Cranberry Orange Scones

Jun 6th

OK, so scones are the best. In college I used to end almost every day with a cinnamon chip scone and a chai latte (and then I gained ten pounds).

They aren’t necessarily an every day food as they aren’t FANTASTIC for you, but they are perfect for a treat and applicable in every season. They work with dried fruit, fresh fruit, spices, or nuts.

The one annoying caveat of scones is that they really should be eaten within an hour of baking. They just don’t keep that well. I found a GREAT way to combat this.

Last Wednesday I had time, I had oranges, and I had heavy cream in the fridge. I knew friends were coming over Sunday and I wanted to have something baking. I worked ahead! I made the scones and froze them, and come Sunday morning I didn’t even have to dirty a bowl. They baked beautifully from frozen and my friends enjoyed warm scones… just as they should be.

These scones are ethereally light and sweet. I’m a fan.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 c. all purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt

5 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼ in. cubes

1 ½ tsp. orange zest

¾  c. dried cranberries

1 c. heavy cream

1.       Heat oven to 425 degrees (if baking them immediately).

2.       Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and whisk to blend.

3.       Zest orange, being careful to avoid the pith. The zest is the OUTSIDE portion. If you see white, you’ve gone too far and grated the “pith”, which is the white part inside that tastes bitter and nasty.

See this is how far you should go… light orange but not white.

And here is the butter… an easy way to get those cubes:

4.       Add butter and zest to dry ingredients and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. If you don’t have a pastry blender use two knives.

5. Stir in cranberries.

6.       Stir in the cream with a rubber spatula until a dough forms.

7.       Transfer dough to lightly floured counter-top and knead briefly to form a cohesive dough (5 to 10 seconds, max).

8.       Form a round with the dough, about 10 inches in diameter, 2-3 inches high.

9.       Cut into 8 wedges.

10.       At this point, if planning to bake later, freeze individually on a greased cookie sheet, then place in a ziplock freezer bag once completely frozen (after about 1 hour).

The scones below are in the a freezer bag, NOT under water.

11.   If you want to bake immediately, place wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with milk, half and half or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. If baking from frozen, place directly onto cookie sheet from freezer bag, and brush top with milk/cream and sugar like you normally would.

12.   Bake 12 to 15 minutes. If baking from frozen, bake time will be at least 15 minutes. Bake until lightly browned.

Serve with butter and tea/coffee! Enjoy!

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