvelous scone recipes that are listed on my recipe website but I decided to try the recipe below since it had over 1600 good reviews and I wasn't disappointed with the results.  They were great. I did not add the raisins or cranberries. Not because I don't love them but because they were an added expense. Instead, I used two different glazes.

I've posted the recipe I used below for scones. The homemade bread recipe came from Laine's website and can be found  here.

Merry Christmas everyone! We have so much to be thankful for.. but most of all I thank God for the gift of His Son Jesus Christ!

Grandma Johnson's Scones    

Submitted By: Rob
Photo By: S. Becker
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 12-16

(The directions have been changed to reflect the recommendations from one of the members on the recipe site. I tried following the original directions and the dough came out very dry. There suggestions worked much better.)

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (opt.)
1 cup raisins  or cranberries or chocolate chips (optional)

1.     In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
2.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
3.     In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt.
4.       Mix the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl.  Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Don’t over mix.
5.       Add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and stir. Do not over mix.
5.        Stir the sour cream mixture and baking soda mixture into the above mixture until moistened. Do not over mix. I used my kitchen aid until the dough looked like it was holding together and moistened.
7.       Lightly stir in raisins.
8.     Pat dough into (2) 3/4 inch thick rounds. Cut each round into 8 small wedges. The wedges will expand when baking. Place  them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
9.     Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom. It took an extra 5 minutes or so in my oven. I made sure they were done when I touched the top and it wasn’t doughy. They do not get real brown on the top.

Once they have cooled I wrap them in seran wrap and then place them in a freezer bag to keep them fresh.

TO FREEZE: Use a 3 inch cookie cutter. Freeze the rounds for 1 hour and then put in a Ziploc bag. Take out rounds when ready to bake and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes.


1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tbsp. milk, ¼ tsp. or so of lemon or orange extract, ¼ tsp. or so of lemon zest. I added a little cinnamon, too but you don’t need it. Brush scone with butter when hot out of oven and then glaze it with this mixture.


Brush melted butter on the scone and then brush with this mixture of 2 tbsp. sugar, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and 1 tbsp. milk.

Grandma Johnson's Scone Recipe


  1. That sounds good. I baked some cupcakes and decorated them like snowmen and some cookies that I had been able to get the ingredients on sale for. Worked out great.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Such a good idea--baking at Christmas.

    I have done something for the cost of paper and time. I sang my lyrics for "Southern Wonderland" to strangers. Saturday in the airport my husband and I were eating lunch waiting for our flight. We interacted with the family at the next table and I gave them copies of my lyrics and we all started singing. So much fun to bring holiday cheer in public places to strangers.
    I first did this several weeks ago waiting in line at Sams. A lady behind me was an obvious “snow bird” and I asked her if I could sing my snow bird song to her. She then asked for a copy and I have been giving away copies ever since. Here it is with love to LIVING ON LESS MONEY and her California family:

    To the tune of Winter Wonderland

    At the beach sand is a glistenin’
    Sea gulls honk, are you listenin’?
    A beautiful sight
    We’re happy tonight
    Cruising in our Southern wonderland.

    Here to stay are some new birds
    You come South for the winter
    We call you “snow birds”
    And you come in herds
    Escaping your Northern cold land.

    (repeat) When you come we have a great economy
    And we also put up our Christmas tree
    We say “Are you local?”
    You say, “No man!”
    But money does the job
    When you’re in town.

    Welcome here all you retirees
    Spend your cash will you please!
    And face unafraid
    The plans that you’ve made
    Cruising in our Southern wonderland.

    PS We are in Virginia and it looks like we will get a Winter Wonderland white Christmas!

  4. Thanks for the good scone recipe. And the bread link. I like the one loaf recipe and may try this when I teach some young women how to make bread--they could have one loaf each. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  5. Hoping you had a blessed Christmas and I wish you a very Happy and healthy New Year!!
    The scones sound and look delicious!!
    Hugs to you my friend!


Thank you for your comment.