Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Recipes: Scones for Tea

I just realized that I haven't shared any scone recipes with you yet! How could I be so selfish?! :) 

Old Fashioned Living has a huge selection of recipes for tea, and scones are no exception. I can't imagine a tea table without a plate of scones. Here are quite a few for you to try!

From Lisa Worrell

"There must be a zillion recipes for scones, but I keep coming back to this one because it is so easy that my 7 year old daughter prepares them or if we have unexpected company they are very fast to make. They are so delicious that they are requested every time my tea sipping friends stop by for a visit."

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and and pour in the cream and lemon peel. Stir together until crumbly then use your hands to gently knead the dough into a ball.

Place ball onto floured surface and either roll out or pat the dough into a circle (7 1/2" around). Cut the dough like pizza into 6 - 8 wedges.

Place scones 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I use a baking stone). Lightly brush scones with additional cream and sprinkle with sugar if you like. Bake about 18 minutes or until scones are golden brown. Serve warm.

Old Stone House B&B Scones (Ireland)
Recipes Submitted by Terri

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. raisins
7/8 c. milk

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers or a pastry blender. Add the sugar, baking powder, and raisins and mix together well. Add the milk and mix into a loose dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth (about 10 times). Roll out; cut the dough in half, then into quarters and then into eighths. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet, then brush the top of each scone with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in preheated 400º oven. When done transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Lemon Scones with Raspberry Cream
Recipe from Lizzie

"The raspberry cream is an alternative to the normal jam and cream- makes 12."


1 lb 2 oz all purpose flour
2 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 oz unsalted butter
1/2 pint milk
zest of 2 lemons
1 beaten egg or extra milk (to glaze scones)

Raspberry cream:

1/2 pint dollop style cream (or clotted cream)
1 punnet of raspberries
Icing sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking tray.

Sift flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk and lemon zest to form a soft dough. Roll out to about 1 1/4 inch thick and cut out scones. Brush with beaten egg or extra milk and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove to a cake rack and cool slightly. Serve warm with the raspberry cream.

Raspberry cream:
Mash the berries with a little icing sugar and swirl into the cream.

NOTE: a punnet would be about half a pound. (Berries come in little plastic punnets here - we have to buy them from the store because it's too hot here to grow them).

The Perfect Scones and Devonshire Cream
recipe submitted by Kathryn51

"I discovered what I think is the perfect scone recipe just yesterday. I've been experimenting with making scones and enjoying scones at various tea rooms for several years now, and I think I have found the recipe for the perfect scone! The dough is very easy to handle, the scones smell great while baking, and the finished product was very tender and flaky. Try it and tell me what you think!"


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbl sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbl cold butter (3/4 of a stick) cut into small pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbl sweet milk

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter pieces to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two dinner knives, cut butter into flour until the mixture takes on the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of mixture. Pour buttermilk into the well. Using a fork, pull the mixture into the buttermilk to form a soft dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead gently. Cut into shapes using biscuit cutter or heart-shaped cookie cutter. Brush tops with sweet milk and bake at 425 for 12 min or until lightly browned.

Yield: 8 scones, approx. 2 1/2" in diameter Recipe can be doubled.


1) Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar after brusing with milk
2) Add 1/2 tsp grated orange peel to dry ingredients.
3) Add 6 Tbl currants to dry ingredients.

Here's my recipe for Mock Devonshire Cream:

1 3 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 Tbl sugar
dash salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup whipping cream

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese on high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and salt. Gradually add the whipping cream and continue beating until mixture is stiff. Store in refrigerator.

Festive Berry Scones

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups buttermilk
2 pints frozen raspberries
1 pint frozen blueberries

Mix the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, not including frozen fruit. When everything is mixed well, gently fold in the fruit, which should still be frozen. Shape into round loaf on a baking sheet and cut into sections with a serrated knife. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Makes 8 scones.

Cinnamon Praline Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1 extra large egg, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1 cup pecans, finely chopped or crushed
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop the chilled butter into small pieces. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Using a pastry blender or your finger, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the egg and cream and add to the flour mixture. Mix until just blended. Turn out the batter onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. Roll dough into a rectangle approximately 8 x 12 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Combine filling ingredients and spread on the dough. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, and seal the long seam by pinching it together lightly with your fingers. Cut the roll into twelve 1-inch thick slices. Lay slices on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Cinnamon Scones

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg, separated
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, beat egg yolk with honey and buttermilk until blended; add to flour mixture, blending until the mixture clings together. Do not over mix! With floured hands, lightly shape dough into flattened ball. Roll out on floured surface into a circle 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured serrated knife, cut into 8 to 12 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet or an ungreased baking stone. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg white with water. In another bowl, blend sugar and cinnamon. Brush scones lightly with egg white, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 scones.

