Monday, December 9, 2013

Guest Cheryl St. John with Eggnog Scones

B-r-r-r-r-r!!! It's been a brisk beginning of December here in the Black Hills of South Dakota! Over the last week, negative temperatures have been the norm...but that's perfect to start the Christmas season, isn't it?

Jan here, and I'm so excited to introduce you to our guest in the cafe today! It's Cheryl St. John!!!!! And she has a fabulous recipe to share with us. I tried it out last week. These scones are so sweet, soft and delicious, you'll love them.

But without further ado, here's Cheryl:



I share a passion for eggnog with several of you, and it’s the season! One of my favorite holiday events is a tea, where I get out all my pretty teapots and cups and saucers and bake ahead for a week or more. Scones are my passion at teatime, or any time really.

This is the recipe I’ve come up with after much experimentation. Many scone recipes don’t call for an egg, but I love the texture an egg gives the dough. Heavy cream makes a scone less like a biscuit.  Eggnog is an ingredient I stumbled upon, and the flavor it adds is incredible. Orange juice is another alternative. You many add or substitute ingredients - for example craisins & raisins are interchangeable. Currants are an option.  Walnuts or pecans are a good addition. Guess what--some people like them plain!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Jan here. Notice I opted for Cheryl's Craisin
alternative!
Soak 1/2 cup raisins in warm water.
In mixing bowl sift together:
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup (or less) sugar
Use pastry cutter to cut 1/3 cup butter or margarine into the flour mixture.
Add 1 beaten egg
½ cup egg nog (or heavy cream)

I always make a double batch:
4 cups flour
¾ - 1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
5 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup butter/margarine
2 eggs
1 cup eggnog
            1 cup raisins


Stir with fork till pretty well mixed (it will be dry and crumbly), then turn out onto lightly floured surface or floured waxed paper and knead several times until a dough forms.  Keep a little cup of flour at your fingertips and dust surface and hands with flour until you get a good consistency for pressing out. (If it sticks to your fingers, add more flour.)



Press dough out to about ½ in thickness. You may either
-       cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters or a glass…
-       or roll out the entire batch into a circle (2 if you double the recipe) and cut into pie-shaped wedges.



Place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Jan here again: I'll have to make Cheryl's suggested double batch
next time. These barely lasted long enough to get a picture!


Some people brush the tops with milk. I don’t.
Optional: sprinkle with sugar or grated lemon peel
My special topping: sprinkle with lemonade mix!
Another option - a dash of ginger or cinnamon

Scones are so easy to make ahead. These freeze great. Layer with waxed paper and freeze in a tightly sealed container. Thaw them out a few hours before serving.

Serve with preserves, jelly or lemon curd.


Cheryl's achievements include over fifty published books in both contemporary and historical romance 
genres, as well as a Writers Digest craft book, WRITING WITH EMOTION, TENSION & CONFLICT. She has received numerous Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker.

Connecting with the reader on an emotional level is a vital skill that every writer must learn to master. Whatever the genre, emotion, tension, conflict, and pathos are essential to hooking the reader's interest from the very first page. Writing With Emotion, Tension, and Conflict gives writers a variety of intensive tools and techniques for instilling emotion into plots, characters, dialogue, and settings in order to achieve the highest impact with each element.

Wow! Where was this book when I started my writing career?
"A must-have compilation of rock-sound advice from a writer who knows what she's talking about. A book you'll want to inhale whole and then return to time and time again to improve your craft and go deeper in order to write YOUR story. Not only does this book embrace some of the most complex elements of story construction in a clear, easy to digest format, it acts as inspiration for the writer. Sentence upon sentence of outstanding advice!"

- Mary Buckham, author of the Amazon best-selling WRITING ACTIVE SETTINGS series for writers.

41 comments:

  1. You need a little linky for the book!
    And I love scones. YUMMY.

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    1. That's what I get for trying to post this blog while I should be sleeping! But the link is fixed, now!

      And these scones are SO GOOD!!!

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  2. Yum, I love scones...and don't forget to add a daub of clotted cream on top of the jam! Sigh, now I'm craving scones.

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    1. I'm craving them, too, Kav. They were so yummy. :)

      I never got to the jam, or lemon curd, or even butter. I just ate them straight up. They're so rich and sweet, you really don't need anything else.

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  3. I've got the book, now I need the scones.

    Okay, Kav, I have never had clotted cream. Though I have had a jar of lemon curd and it is amazing.

    Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!!!

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    1. Thanks for getting the book, Tina. The Kindle version is staying up there with the best sellers. So excited!

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  4. Why do they call it curd? That really sounds nasty, and it's delicious. Like clotted cream. Sounds like spoiled milk.

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    1. LOL -- you can call it Cornish cream if you prefer. It's cream made through a steaming process, I think -- milk is steamed so the cream rises in clumps at the top. You can buy it in cute little jars in speciality stores or if your grocery store has an internation aisles. It's really decadent on scones and a must for a proper English tea. You need to try some while watching Downton Abbey. :-)

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    2. Now THAT sounds like a necessity. I'll have to look up a recipe...homogenized milk probably wouldn't work, would it? Hmmm.....

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    3. Yes. Soon Downton will be here. That made me smile!!!

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  5. Egg Nog Scones.
    I'm so there. Egg nog is fun to use as a replacement for milk and like pumpkin should be use wildly throughout the season.
    I am a scone girl. I grew up with them as an ethnic food (like plum pudding, shortbread, roast beef with yorkshire pudding...) (the UK is not known for its cuisine, but we can bake with the best of them!)
    thanks for the recipe, Cheryl! woo hoo!

