Baking is my favorite form of procrastination. It’s my family’s favorite, too. They love it when I’m putting something off because I pull out the baking sheets and mixing bowls.
An all-time favorite for me is homemade scones. My recipe, which was handed down from a friend, and modified over time as I played with it, involves hand mixing, literally—no spoon! Roll up your sleeves and stick your hands in that dough.
You can make these scones with any mix-ins, but chocolate and cranberries are my favorite combination, especially around the holidays.
They are easy, beautiful, and come out looking, tasting, and smelling amazing. Give them a try! Pssst: It’s a great way to procrastinate and work off frustration as you knead that dough.
Marissa’s Favorite Scones
2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
5 T butter – chilled, unsalted, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 – 1 C sour cream or yogurt (I much prefer the sour cream)
1 t – 1 T vanilla extract (I use a short tablespoon)
1/2 – 1 C chopped dried add ins–apricots, cherries, nuts, chocolate chips (I use mini chocolate morsels and Craisins (2/3 C each)
1 egg – beaten to spread over top with brown sugar for glaze
Preheat oven to 400º (I do not use convection for this recipe)
Mix first five ingredients in a large bowl.
Add butter pieces and break up/mix in with fingers to make a course meal.
Make well in center of mix.
Add sour cream and vanilla to well and use hands to mix into dough.
Turn dough out onto floured cutting board and sprinkle mix ins.
Knead dough about ten turns (until mix-ins evenly distributed).
Flatten dough into a ten-inch round.
Cover top of round with egg (it won’t take all of it)
Sprinkle desired amount of brown sugar on top of egg glaze (I use quite a bit)
Cut into pie-shaped pieces (I cut into eight wedges with a pastry cutter)
Place on a baking sheet not touching each other
Bake 20 minutes and cool on rack. Great cold or warm!
Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…
CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything―especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time… every time.
Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall.
Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.
Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where the everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw. She also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA as Mary Lindsey For sneak peeks at upcoming projects and chances to win prizes, join her Facebook street team group, Camp Clarke: www.facebook.com/groups/CampClarke/ To receive updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: www.tinyurl.com/marissanews