Why don’t my SCONES look like yours?

I though today I’d do a short post about some common mistakes that people make when making scones..

A scone should be light and fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside… it needs to hold up to lashings of delicious cream and jam (yum)!

My Mom’s scones in England work perfectly every time, and in my opinion, she makes the best scones, but her recipe fails completely here in the States. It’s taken me a while to perfect something that always works, whatever the flavor I’m making.

You can see in the image above that a scone has a natural break through the center. You will normally only get this in the first batch that you roll out and cut, so try and get as many out of that batch. Once re-rolled scone dough will rise, but not as well as the first roll… You should never need a knife to cut through a scone.

Here are some principles for recipes if it’s not instructed otherwise.

  • It’s full fat (whole) milk if not specified.
  • Use medium eggs if not specified
  • Spoon measurements are level
  • Get some cheap kitchen scales – most recipes will not be in cups – it’s not accurate enough
  • If using a fan over reduce temperature given by 10C (50F)

The number one key to good scones is not overworking them. Whether you make by hand or with a mixer if you over work them they will be heavy and will not rise. A scone mixture will always have some raising agent, don’t work out the magic!!!

Cooking times per oven are always slightly different, so just push down on a scone that looks done and if it is it will feel spring to the touch.

Always line your pan…. ALWAYS

As soon as scones come out of the oven transfer to wire cooling racks… no one likes soggy bottoms.

When stamping out scones push straight down with the cutter. Don’t be tempted to wiggle now, no twisting. If it doesn’t release, transfer to your pan and gently push out through top of cutter. You can prevent sticking by dipping cutter in flour each time.

Plain scone

Don’t roll your dough to thin. Your scones wont rise and you’ll have sad little cookie like dense things that you wont want to share!

Scones taste best the day they are made but freeze well for about a month, or store well in an airtight container for 3-4 days… just give them a few seconds in the microwave to freshen up!

I hope these hints help you in your scone making. A good scone really is nothing like a American biscuit, it’s so much more 🙂

Of course scones are best enjoyed with a cup of tea….

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Head on over to the Tea Store to find something delicious


Which one are you?.. English, Posh, Royalty or Jedi?

Which one are you?

I suppose my answer to this is always .. it depends on where I am and what I’m drinking out of..

I have been definitely been known to hold my teacup like Royalty (and not only when my husband reprimands me for behaving like a princess!), but that would be with my Royal Albert Porcelain.

Give me a big old heavy mug and I’m probably going to revert to English builder 😉

I wish I could master that Jedi trick though… that would be cool.. and would earn me a ton of Kudos with my Star Wars loving American family…

In lieu of the fact I still need practice I’ll add this cute picture to keep them happy!

Star Wars tea drinking session

How do you hold your tea?

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Head on over to the Tea Store to find something delicious

Boxing Day…. what is it?

Of course Santa loves Boxing Day #dayoff

So today is Boxing Day. If you are reading this in the States then it’s just another day… in England and other parts of the Commonwealth this is also a days holiday for most people.

When I was growing up I always thought that the 26th December was named ‘Boxing Day’ because of all the sport that happens.

It’s always a huge day for football in the English Premiership (that’s soccer to you Americans, and football to the rest of the football playing world LOL), and Boxing Day evening in our house always meant tuning in to Match of the Day which is the summary program of all the day’s action….

My Dad and I would sometimes even go to a game when Aston Villa (his team) were playing at home .. (I’m a Liverpool fan so we’d always look for that tie!).

It’s also a huge day for horse racing and hunting..( we used to have a hunt come right past one of our houses in Worcestershire)..

Today is also a huge sales day at the stores…think Black Friday in the States… it’s crazy and I’ve never been…I’d rather lie in bed than get mixed up with that crazy! People queue in the cold… no thanks… there is a reason I live in Florida now!

So imagine my surprise when my husband (who is American) told me this morning that Boxing Day had nothing to do with sport and shopping originally..although there is some query about the origin!

According to Wikipedia

There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which is definitive.[5] The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.[6]

The term “Christmas-box” dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:

A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.[7]

In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[8]This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys‘ diary entry for 19 December 1663.[9] This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

So apparently I’ve had it all wrong all this time…

Our Boxing Day traditions at my parents was an open house and lots of ‘buffet’ style food and desserts for anyone, family, friends and neighbors, to drop in and enjoy…. here my husband has gone to work and I’m blogging… hmmmmmm.

Have a wonderful Boxing Day, and enjoy your leftovers!