Sugar-Crusted Scones

Despite its title, Somewhere in France is a novel with its feet firmly grounded in England—and what could be more English than afternoon tea? These scones are the perfect accompaniment to an elegant gathering, although they are also delicious at breakfast with berries and whipped cream.


1 cup unsalted butter, frozen (very important!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
Granulated (white) sugar for rolling, about 1/3 cup

1) Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (such as Silpat).

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 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. As each triangle of dough is cut, press it into the sugar, making sure each surface is well-covered with sugar. Space evenly on cookie sheet. (At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Take out of the fridge about an hour before you want to bake them so they have time to come to room temperature. Then proceed.)

6) Bake about 15-17 minutes, until tops are a light golden brown in color, with some darker spots at the edges where the sugar has caramelized.

7) Serve warm with clotted cream and jam. If there are any leftovers, store at room temperature for no more than a day. Reheat before serving in a 300ºF oven or in toaster (split in half horizontally before toasting).