Visitors to Miracle Springs, North Carolina, find themselves ogling the display shelves in The Gingerbread House Bakery. They’ve heard that no one can bake a scone quite like Hester Winthrop. Her pastry is feather-light and buttery. Her flavors are fresh, vibrant, and perfectly spiced. If you’re lucky, she might make you a Comfort Scone—a scone customized with aromas and flavors drawn from one of your fondest memories. Hester believes in the healing power of food, especially when it’s made with love.
Love, loyalty, laughter, and shared secrets unite the members of the book club in The Secret, Book, and Scone Society novels. And food. Potluck suppers with lots of wine, coffee, pastry in the morning, impromptu lunches at the local diner—food is woven into almost every scene.
A scone can be eaten with one hand, which means that you can hold your book in the other. To the women of The Secret, Book, and Scone Society, it’s the perfect book club treat.
Enter The Book of Candlelight giveaway
½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups flour (plus extra for dusting work surface)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup raspberries, frozen
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Turbinado or raw sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut butter into small pieces with a knife or grated using a box cheese grater or food processor. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chilled butter and mix with your fingers.
In a small bowl, combine sugar, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and gently mix until the two are just incorporated (I like to use my hands. Rinse your hands in very cold water or spray them with cooking spray first, so the dough won’t stick to your fingers). If your dough is too dry, add more buttermilk. If too wet, add a bit more flour. Your dough will be sticky. When it’s at the desired consistency, add raspberries and chocolate morsels. Gently fold the berries and chips into your dough. (Some of the raspberries will color your dough pink. That’s okay.) Do not overmix. The more you handle the dough, the tougher your scones.
Form dough into a ball. Chill dough in bowl for 15 minutes.
When ready to bake, turn dough out of bowl onto lightly floured surface. Using your floured hands or lightly floured rolling pin, shape dough into 8-inch circle. Use a pizza cutter or knife to form 8 equal-sized wedges.
Using a floured spatula, transfer wedges to baking sheet. Scones should be at least 2 inches apart. Brush egg wash over scones and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Scones should be a light golden brown when properly baked. Let cool. Enjoy with clotted cream or fresh jam. Or both!