In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

Search This Blog

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How To Make Naked Scones

Scones are terrible things, usually -- dry and crumbly and you pay $1.85 for one at Starbucks.

Stop doing that. Make these instead. They are moist and mix up in less than 3 minutes (I timed it) and require only 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes in the oven. they are referred to in my house as Naked Scones for reasons that shall not be elucidated here.

Before you balk, let me tell you there is NO creaming of butter to be done. no cutting of lard into flour. Just dump, mix, briefly knead, pat, cut, bake. There is one trick that will make your overnight guests/lovers/tea party companions pass out from joy. Will get to that in a moment. Here's what they look like when they are done, if you use a heart-shaped cookie cutter, which I recommend:

Here's what you do. The recipe is more or less stolen from Tricia Foley's Having Tea.

Measure 2 cups all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Measure out 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Drop it into the bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon (TABLESPOON) baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA! Powder). Then mix it all around with the measuring spoon. Now add 1 cup heavy cream. You may need to add a bit more. Mix it quickly with a wooden spoon until it holds together. (If you only have 1 cup cream, you can make up the difference with a little milk or half and half. But the full cup of cream is a necessity. I'm sorry. I don't do low fat baked goods and neither should you.)

Flip the bowl out onto a board or your counter. Quickly and gently knead the dough so it sticks together. Don't overwork it; you want to leave it as springy and full of air as possible. It should take you just a minute till all the flakes are holding together.

Pat it or roll it out to be about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. You can either just cut it into pieces with a knife or cut it into heart shapes with your cookie cutter.

Oh yeah: heat the oven to 450.

Put your unbaked scones on a cookie sheet -- I always use parchment underneath the scones (or cookies or or or) to keep things from sticking. Now here is what elevates them to perfection: brush them with some leftover heavy cream, then sprinkle them with sugar. Sanding sugar -- big shiny flakes of it -- is best. You can get it at Sur la Table or someplace similar. But granulated sugar works too.

That's sanding sugar, but that is not my hand. I think it might be Martha Stewart's. I got it from the Googles.

Bake them till they are golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Eat them warm with butter and tell me these are not the most perfect, rich, moist, delicious things you have ever put in your mouth. Serve them to friends, prepare for applause, pretend it was difficult, repeat next weekend. I'm serious: fool proof. If you feel you need to, you can add candied ginger or currants or dried cherries or cranberries etc. Add them BEFORE you add the cream, please. Makes distributing them evenly throughout the mix possible.

Make these, report back below.

You're welcome.


  1. Thanks for the recipe! Sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it

  2. Oh I will definitely be making my husband think I am a kitchen queen with these...they sound DELICIOUS! (sounds like the main trick is not letting him see me make them..hehe)

  3. I read just a few days ago at about real Irish scones...hers involved the cutting in of I think I'll go with yours instead. :) They look fabulous! I do think I will try to find some of the Kerrygold butter ( which the kitchn recommended) to slather on them while warm from the oven.