Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cranberry-Orange Scones

We were having a breakfast potluck at work, and I originally planned to bring my mom's cheesy hash browns recipe. I went to sign up, only to find someone else was already bringing a hash brown casserole. Oh well, just another excuse to bake something new!
I have been on a HUGE cranberry-orange kick lately. The two flavors were made for each other. I decided to make some scones - something I have never made before. I settled on this recipe which I found on Smitten Kitchen, but substituted orange for the lemon the recipe called for, and added a glaze. I thought they turned out great, and they were a huge hit!

Cranberry-Orange Scones
adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Gourmet
yields 8-10 scones

For the scones:
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest (from about 1 large orange)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 c. fresh cranberries, chopped coarse
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 c. heavy cream

For the glaze:
1 c. confectioners sugar
dash nutmeg
2 Tbsp. orange juice (fresh from the orange you zested is best)

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Zest the orange, reserving the fruit for another use (like the glaze!).

In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl toss together fresh cranberries and 3 tablespoons sugar and stir into flour mixture.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out as many rounds as possible, re-rolling scraps as necessary. Try to avoid over-working the dough; handle it as little as possible so the scones don't become tough. Alternatively, you can pat into one large 7-8" round.

Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden. If making a large round, bake 20-25 minutes and slice into wedges when cool.

While the scones are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar, nutmeg and orange juice. Let the scones cool slightly, and drizzle with the glaze. Allow glaze to set before serving.

Note: These scones don't keep long, maybe a day or two in the fridge. If you won't be eating them immediately, you can freeze the dough! Work to the point where you have each biscuit cut out, and flash freeze the rounds by placing them spread out on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then transfer to a Ziploc bag, and keep in the freezer up to 1 month. You can bake directly from the freezer, but you may need to add 3-5 minutes to the baking time (the best time is to watch them closely for browning).

The dough was very sticky for me, so I decided to just pat it into a large round and bake that way. I was a little worried because I didn't think the dough had turned out, but they tasted delicious! I didn't have any leftovers to bring home, which makes them a hit in my book!

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