As the song goes, “Christmas is the time to say I love you”.
I’ve got a few different love languages, but as you can probably imagine, my primary one is through cooking and baking. I don’t do either for just anybody.
I don’t love just anybody. If I’m feeding you, I care about you. I like you a lot. You’re my peoples. (That or I’ve got an overabundance of food I want to get rid of. Or you’re paying me to do so; my ‘love’s’ for sale in that respect.)
If I’m fluent in the love language of baking, then I’d say it’s a fluency in the ‘dialect’ of coffee shop pastries. There’s just always been something about the goodies in the big display cases of coffee shops that makes me excited. Cinnamon rolls. Banana bread. Muffins. Donuts. Bagels. Coffee Cake. Cookies.
C’mon, how can all that buttery, sugary goodness NOT scream ‘I love you’ when you’re hungry and salivating?
I’m convinced that there’s nobody who won’t feel loved if you feed them a scone. A good one anyway. I’ve heard some people say that they don’t care for/hate scones and immediately I know that they’ve just never had one that was made right. Made with love.
I feel sorry for them–because everyone deserves one of those.
More specifically…one of these.
I had some leftover cranberries chilling in my refrigerator and I didn’t want them to go to waste. I figured that cranberries were a nice ingredient to complement both the Christmas season and the theme of the series we’re in.
I also just felt like making scones; it’s been a while since I have, about a year and a half I think, and as far as I’m concerned that’s just far too long to go without.
Making a good scone is very similar to making a good biscuit; how you treat the butter and handle the dough is going to determine the success or failure of just about the entire result. So, a couple things:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once more: freezing your butter ahead of time is the best decision you can make. The colder the butter is, the more flaky the scone will be. Having said that, I’ve found that the best way to ‘cut’ it into the dough is to use the large holes on a box grater. The pieces will be just the right size and they’ll distribute far more evenly into the flour that way than they would if you just cut the stick of butter into cubes with a knife.
I’m wary of using cups or biscuit cutters to cut my scones (and biscuits). Supposedly so long as you don’t twist when you press down, it doesn’t affect the layering, but I’ve never found that to be the case. For some reason, it always hinders the rise for me. So, I always just default to using my bench scraper to cut the dough into squares or wedges. Works every time.
Finally, just before I bake I will always let my cut scones (and biscuits) chill out in the freezer for about 20 minutes. I can’t remember where I read it or the scientific explanation, but this also helps the finished product expand and rise higher. So don’t skip that step if you can help it.
Following all of the above tips will get yo these: and don’t they just look delectable? Buttery, flakey dough with plentyof layers. Sweet and tart fruit throughout. Crunchy sugary goodness sprinkled on top. The Christmas “I love you.” that you’ve been craving all year.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 small orange or clementine, zested
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup milk
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, optional
Heat the oven to 350°F and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment or lightly spraying with spray oil.
In the bowl of a food processor, whiz the cranberries with the brown sugar and orange zest until lightly chopped. Remove to a separate large bowl. Back in the food processor, whiz the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and pulse with the flour in the processor just until roughly crumbled.
Mix the flour and butter mixture with the cranberries in their bowl. Add the milk and stir just until the dough comes together; it’s fine if there is still crumbly flour.
Sprinkle the countertop or a board with flour, and dump the dough out on it. Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter or glass, or pat into a thick circle and cut into wedges.
Sprinkle the scone tops with the turbinado sugar. Freeze for 25 minutes.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just golden. Serve warm.