Cranberry is another fall flavor I just love. It’s a rare occasion that I can find a way to work cranberries into breakfast, but the Cranberry-Orange Scones recipe from the November 2005 issue of Everyday Food lets me do just that.
I started by stirring together some flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl. I used a pastry blender to cut 5 tablespoons of butter (already cut into small pieces) into the flour mixture, though you can just use two knives if you don’t have a pastry blender. Once the mixture resembled coarse meal (i.e. no large chunks of butter remained), I stirred in some dried cranberries.
Next, I made a well in the center of the cranberry/flour mixture and then poured in some buttermilk. (Making a well just means pushing the dry ingredients toward the edges of the bowl to make a cup-like indention in the middle.) I stirred everything together until it was just combined.
Here’s where things get interesting. I’ve made these scones two other times in the past two years. The instructions say to transfer to dough to a floured surface, shape it into an 8-inch round, transfer that round to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then cut the dough into 8 wedges spaced 1/2 inch apart. If only this were possible. The dough is simply too sticky.
I actually attempted the process the first time I made this recipe, and I just about lost it. The second time, I decided it wasn’t worth the frustration and that my scones would still be beautiful if they weren’t perfect little wedges. Instead, I just divided the dough into 8 portions (handfuls, essentially) and spaced them out on my parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
This doesn’t make the dough any less sticky and your hands will still be coated when you’re done dividing it, but at least you’ll still have your sanity.
The recipe says to bake them at 400 F for 18 – 20 minutes; I actually took mine out at 17. I let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before serving them. I took a tip from a poster on the Everyday Food Web site and whipped up some glaze with powdered sugar and orange juice. It really added to the flavor of the scones.
These scones are paradise on a plate, seriously. They have the *slightest* crispiness on the outside, and they’re moist, fall-apart perfection on the inside. I would absolutely make these for company. I also really appreciate that this is a one-bowl recipe. Dirty dishes are kept to a minimum.
TIPS: I rotated my baking sheet front to back after 9 minutes of baking time. Just like the Jumbo Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe, this helps the scones bake and brown evenly.
If you decide to make the glaze, I’d recommend starting with about 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of orange juice (fresh from the orange you zested in the beginning of the recipe or pre-made – it really doesn’t matter), and whisk things together with a fork. Keep adding orange juice by the 1/2 tablespoon until you reach a drizzling consistency.
Recipe link: Cranberry-Orange Scones