Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Erin’s Sunday Morning Scones #baking #bookgiveaway

By Leslie Budewitz

We’re celebrating the upcoming release of BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in my Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, on July 7. 

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy!

Readers often ask where the recipes in my books come from. The answer depends on the recipe. Some, like Fettucine with Minted Tomato Sauce aka Fettucine a la Fresca and the Stuffed Mushrooms in DEATH AL DENTE, the first Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, and the Filet with Huckleberry Morel Sauce in CRIME RIB, are faves in my household. (We call the pasta dish Demented Fettucine.) Others, like the Huckleberry Margaritas and Martinis and the Jewel Bay Critter Crunch in BUTTER OFF DEAD, were created specifically for the book. Sometimes the plot demands a certain food! And in my Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, I’ve created both spice blends and dishes to use them based on the foods available in the Pike Place Market at the time of year when the story is set.

At other times, my characters eat a dish—old or new—because I’ve eaten and enjoyed it, and wanted to share it with you. Like these scones. We first made them from a recipe published in my college alumni magazine. They came from the long-time cook for the Jesuit community at Seattle University, serving both active and retired priests, so naturally, we call them “Jesuit scones.” (She says they originated as a variation of a Julia Child recipe.) But over time the recipe has evolved, as favorite recipes often do. Scones are particularly forgiving that way—you can vary the nuts and fruit based on what’s in your pantry, and top them with sugar or not. And because Erin likes to bake—a trait we share—it was inevitable that one Sunday morning, she’d make her own variation.

The morning after a night out, relax at home with Erin and the cats.

Erin’s Sunday Morning Scones

1/3 cup or more chopped pecans, toasted (see below)
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour*
¾ cup flaxseed meal
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (one stick) butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup buttermilk
zest of one orange
1/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water to plump and well-drained
cinnamon sugar** or raw sugar to sprinkle as a topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Toast the pecans for 10 minutes at 300 degrees, shaking the pan once or twice during baking. Don’t overbake; the nuts will continue to brown and crisp as they cool.

Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, or a mixer or food processor, mix the flours, flaxseed meal, baking powder, brown sugar, and baking soda. Add the butter and mix or pulse until the mixture looks like large crumbs. Add half the buttermilk and work in, adding the rest as the dough starts to pull together. (I  like to use a food processor to mix in the butter and buttermilk more easily.)

If you’re using a food processor, transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Add pecans, zest, and cranberries.

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour a large cutting board. Form the dough into a log. Cut the dough into five equal pieces. Use your hands to shape the first piece into a circle, about half an inch thick.

Cut into four equal triangles and transfer to the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or raw sugar before baking, if you’d like. (Not shown.)

Bake 18–20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Makes 20 scones. These freeze beautifully.

* King Arthur’s unbleached white whole-wheat flour will give these scones a lighter color and texture that is particularly yummy, but if you can’t find it, regular whole-wheat flour works fine.

** 1 teaspoon cinnamon to 1/4 cup white sugar is a tasty combo. Erin stores the mix in a small airtight container, as it keeps well and is extra-tasty on scones, buttered toast, and oatmeal.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD! (Open till noon, Thursday, July 2; please include your email address.)

From the cover: As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.
But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. 

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter. 


  1. I love "cozy mysteries." One day I'll be lucky to win a giveaway, too. kat8762@aol.com

  2. Love the scone recipe, the story behind it; and the book sounds like a fabulous read! EMS591@aol.com

    1. Congratulations, Liz! You won the signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD!

  3. One of these days I'm going to try scones. suefoster109@netzero.net

  4. Cozy kitchen mysteries are my favorite read. Cozies with a "punny" title are even better.

  5. Cozy kitchen mysteries are my favorite read. Cozies with a "punny" title are even better.

  6. Looking forward to reading this one.

  7. Those scones look delicious! Thank you for the recipe. Butter Off Dead sounds like a great foodie cozy. Thank you for a chance to win.

  8. Can't wait to read this one. Thank You! fktkhl@gmail.com

  9. The book looks good! I can't wait to read it. I always wanted to make scones

  10. Yummy scone recipe - looking forward to reading the next book!
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

  11. I love a nice scone with a cup of tea. These sound yummy.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  12. That scone recipe is making my mouth water!! Dare I try it while I'm on a diet??

    1. Ah, well, maybe not! Depends on your program and how well you can limit yourself to just one. I think I figured them at 4 Weight Watchers points. Made the recipe to photograph last weekend when friends were visiting and she'd just come off a Whole 30 month; not on that program either. But seriously, they do freeze well, so perhaps when you reach goal, make them, save a couple for yourself, and pop the rest in the freezer, pulling out just enough for the household on Sunday morning? Good luck reaching goal!

  13. I like scones but I've never tried making them.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  14. This sounds really tood thanks for the review and the recipe. I'm going to try it,

  15. Sounds wonderful ... I love scones!! Thanks for the recipe and this opportunity. :)

  16. Sounds like quite a few of you have never tried making scones. Easy-peasy, as Erin would say! Some recipes are a little simpler, but the two flours and the flaxseed meal give these a great flavor. Not to mention the zest, nuts, and cranberries! Enjoy!

  17. Thanks for the recipe - I've never had scones! Also, thanks for the giveaway!

  18. The scones sound wonderful, as does the book. Thanks for the fun chance to win! rencw@verizon.net

  19. The scones look delicious but the book looks better, no calories!

    1. Yes! One of the perks of fictional food -- no calories!

  20. nothing better than a good scone w/homemade jam any morning..............

  21. I love scones and good books! Looks like both here. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. This recipe sounds soooo yummy!!! And all your books are so great! I am excited for this one! - Aspen a.incashola@yahoo.com

  23. I've never had a scone! Loved the story behind the recipe AND your books!

  24. this book sounds so good, thanks for the chance :) darholley1(at) aol (dot) com

  25. Good heavens! Some of you have never eaten scones? Wish I could wave Harry Potter's wand and make plates of scones -- any variety -- magically appear on your kitchen counters! They are too good to miss.

  26. I love scones, and they are fun to make and experiment with ingredients -- my current favorite recipe adds cinnamon chips to them --yum! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

    1. Oh, what a fun addition! Thanks for the suggestion.

  27. Scones are my ultimate favorite treat and I love them with tea. Whaat a delectable recipe and giveaway. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  28. Wonderful post, great recipe which I drool over and fabulous giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  29. Mmmm, scones! I love scones! I am going to have to make some!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

  30. Love scones - thanks for the recipe!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  31. They sound great! Both the scones and the book!

  32. Scones look yummy

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

  33. I can't wait for Butter Off Dead...your series is one of my favorites! The scones look great also. cking78503@aol.com

  34. Congratulations on your upcoming release! This is sure to be another good one! I've never eaten a scone in my life...I just may have to bake up a batch of these and see if my taste buds have been missing something all these years. Thanks for the recipe.