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The Vicky A girls like drinking tea, and what is a tea party without scones?  It’s a boring tea party, that’s what it is.  Scones can be tricky to make, so here the Vicky A girls give you some fool-proof techniques to make perfect scones every time.

First, set the oven to 350 degrees.

No, 350 degrees!

Wait, crap, the recipe says 375 degrees.

Phew, hardest part is done.  Drink some tea, you deserve it.

Ok, now put the cup down and get back to work.  The next step is to gather your ingredients. Try not to knock over all of the knives you own in the process, like we did.

Knives! All of the knives are EVERYWHERE!

Ok, get a grip, this is why we wear steel-toed boots in the kitchen.  Because of the knives.  On to the ingredients.

Note the “off-brand” nature of many of the ingredients.  Vicky is a thrifty lady.  You will also need some other ingredients not pictured here, but those are secret.  Also, drink some tea at this point.  You’re doing a great job (Just kidding about the secret ingredients).

Wow, this is really stressful.

Phew, tastes so good.  Ok, one of the classic rookie mistakes in baking is the ole’ baking powder vs baking soda switcheroo.  Do NOT use baking soda.

Use baking POWDER.  These are very different things, so don’t screw this up.

Now we’re ready to go!  When you are baking, it is important to use a recipe.  Make sure your recipe is written clearly and legibly.  See also our post on handwriting.

When the Vicky A girls make scones, we like to use Alton Brown’s recipe, which you can find here.  It is reliable and easily adaptable for any type of scone – fresh or dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, you name it.  So start by getting that recipe and decide on the flavoring for your scones (our favorites include dried cranberries, dried blueberries or the strawberries you will see here). Next, combine your dry ingredients.  In baking, measurements need to be precise to get the expected results, so level off your dry ingredients with a knife before adding to the bowl.

This knife looks a little less scary.

Next, cut in the fat.  You can use butter, shortening, or margarine.  You can even use half of each.  Alton uses half butter and half shortening, so that’s what we do.   We also do not have a pastry cutter, and using your hands is easier and more fun anyway, so just get in there with that manicure!

Work the butter in, breaking up the large chunks, until the entire mixture is crumbly.

In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Alton’s recipe calls for milk and an egg.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and add your mix-ins.  In this case, we used fresh diced strawberries and chocolate chips.

Turn the contents over in the bowl gently to mix.  Mix only until just combined – do NOT over-mix.  Too much mixing will make the dough tough.

Turn the dough out onto a HEAVILY floured surface.  Don’t be shy – just dump the whole bag out.  You’re going to need it.

Flatten the mound and fold it in half a couple of times.  Don’t knead it, just fold it and flatten it back out.  Your hands should look something like this.

After mixing the dough, use a cutter in whatever shape you want to form your scones.  The Vicky girls, being the traditionalists that we are, went with round and just used a glass.

Put those beautiful scones on parchment paper and pop them in the oven!IMG_1499

Bake them until they are golden brown.  Watch them carefully – burned scones are not delicious.

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Ugh, now here comes the worst part.  While they’re baking, you should probably clean up your mess, but keep in mind, husbands are excellent dish-washers.IMG_1501

Finally!  Now it’s time to enjoy your scones.  The Vicky A girls like ours with jam and clotted cream – the proper way, of course.  These are some of the brands we prefer (now is NOT the time to use off-brand products!), but you may have your own faves.

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And finally, eat your scones!  With tea, of course.

IMG_1505Mmm…finish that pot.

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