Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Hello everyone! I've been away from Krista's Kitchen for a few days. My mom and my husband's mom are visiting. We've had a lovely time together. Monday night we attended my daughter's school Christmas program and last night I took "the moms" to see Wicked. We also hit the stores for some shopping, got pictures with Santa, train rides, and in the very few quiet moments of down time we thoroughly enjoyed these scones over cups of coffee and tea.
While this scone recipe is one of my tried-and-true favorites, the first time that I set out to make scones, I was a bit intimidated. Scones. They sounded a bit intimidating. Fancy, even. The name conjured images of formal teas with crumpets and fine ladies in white gloves. I'd only had them at Panera and it was love at first bite. Even as a young woman, fresh out of college, I knew that I wanted to make them in my very own kitchen. And so I did...right there in my tiny studio apartment kitchen.
After baking scones for the first time, I realized that they're really no more difficult to make than biscuits. A few more ingredients, but really, no more effort. I'm not sure where I came across this recipe, but I love the marriage of the orange flavor with the tart cranberries. These really capture the flavors of the holidays, they look so festive, and best of all, they are oh-so-tasty with my morning coffee.(Chugged in my pj's in a desperate attempt to wake up, rather than sipped in white gloves and tea length dresses.)
Here's what you need: Flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and soda, salt, orange peel, an egg, orange juice, cream, and cranberries.
Begin by stirring the dry ingredients together and then cutting in 1/3 cup of butter.
In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream, and egg.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir to make a soft dough.
This recipe, which I copied down by hand some time ago (before I began blogging about my kitchen adventures and therefore did not feel the need to cite the source) recommends that I knead the dough 6-8 times on a floured surface. I must have adapted it since I first began making these scones, because now I flour my hands and I knead the dough in a bowl until I can form it into a neat little ball. Hey, no mess on my countertops!
Now pat the dough into an 8-inch circle. You can "eye-ball" it like I usually do or use a ruler. If you're really lucky, you have one of those pastry mats with the measurements already on them. I like to do this on a floured piece of waxed paper, so that I don't have to scrub flour off of my countertops.
Now cut the circle into 8-10 wedges.
Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and then brush with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Decorative white sugar crystals would be ideal here...unfortunately, I didn't have any. I just sprinkled granulated sugar on top. Maybe next time...
I bake mine at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Cool em' on a rack.
Then glaze em'. I mixed OJ and powdered sugar to make a glaze. An eggnog glaze might be fun here too...
These make an excellent gift for your friends and neighbors. Just line a box or tin with a holiday tea towel and fill it up with these yummy, festive, fragrant scones. For an extra special touch, add a tub of orange marmalade butter (recipe below).
Or just keep em' for yourself...maybe invite a friend over for coffee. Take a break from the hustle and bustle.
Cranberry Orange Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon milk
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine cranberries, orange juice, cream, and egg. Add to flour mixture. Stir to make a soft dough. Knead 6-8 times on a floured surface (or in the bowl). Pat into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8-10 wedges. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Glaze and serve with orange butter.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 cup softened butter
2-3 tablespoons orange marmalade