"I have only one question", Matthew said gently, drawing her immediate attention. "What is that heavenly odor?"

Patience smiled and pushed back her curl. "Lemon cream scones."

Matthew stared at her and his heart wavered. There was something new in her eyes. A tender susceptibility, perhaps. Yes. It was tentative and fragile, like the glimmer of light that halos a barely opened door. But it was there. He swallowed. "Scones?"


Patience's Lemon Cream Scones:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots (about 41/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (finely chopped)
1  1/4 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Stir in apricots and 1 tablespoon lemon peel. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into 10-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into 12 wedges.

Transfer wedges to large baking sheet, spacing evenly. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl. Brush scones with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake scones until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.) Serve scones warm or at room temperature.



"I kept some hot chocolate on the grate for you," she said quietly.

Mark paused and something trembled deep inside him..."I would love a cup of hot chocolate."

MARK'S COCOA ~ 4 Servings

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream, divided
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup white (clear) crème de menthe

Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream in medium bowl until cream holds peaks. Cover and refrigerate.

Whisk cocoa powder, sugar, 1/2 cup water, vanilla, and salt in heavy large saucepan over low heat until smooth. Bring milk and remaining 1 cup cream to low boil in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into chocolate mixture. Stir in crème de menthe.

Divide hot cocoa among four mugs. Top each mug with whipped cream.

If you like, you can crush 8 hard red-and-white-striped peppermint candies and fold these into the whip cream which you to garnish the cocoa with. It looks pretty and festive for the holidays. A mint leaf works nicely, too.

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Photo by Lee Isbell of Studio 16. Site by Glass Slipper WebDesign.
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