Romance Cooks

Sugar-Crusted Scones – Juliana Ross

What could be nicer than curling up with a pot of tea, some warm scones and jam, and your favorite book? Forget about the hockey pucks masquerading as scones that you find in most bakeries. These are tender, moist and buttery, with only a hint of sweetness.

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Sugar-Crusted Scones


1 cup unsalted butter, frozen (very important!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
White sugar for rolling, about 1/3 cup

1) Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a Silpat mat if you have one).

2) In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Using a hand grater, grate the frozen butter into the dough, mixing with a fork as you go, until all the butter is grated in and the mixture is a gravelly consistency.

3) In a small bowl, stir together the egg, vanilla and yogurt. Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and stir in the yogurt mixture. Using your hands, gently knead mixture until a soft dough forms, adding a few drops of water if necessary.

4) Turn out onto a work surface or board that has been lightly sprinkled with white sugar. Gently smooth and fold dough, using more sugar if necessary as an aid to prevent sticking, and shape into a cohesive mass. Let rest two minutes.

5) Place white sugar in a saucer or small, shallow bowl. Pat dough into a rectangle that is about an inch thick and cut into squares, then cut each square in half. (Use your own judgment as to the size of the scones…as long as the dough is no more than an inch thick they will cook at the same rate no matter their overall size.) As each triangle of dough is cut, press it into the sugar, making sure each side of the triangle is well-covered with sugar. Space evenly on cookie sheet.

6) Bake until very lightly browned, with some darker spots at the edges where the sugar has caramelized; about 15-17 minutes.

7) Serve warm with whipped cream (or clotted cream if you can find it) and your favorite preserves. If there are any leftovers, store at room temperature for no more than a
day. Reheat before serving in a 300 F oven or in toaster (split in half horizontally before toasting).


Improper Relations - Juliana Ross


When Hannah is caught watching her late husband’s cousin debauch the maid in the library, she’s mortified—but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she’s used to being ignored. The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she’s witnessed, but there’s something about Leo that draws her to him. When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous, for her own experiences have been singularly uninspiring. Yet she can’t bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she’s losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?

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