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    1. I am with you on the eggnog and pumpkin!

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  6. clotted cream sounds ick - will have to look it up to see what it actually is LOL! ya'll need to make a big cookbook with all these recipes - preferably strong spiral bound with wipe clean pages...:-) of course I could just come back here and search and print as needed!
    this one looks semi-do-able for me- no yeast which is a big plus but still the rolling out and kneading bizness going on...which requires counter space or a cleared table I'm afraid...
    if making the orange ones do you just sub /2 cup orange juice for the egg nog or do you still need the heavy cream?
    Susanna

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    1. I think you just substitute the orange juice - otherwise there would be way too much liquid!

      And you can do these, Susanna! They aren't any harder than biscuits :)

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    2. HA still haven't tried the biscuist yet! thought there would be too much liquid with both cream and orange juice- kinda sounds unappetizing too...
      I DID make one baking recipe a couple of years ago - one that didn't use yeast - had cranberries and I think orange juice in it - sure on the cranberries and pretty sure it had orange juice. it was on here. came out pretty good if I may so so myself!
      Susanna

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  7. Cheryl, this sounds so delicious. Sprinkled with lemonade mix? That is brilliant. My mother-in-law used to take a regular biscuit recipe and snazz it all up for strawberry shortcake and she did a lot of these things, the eggs and cream and sugar to make the dough rich. Wow, I think I need a sad and lonely and scone-less cup of tea right now!

    sniffle

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    1. Mary, perhaps I will have to bring some to Lorna's. :-)

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  8. I've always sort of imagined clotted cream to be cottage cheese......not so?

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    1. No, no, no...don't dis the clotted cream guys. It's just really thick whipping cream. Spreadable. It is soooo decadent. You haven't lived until you've had a scone with a bit of a jam and a dab of clotted cream. The three flavours and texture just melt in your mouth...it's almost as good as eating trifle. Seriously.

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    2. I'm not dissing it - I've loved it the times I've had it. Thick, rich, delicious!

      I think of it as whipped cream without the sugar and fluff - would that be accurate, Kav and Debra?

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    3. Yes...only better! The real cream is made in a steaming process so it doesn't taste exactly like regular whipped cream...at least I don't think so. But, in a pinch I've whipped cream( without any sugar) until it's almost a butter consistency and used that on scones and it worked pretty well. :-)

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  9. Hi Cher! Wonderful to have you at Yankee Belle Cafe! I'm going to try this recipe. I love scones and eggnog. I always buy eggnog at Christmas but then we're all too full to finish the carton. Now I have a way to make good use of it.

    Thanks! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Oooh, wouldn't these scones be great as a Christmas morning breakfast?

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  10. Good morning, friends! Nice to see everyone in the Christmas spirit! I just saw you have the little Pin It option - so cool. Someone can actually pin my cover to their writing books board.

    Janet, I am already drinking eggnog. I like to warm it up and sprinkle cinnamon on top. So yummy.

    I don't think words like curd and clotted are good descriptions for such yummy tasting food, either. Have made lemon curd several times and it's pretty easy. Anything for tea and scones!

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    1. So glad you're here today, Cheryl! And my family LOVED your scones. I'm serious about making a double batch next time...

      ...except my oldest son has already downed the egg nog.

      I'm buying extra this week!

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  11. Cheryl, thanks so much for sharing and for joining us in the Cafe today! I still have never made scones! I really must do so! I love the idea of lightening them a bit with egg. Will definitely try this!

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  12. It's a pretty no-fail project, Missy. Easy to impress when the recipe is so easy. :-)

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  13. I can't wait to try these and I'm usually a scone and biscotti doubter... but for YOU, Cheryl, I will not only try them I'll love them! :)

    Eggnog scones.... we had eggnog ice cream and fudge.... and I need bigger blue jeans.

    Dagnabbit! :) I love lemon curd... which is just deliciousness in a bowl!!!! CHERYL!!!!!! Good to have you here, playing in the kitchen.

    I've got a super cute apron for you!!!

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    1. mmm eggnog ice cream - and FUDGE You are my kind of girl. :-)

      an apron?! whoo hoo!

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  14. Cheryl got your book, Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict a couple of weeks ago. Just got finished with my Library tech class--can't wait to "dive" into it!

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  15. Cheryl got your book, Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict a couple of weeks ago. Just got finished with my Library tech class--can't wait to "dive" into it!

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  16. Oh, Love this and I can make a gluten free version. I did my eggnog recipes this weekend but I will make room for the new recipe!

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    1. Sounds perfect, Julie. Would love to hear what you make with eggnog.

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    2. Cheryl, I was telling them on Julie's post about egg nog that I usually mix vanilla ice cream with egg nog to make spectacular milkshake. You should try it! :)

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  17. OH MY GOODNESS!!! THESE SOUND AND LOOK WONDERFUL, CHERYL!! Of course, I LOVE egg nog, so there you go!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. It's hard for me to comprehend that some people don't like eggnog. Can't you figure that?

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  18. Cheryl!!! I love that you headed over here to hang with us! I'm off to NYC tomorrow to see two of my boys.... and the lights of the city! :) I love going to New York at Christmastime. Your scones remind me of all the cute, sweet bakeries in the boroughs! In Manhattan the world is revolving around the cupcake craze. Who'd a thunk cupcakes would take the world by storm????

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    1. Have fun, Ruthy!! I'm so envious!

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    2. We have a lot of cupcake stores here in my city, too. My daughter Kristin knows my favorites and buys me a couple for special days.

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  19. Mmmm... another scrumptious-sounding recipe to try. Sounds perfect for the Christmas season, too. Thanks Cheryl and Jan! :)

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