Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Welcome Author Victoria Hamilton with Fresh-Baked Scones and a Cozy Tote Giveaway!

No Mallets Intended
A Vintage Kitchen Mystery

It's my pleasure to welcome author Victoria Hamilton back to our Kitchen! 

Today Victoria is sharing a lovely recipe for fresh-baked scones; news about her new Vintage Kitchen Mystery, No Mallets Intended; and a fun comment-to-win giveaway. 

Details of the giveaway are below. But first, please welcome Victoria Hamilton... 

~ Cleo

I love tea and scones, so I suppose it is no mystery that when Jaymie, my protagonist from the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, was casting about for something easy to give away or sell to folks at the Dickens Days festivities in Queensville Michigan, she decided upon scones; in No Mallets Intended they are lemon cranberry mini scones. 

This recipe is close to one I have used before, but I did a few things differently this time. And I love scones far too much to make them mini, so these are full size. I also made a lemon drizzle for the scones, AND toasted candied pecans to chop and sprinkle over the drizzle. It’s over-the-top good, perfect for an afternoon tea, or brunch, or just… well anytime! I think they are kind of festive.

Make the toasted pecans first. You won’t regret it, and your main problem will be keeping from eating them all before the scones are done!

Cranberry Lemon Scones 
with Lemon Glaze & 
Toasted Maple Pecans 

From the kitchen of: Victoria Hamilton 

Toasted Maple Pecans


1 Cup Pecans 

1 Tblsp. Butter

1 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

1 Tblsp. Brown Sugar (I used Golden)

1/4 tsp salt


1 – Heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

2 – Melt the butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave or a small pot on the stove.

3 – Add the maple syrup and salt, and stir to mix.

4 – Add pecans and stir until they are coated.

5 – Pour the pecans on a parchment lined tray and place in oven.

6 – Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn! I did them in a toaster oven, and they turned out perfect!

7 – Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray. I stirred them a bit when they first came out of the oven and then spread them out to make sure they didn’t stick to each other.

These are awesome even as a snack or an ice cream topping, but these are to chop and sprinkle over the scones.

Lemony Cranberry Scones 
with Lemon Glaze



1-3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

5 tblsp. cold butter, chopped

2/3 cup buttermilk (Because I didn’t have any, I used the buttermilk cheat, which is milk with vinegar/lemon juice, and the scones turned out just great!)

1-1/2 tblsp. lemon juice

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. lemon extract – I like the extra boost of the lemon extract.

3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used Ocean Spray Craisins, which are sweetened)


1 tblsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. lemon extract

1-1/2 tblsp. milk

3/4 cup powdered aka icing sugar


1 – Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or use a silicone baking sheet. Or use a no stick baking sheet, as I did!

2 – In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

3 – Chop in the cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly, or do as I did and rub it into the flour with your fingers until it resembles oatmeal. If you rub the butter in, be sure to leave the texture of the dry ingredients mealy.

4 – Add in the buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon extract and dried cranberries. Mix until just incorporated.

5 – Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a circle about one knuckle deep. Yes, one knuckle. That’s how I measured, using the distance from my thumb knuckle to the end of my thumb, OR if you’re a real science measuring nut, that’s about ¾ of an inch thick.

6 – Slice into eighths. I used a cleaver to make the cuts, (I use the cleaver for a lot of things, including cutting pizza) but you can use a knife or pizza cutter, whatever is clean.

7 – Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

8 - Make the glaze while the scones cool simply by mixing the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.

9 – Drizzle over the cooled scones, or glaze them, whichever you prefer. Then sprinkle with some of the chopped Toasted Maple Pecans.

These scones are really good, lemony and light, but not too sweet. They are best the same day they are made. Now, make a cup of tea and curl up with a cozy mystery and a scone!


About No Mallets Intended 

Jaymie Leighton is excited and a little nervous about her current big venture, completely redoing the kitchen at Dumpe House—now the Queensville Historic Manor—in time for the December opening. But the house is mired in controversy, a challenge to the heritage society’s right to own it, and questions about the author hired to write a pamphlet detailing the Dumpe family history.

Jaymie just keeps her focus on the exact color right for the kitchen, and assembling all the accouterments, including a Hoosier cabinet! She’s also got much to think about in her personal life with Daniel acting a little odd, and her friend Heidi dragging her in to the trouble between her and her fiancé, Jaymie’s former boyfriend Joel.

But a late night whack on the head with one of the antique mallets Jaymie has been cataloging for the society and a dreadful murder right on the house’s doorstep draws her once again into murder and mayhem. Jaymie faces her most cunning and dangerous opponent yet, but with Valetta by her side and the police chief’s approval, she must figure out whodunit before they do it again!


Victoria Hamilton is the author of three nationally bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Follow Victoria!

Visit her Website

Friend her on Facebook

Like Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Facebook 

Follow Vintage Kitchen Mysteries on Pinterest 

Follow her on Twitter: @MysteryVictoria


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by Thursday, Nov. 6 at 12 Midnight,
and you will be entered to win a copy of
No Mallets Intended, Victoria's new
Vintage Kitchen Mystery, and this
fun "Cozy Up to a Good Mystery"
tote bag!