not a winning combination

I love food, and I love to talk about (and clearly, write!) about food, especially baked goods. That doesn’t mean everything works well for me the first time though. Ask my friend CVG, for example, who can tell you about the time I was supposed to cook dinner (homemade pizza, from scratch) and the yeasted dough had overrisen. We didn’t know (I didn’t realize it) until we discovered the dough – yeah, I’m going to call it “dough” because it never baked properly – tasted sour and slimy and gave off an alcoholic hooch. I’ve whipped up  banana bread in less than 10 minutes, only to remember halfway through the baking time that I completely forgot to add the sugar. I don’t need to remind you about my tiramisu efforts.

…but hey, that’s okay. If everything always worked out perfectly, how could you ever learn to recognize and remedy what would have ended up straight in the compost? 「失敗是成功之母」 Failure is the mother of success (you when you learn from your mistakes). Also get a good laugh and learn from the mistakes of others, which is why I’m going to share my sweet *and* savoury scones story with you.

When it’s late in the evening on the last day of your vacation, you haven’t packed,or done laundry, am trying to be good and plan experiments and prepare for upcoming meetings, don’t try to absentmindedly bake sweet scones while an unfortunately handy dandy dish of garlic butter is sitting on the counter.

I’ve posted the recipe for the cinnamon raisin scones below without the garlic butter. This recipe is awesome and my definite go-to for scones, so please don’t try to “marry the flavour” of cinnamon and raisin with garlic butter. Trust me on this one. I’ll repost these when I make them properly, heh.

<Oops, forgot to take a photo of these! Honest.>

Cinnamon raisin scones

Essentially, Grandma Johnson’s Scones as posted on


– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 tsp baking soda

– 4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 cup butter

– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1 cup raisins


1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
2. In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg and vanilla extract, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter using two knives, forks, or a pastry blender – small pea-sized lumps are okay. Stir in the sour cream mixture, which should now be quite light (like marshmallow fluff?) and egg and vanilla mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. You may need to gently and very, very briefly knead it a few times to bring everything together. Divide dough into two, and pat each portion into a 3/4 inch-thick round. Cut each round into 8 wedges, and space scones evenly on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 15-17 minutes in a preheated 350F oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

Makes 16 scones.

* * *

If you like scones, see also my [successful] experiment making herb and cheese scones.

Cinnamon raisin and garlic butter scones: bake wreck? Scone FAIL? Something to snack on when hungry sort-of-WIN?


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6 Responses to “not a winning combination”

  1. Jude Says:

    It happens to the best of us 🙂 It’s how we learn right? Rising dough recently oozed out of the container all over my fridge and I had just finished cleaning up 😦

  2. toxobread Says:

    Jude: Yup! It’s amazing how much you learn and get better at it with every try. Sorry to hear about your overzealous dough, by the way.

  3. em Says:

    Practice makes perfect.
    I’m going to have to try making scones one day. Is there a particular reason for there being sour cream in the recipe, or could I sub something else in?

  4. toxobread Says:

    Em: you sooo have to try making scones! I think the sour cream is to add richness, moisture and give this particular scone its texture. The way I make it, it ends up tasting less crumbly than biscuits but more substantial than cake. I’m not sure you would be able to substitute it for anything (whole milk yogurt?) because I don’t know if you would still get the fluffiness after adding baking soda… I haven’t tried using anything but sour cream so far.

  5. Madam Chow Says:

    You are so funny – I’ve done many a hair-brained thing, too!

    • toxobread Says:

      Madam Chow: …I had no idea what I was thinking at the time! (If I had been thinking clearly at all, that is.) Garlic butter-free cinnamon raisin scones are pretty good though.

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