Star Snack


I had promised a friend I would cook for a baby gender reveal picnic she was throwing. These days I get excited for any gathering that gives me a chance to complete a ‘Cookery in Colour’ recipe.

You would think an outdoor buffet for a gender themed party would be right up Marguerite Patten’s alley, but surprisingly, there was little in the book that was appropriate…or that I was comfortable serving publicly.


‘Star Snack,’ aka decorative scones, were the winning dish for their simplicity and potential ability to hold up in the sun. The ingredients list for this dish were also pretty straightforward – flour, butter, ham & a dash of milk, herbs and salt.

I minced the ham in the blender because I was lazy…

The major hiccup in this recipe was when I asked the deli lady for 4 oz of ham (as per the recipe) and she aggressively told me that was a measurement for fluids. I then googled the conversion and held it up to her face so she could see. Take that!

This was easy to make, but I may have over-kneaded the dough.

The most annoying thing about this recipe was the decorating. I decided to do this the morning of the picnic, while also trying to do a million other things. Squeezing cream cheese through a piping bag and adding decorative parsley and tomato seemed like a very unnecessary waste of time for some scones.


The final product looked suspiciously ‘festive’ with all the bright red, white and green…. looking back at the original photo, I did spy some tinsel and mini-trees! Turns out this is actually a Christmas recipe they’ve tried to pass off as a ‘Television Snack.’

The final product looks suspiciously christmassy in full colour!

People seemed to like the scones, although I only thought they were OK. The recipe said “knead quickly,” but I may have taken this step to far, as I was informed the final product was a bit chewy by a friend who shall remain nameless.

And as for the outcome of the party itself?

It was a boy!


934 Star Snack

1960 photo from Cookery in Colour


  • 12 oz. self-raising flour
  • ¼ level teaspoon salt
  • milk and or water to mix
  • 1 ½ butter or margarine
  • 4oz finely minced lean ham
  • ½ level teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 tomato
  • parsley sprigs
  • stuffed olives


  1. Sift flour and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter, add ham and herbs and mix to a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add liquid as needed.
  2. Turn out on to a floured board and knead briefly.
  3. Roll out into a large round, just over ½ an inch in thickness.
  4. Cut into 6 even sized triangles, put on to a greased baking tray.
  5. Bake in a hot oven 450°F, for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire tray.
  6. When cold, split scones in two, then sandwich together with a thick layer of piped cream cheese.
  7. Garnish with tomato and parsley sprigs then transfer to a serving dish, arranging the scones so that they resemble a six pointed star.

Recipe adapted from Cookery in Colour (1960)

See the original 1960 recipe