Tetley Tea Scones

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup milk
10 Tetley Original Blend Tea bags
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup water
4 tablespoons sugar
Warm honey or preserves

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. With pastry blender or fingers, cut or rub in butter until mixture is size of small peas; set aside. In small saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Add 6 tea bags, cover and brew 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and cool. Beat in egg. Gradually add tea mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Make tea glaze by boiling 1 cup water and brewing 4 tea bags for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in 4 tablespoons sugar. Let cool. Turn dough onto floured cookie sheet and pat into 16" circle. With blunt edge of knife, score top of dough into 16 pie shaped wedges. Brush with tea glaze and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Serve with warm honey or preserves, if desired. Makes 16 scones.

Drop Tea Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 level tablespoon caster sugar (superfine/baking sugar)
1 level tablespoon golden syrup or corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 pint milk

Sift the flour, soda, cream of tartar and salt into a bowl. Add the sugar. Beat in the syrup, egg and milk to form a smooth batter. preheat a lightly greased griddle or thick frying pan. Drop medium spoons full of the mixture and cook at medium heat until bubbles appear-much like cooking a pancake. Turn and cook on the other side. Remove and place in a clean tea towel or cloth until ready to serve. Serve with butter, honey or jam. Makes 15 scones.

Irish Herb Scones

1/2 pound potatoes
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon savory
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
Oil for frying

Boil the potatoes, then pass through a food mill. Mix the flour, salt, oil and herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut the dough into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden.

Orange Scones and Butter

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons orange peel, grated
1/3 cup cold butter
1/2 cup Mandarin oranges, chopped
1/4 cup milk, cream or half and half
1 egg, beaten slightly
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Orange butter:
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons orange marmalade

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In large bowl, combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and orange peel. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add orange, milk and eggs. Stir just until mixture leaves sides of bowl and soft dough forms. Turn dough out on floured surface and knead lightly 10 times. On a baking sheet, roll or pat into 6-inch circle. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut into 8 wedges, separating slightly. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min.

For butter: beat butter in small bowl until light and fluffy; stir in marmalade. Serve with warm scones.

Chocolate Chip Toffee Scones

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup chocolate-covered English toffee baking bits
2 cups cold whipping cream

For Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
granulated sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees and lightly butter two large baking sheets. In large bowl,combine the flour,1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and toffee. Beat the cream in separate large bowl until stiff peaks form, fold into dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, knead lightly until a soft dough forms. Gently shape into a circle and with serrated knife cut into wedges. Place on baking sheets a few inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Other Feature You Might Like

Tea Time With Scones and Bannocks

Scones for Afternoon Tea

Misconceptions about Afternoon Tea

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

10 Tea Party Planning Mistakes

Lisa Marie Ferrari, owner of, shares with us the top 10 mistakes made by people that want to plan a tea party.

A tea party is a unique type of party with a long tradition and ceremony behind it. It's not a coronation but certainly an event worthy of planning. You'll be well on your way to a successful tea party for children if you'll begin by heeding this list of common mistakes:

1) Planning a tea party for a child who is simply too young

I know that the idea of planning a tea party for your three year old daughter who looks adorable in a frilly dress seems just perfect but please, please, please take my seasoned advice and wait until your daughter is at least FIVE years old before you plan her first tea party. At it's best, a tea party is appreciated and enjoyed the most by girls between the ages of five and nine.

2) Not allowing proper time to research and plan

Give yourself plenty of time, at least four to six weeks, to plan the details of your first tea party.

3) Inviting too many guests

Your first tea party experience with your daughter should be a memorable event because you had a lovely time not because there were twenty-four little guests running around in your house and making you crazy. Keep the guest list for your first tea party simple and limit the number of guests to about eight. This will also keep the cost of your party reasonable.

4) Inviting the wrong mix of guests

Invite guests who are relatively the same age as your daughter. The more varied the ages, the more work it is for you to try to please everyone.

5) Excluding fathers and boys

A tea party does not mean "girls only". Keep in mind dads and brothers! No one expects them to wear gloves and pearls but perhaps they can help out at the party as butlers by simply opening the door and greeting your guests. Perhaps they can escort the guests into the parlor! If your daughter is friends with a few boys or has a special male cousin - invite them. You'll be surprised how much fun boys have too!

6) Not setting a time limit for your party

Anywhere between one and a half and two hours is plenty of time for your first tea party.

7) Not making a schedule for the day of the tea party

Make a list of what you would like your guests to be doing from the moment they arrive until the time they leave. Keep in mind that you may have guests who arrive early and you may have guests who arrive late. The first activity that you do should not depend on all of the guests being there. Also remember to be flexible, if the little ladies are enjoying something - let them enjoy it a little longer. If a game is not working, move on to something else.

8) Not getting any help

You only have two hands! Make arrangements in advance with family members, friends or babysitters to assist you on the day of your tea party. With eight guests attending, I recommend at least two assistants. This way, you will be able to be a PART of the party and not just the producer. Let these assistants help with serving the food and taking the pictures for you. In other words, stay out of the kitchen, put the cameras down and go put on some gloves and a hat and sit with your child and her friends and enjoy your day together. You can chat with the other moms after the party is over.

