Monday, July 17, 2017

Jane Austen Week: Day 1 - Chamomile & Lavender Scones

It's the first day of Jane Austen week! You can click here to see the full schedule of events - I'm really excited.

To kick it off, I'll admit I spent some time thinking about what to say. After all, I've spent a lot of time lately writing about what Austen's work meant to me, and what makes her so enticing to adapt.

So rather than say more just now, I decided to pivot and share a scone that almost made it into the book.

Originally there were three scone recipes in the book, and I nixed this one, and after testing it this week - well, I'm glad I get to share it here!

Honestly, these could have gone badly. Flowers can be tricky to utilize in food sometimes - use the wrong amounts and the effect is unpleasant. But these are a fairly standard cream scone, kicked up with a hefty dose of ground chamomile tea and dried lavender buds. For a more traditional scone, serve with Devonshire cream. But for my money, I'd top them with a light vanilla glaze that kicks the sweetness up a notch. If you do both, I won't tell.

~ Chamomile and Lavender Scones ~

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried lavender
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon chamomile tea
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup heavy cream

1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract is fine, you just won't get the specks of vanilla bean)

Place a baking rack at the center of the oven and preheat  the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Grind the lavender and chamomile to a fine powder in a spice grinder (see note below). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lavender, chamomile, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Add the butter, tossing the cubes with the flour mixture and flattening the small cubes with your fingers, rubbing some of the butter into the flour - you want a mix of butter pieces that look like quick oats and pieces that look more like dimes. If you kitchen is on the warm side and the butter feels soft, freeze the butter and flower for a few minutes, until the butter firms back up. 

Add cream and stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until a dough forms. Place the dough onto a floured surface. Form the dough into a circle and roll the top flat, about 3/4 of an inch thick.

For round scones, use a biscuit cutter or a water glass to cut circles from the dough. Place the circles onto the baking sheet, and baking for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.

As the scones cool, mix powdered sugar with the honey and warm milk, splashing the milk into the mixture until a stirable mixture forms. Allow the glaze to set before serving. 

Makes about 6-8 scones.

Note: for best results, I recommend using a spice grinder to blend the tea and buds into a fine powder. And by "spice grinder," I mean a cheap coffee grinder that you solemnly swear never to use with coffee beans.

Last but not least... publisher has put together a beautiful giveaway package to celebrate the release of Jane of Austin! Click here to enter!

What kind of scone do you enjoy to bake or eat (or both!) - share in the comments!


  1. I've never made scones. Too nervous it'll be horrible, but I collect recipes for when I get up the nerve to try.

    1. Scones are pretty easy to make.There are probably You Tube videos for making scones so you could see the the way they are made.
      Martha T.

    2. I totally understand hours they can be intimidating, but once you get the knack for working with short dough, it takes the scary out. I'm thinking of doing a food video sometime soon with a demo!

  2. Honestly, I'd do both the glaze and the cream! These look good. My favorite scone to make is plain vanilla because they go so well with strawberry preserves and cream. I love making scones so I'm glad you shared this recipe.

  3. Think I only tried to make them once but I'd go for a lemony one!

  4. I've never made scones either. I don't cook a lot -- but I enjoy reading about food! ;) My ideal scone would probably be one with lemon or vanilla ... or both?! I also wonder, could a scone be made with blueberry? That would be fun to try!

  5. I love lemon and blueberry scones!

  6. Double Chocolate Chip( chocolate with chocolate chips)!
    Martha T.

  7. I like raisin scones, plain & simple. May have to bring my apron out of storage.

  8. I love all types of scones but have only made blueberry scones because I had an over abundance of blueberries. They were pretty good to if I do say so myself. :)

  9. I have honestly never eaten a scone, but I love blueberries, so I think I would enjoy them.

  10. These scones are amazing, everyone!!!! I love lavender, so these were right up my alley :). I like any kind of scone --- most recently, I made blueberry-orange scones. I'm so glad you got to feature this recipe, Hillary!

  11. I never met a scone I didn't like. Anything with a hint of lemon or lavender works for me!

  12. blueberry is my favorite to make so far and I'm looking for a good gluten-free recipe to try. ;) -Kim

  13. I have never made scones, but I think they taste delightful! Not sure I am ready for grinding things up like in this recipe, but buying them from a bakery suites me just fine for now! :)


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