Cranberry-Orange scones.

I really couldn’t think of a clever title for this, so I figured I’d just be straight about it. I am not a cranberry fan, but I had a million beautiful oranges sitting in a bowl looking bored, and I’m celebrating two Thanksgivings this year.. meaning I was in need of many baked goods. So what else was I supposed to do!? I’ve been promising this recipe since I saw Ina Garten make it ages ago and its finally the season for this sort of thing so of course I made it.

Where does one get dried cranberries? In the fresh (or organic) fruit/nut section of the supermarket, in a little plastic container. Right near the dried figs and trail mixes and that kinda stuff. Easy peasy. If you really can’t find them, you can cheat and “dry” your own, using fresh or frozen by using the following method: First wash and then plunge them into boiling water for 15-30 seconds, just until the skin ‘pops.’ Stop the cooking action by placing berries in ice water. Drain on paper towels. Turn on the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F. Then place the cranberries on a cookie sheet in the oven, turn off the oven, and let them sit overnight or until sticky and no longer wet. Once dry, they can be kept at refrigerator temperatures for 18 to 24 months or in a freezer for 5 to 8 years. However I’d recommend sprinkling them with a bit of sugar before putting them in the oven. Most dried cranberries have a bit of sugar in them because of the natural tartness of the berry. That said- I will say that you’ll probably be happier with the flavor and texture buying dried and using those.

I will tell you this: since I do not like cranberries, I have not eaten any.  They smell fantastic, and I am assured they are wonderful by very picky and spoiled people who only like the best baked goods and are highly opinionated. I prefer chocolate chip scones myself.

CRANBERRY-ORANGE SCONES

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plus ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • ¾ pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, ¼ cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and ¼cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.
  3. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough ¾-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.
  4. Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

Yeah, I know, the ¾ pound of butter kills me. Ina Garten loves her butter. But then again, thats what makes scones scones! You could easily cut this recipe in half as well, depending on how many people you’re making it for. As far as the fresh squeezed juice, just use the orange that you got the zest from. Don’t use OJ from a carton, please. I mean, you could do that in theory -but why!?!

And I abso-friggin’-lutely promise that soon there will be a cupcake recipe. Or at least some cupcake porn 😉

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