9) Not involving your daughter in the party planning

Involve your daughter in the planning of her first tea party right from the start. Let her help pick the invitations. If her handwriting is neat let her address them! If not, let her add some stickers or stamp the envelopes and drop them in the mailbox. Keep an RSVP list near the phone and let her check off the names as the guest call. Talk about the games she would like to play or a craft project she would like to make. Let her help select the menu and the party favors. Keep reminding her that is is her special day.

10) Overdoing the Menu

Your party will be a success even if you don't make your scones from scratch! Keep your menu simple and serve finger foods that you can purchase inexpensively at your local supermarket. More importantly, make sure your menu includes food that you child likes! Some small tea sandwiches, cookies, sliced fruits in season and little petit fours (from the bakery) - easy and cheap.

Visit our Tea Time section for plenty of tea features and articles.

Reader's Questions: Growing and Using Herbs

The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me. ~James Russell Lowell

Today I have questions from readers on growing and using herbs, one of my favorite topics. I have the prettiest bee balm this year that I bought on sale for a dollar at the end of last season. That's one of the blooms in the pictures above.

My bee balm has had it, the blooms are spent, if I cut it back will it bloom again this year? ~Cynthia

In most areas if you cut bee balm (monarda) down to a couple of inches from the soil, it will bloom a second time. Make sure you keep it watered and weed really well around it. Beebalm needs space and good air circulation to do its best.

I was wondering if I may freeze herbs and how do I do it. May I just cut them and put them in plastic bags or is there something to do to them before I freeze them. ~Janice

I've frozen sage and dill which really turned out well, but you can freeze most herbs very simply. Harvest in the morning after the dew has dried, rinse lightly if they have dirt on them, and loosely place them in plastic freezer bags. Some people always rinse the herbs, but I only do if they really need it. I don't use any chemicals in my garden, so I don't worry about that aspect. I've found it's better to rinse under cold, running water, holding the springs or leaves in my hand. Then I pat them gently dry, then place in the freezer bags. To use, remove the herbs you need, chop them, and add directly to soups, stews or other dishes. I add them to roast chicken and turkey. You can also use frozen herbs for dips and herb butter.

You can mince or chop the herbs, add them to ice cube trays, then top with water. After they freeze, place the herb cubes in freezer bags. This works well for adding herbs to soups and stews in the winter.

One last freezer method is to combine minced fresh herbs with olive oil to form a paste, then freeze this in freezer containers. This works great for basil, oregano and parsley, which have a softer type of leaf.

What fertilizer do you feed lavender? ~Ginny

Lavender benefits from some lime mixed in to the soil, but it really doesn't need fertilizer. If your soil is extremely poor try adding a little compost and lime, but most of the time you won't need any additions. If you notice older plants looking a bit poor,that would be a good time to add some nitrogen- you could use blood meal or bone meal in the spring--but again, not too much. Remember, Lor gave us the tip of adding crushed eggshells to the soil around lavender, and that was a great idea!

New young lavender plants need more water than after they are established. Never soak them completely, or keep them moist, but water during dry periods. Once they are about a year old they shouldn't need extra water. Don't fertilize the young plants though-- just be patient and leave them alone to get settled.

On OFL we have Tips on planting garlic chives, which is the first thing I put in my new garden when we moved!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden Tidbits: Toxic Plants and Herb Tips

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

An important thing to teach your children is to NEVER eat or chew on leaves, flowers or berries. I even went so far as teaching my children to ask before picking an herb leaf. No matter where you live there is the possibility of toxic plants on your property. Some common ones are nightshade, foxglove, lily-of-the-valley, may apples (in wooded settings) and even the leaves of vegetables such as rhubarb, tomatoes and potatoes. Children especially are vulnerable to poisoning from plants. From the time they crawl and start to walk you should be teaching them to respect the plants and around them. We teach kids not to eat bugs, bees and spiders, why not plants, berries,seeds and flowers?

Herbs aren't just pretty, many are delicious too!

Lemonbalm Tea: Just pick a handful of leaves, rinse gently, place them in a teapot. Use a wooden spoon to crush them so the oil in the leaves is released a bit. Pour boiling water over the leaves and steep for 5-8 minutes or so. You can sweeten if you wish, and drink warm, or pour over ice for a nice iced tea.

Pineapple sage is a delicate and won't stand up to heat the way regular garden sage does, so use it in fruit dishes, or in fruit soups. You can put it into hot dishes, but do it at the last minute. It won't stand up to actual cooking. It's milder in taste than regular sage too with a mild fruity taste. Try it in iced tea as well.

Lavender and Lemon & Lime Cooler

1 tsp. dried lavender blossoms
1 tsp. dried lemon verbena or other lemon herbs
1 cup boiling water
2 limes
2 tbsp. sugar (more or less to taste)

Remove water from the heat. Add the lavender and lemon verbena or other lemon herbs. Steep until cool. Add the juice and zest of the limes plus the sugar, stirring until all is mixed and sugar is dissolved. Stain and serve over ice.

More recipes for cooling summer herb drinks on OFL: