Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cranberry Orange Scones

MERRY CHRISTMAS (a couple days late)! I keep promising more posts... and I keep coming up with excuses for not posting more. I promise I've got a stack of recipes to post. Life just keeps getting in the way.

Like most of the midwest, we definately had a WHITE Christmas. My husband and I left for our parents (Yes, plural. We're from the same home town) last week on Tuesday evening rather than Christmas Eve morning as planned to beat the snow. We didn't really want to be stuck in our apartment with just our animals on Christmas Day. We never actually got too much snow over Christmas at our parents' houses, but there was definately some snow waiting for us back at home. Sixteen inches... good thing the apartment company has to scoop the walks :-) I should count my blessings because they were saying that a couple places in South Dakota had 38 inches of snow!! I can't even imagine that much!

Anyway,  back to the scones. I say this about a lot of my recipes, but these were good. Good enough that my dad actually had one of those pause moments after you take a bite of something really good. I actually made these for Thanksgiving. My husband, parents, and myself were staying in a hotel for the weekend, and I wanted to make sure we would have some breakfast. Turns out there was a continental breakfast anyway, but the scones were better :-)

I had never made scones before. I found this recipe here on The Way the Cookie Crumbles. I had some fresh cranberries to use up, and it sounded like they'd transport and keep well for a couple mornings of breakfast. The dough was really easy to handle. Even when you forget to add the flour until just before adding the cranberries... I kept wondering why the dough was so wet... Duh! This one definately falls under operator error. Luckily, it didn't seem to affect the end result, so crisis averted!

The recipe gives a couple of ways to cut the dough. I chose to do the traditional "triangles" because that is the only way I have ever seen scones presented. Nevertheless, be prepared. My 8 wedges made huge scones! We ended up spitting them as they were almost too much for one person. Next time, I may divide the dough and make it into 2 circles to cut. I'd rather have two smalls scones than 1 so large I can't eat it all!

Despite the size, they really are good. If you aren't sick of cranberries yet, squeeze these babies in before the holiday season completely wraps up. You won't regret it!

Cranberry Orange Scones
Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

1-1/2 Tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour (12 ounces)
1/2 c. sugar (3.5 ounces) plus 3 Tablespoons
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
1-1/2 c. fresh cranberries, chopped coarsely
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 c. heavy cream

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

In a small bowl, toss together fresh cranberries and 3 Tablespoons of sugar. In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg and yolk, then stir in cream.

In a food processor (or with your hands), combine the flour, 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest until combined. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir the cranberreis into the flour mixutre. Then gently fold the egg mixture into the flour until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands, pat the dough into a 1-inch thick round (or two rounds if you want smaller scones). Cut into wedges using a pizza cutter. Arrange the scones about 1-inch apart on a prepared baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes or until pale golden. Cool about 10 minutes and serve warm if desired. Will keep for several days.

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