Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Post # 9: Cranberry Orange Scones

So I went home a couple of weeks ago to hangout with mom and what is the first thing she did when I got home but start baking these scones.  FYI I told her this is all on her...I had done my baking for the week, BUT I would be more than happy yo take pictures.  I have been wanting her to so a guest post and this was the perfect opportunity.

Well my mom id kind of awesome.  We did the whole were aren't going to be close bit when I was in middle school and high school.  I mean she used to scare me because I never wanted to disappoint her or make her mad.  But when I moved away to college we got much closer.  Late in high school we started having "girls" weekends in New York every summer; shopping, seeing shoes and exploring different restaurants.  Then back in 2012 we took a cruise on the Mediterranean for two weeks and managed to not kill each other...this was definitely a social experiment to start with.  

Truthfully I have to seriously thank my mom for all of her support.  She has always encouraged me to follow my heart and go after my dreams, even when it involved following a boy to D.C.  She is the kind of lady that say when I can't make caramels because I don't have a candy thermometer, will just go out and buy one.  The kind of lady that gets my brother to go in with her to buy me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas...even though it is sitting in a box in Greensboro.  If only I had a bigger kitchen to store...someday.  

So, she kind of just rocks and so do these scones.  They were like biscuits, light, tender and fluffy, with tons of cranberries and a bright orange flavor that rounds them out.  You should definitely give them a try if you are like me and love cranberry orange baked goods.  Enjoy!

From my mom:

The Thursday before Lauren was to come home for the long Memorial Day weekend there was a write-up in the Greensboro News and Record about how to make basic scones.  I thought what if I bake something for Lauren instead of the other way around.

First, I had to check my supplies.  I have the cranberries and I soak them in white wine rather than using the kirsch liqueur that is recommended.  I guess I could have squeezed the orange after I grated the rind but what's a little white wine among cranberries.  Checking for flour, wouldn't you know it, I didn't have enough to make even one scone let alone a dozen.  I wanted to surprise her by having them ready when she arrived in Greensboro.  I was about to go to the grocery when Lauren called to ask me to meet her at the Greensboro Farmers Market.  It is "peach-time" in North Carolina and she didn't want to miss buying some to take back to DC.  So, off I go to meet up with her and not to buy the flour.

Well, after the Farmers Market we stop at the grocery, buy the flour and now my surprise is ruined.  What can you do?  Then, I find that my stick margarine is still in the freezer, frozen solid.  Lauren suggests I cut it into small pieces rather than letting it get to room temperature.  OK.   Everything went along just fine.  The dough was light ant soft, the cranberries plump and the orange rind smelling fine.  I'm cutting the scones to place them on the parchment paper when I remember I forgot one ingredient in the dough, sugar.  Again, what can you do?  I baked the scones and prayed that the cranberries and orange pieces would be enough flavoring.

Sure enough, the scones tasted GREAT without the sugar.  Who knew?  There were enough to have some that morning, some to give Lauren to eat on the way home Monday and some to freeze.

The basic scone recipe can be adapted with a variety of flavors even herbs. 

First things first...flour 

(The flour at my mom's house has been stored in this container with this tiny red bowl for as long as I can remember.)

Sometimes it is just easier to get your hands a little dirty...mixing in the cranberries and orange zest.

Then you must flour the board...

...roll out the dough and cut into triangles...(check out all of those yummy cranberries)

Into the oven we go

Basic Scone Recipe:
3 cups flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold buttermilk, milk or cream
2 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoon turbinado or coarse decorating sugar

For Cranberry Orange Scones:
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
zest from one orange
1 cup white moscato wine (or the juice from the orange)

1.  Place cranberries in a bowl and cover with wine.  Allow to soak for 15-20 minutes.

2.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Stir in the buttermilk just until incorporated;  the dough will be crumbly and look dry.  Knead the dough in the bowl a few times to bring the dough together into a single mass.

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a circle roughly 7 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Cut the dough into 8 wedges, and place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

4.  Brush the wedges with the cream and sprinkle over the turbinado sugar.  Bake on the center rack until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove the scones to a rack to cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Currant scones:  Add 1 1/2 cups dried currents.  Consider soaking them in a little fruit juice or liquor (Grand Marnier is wonderful.)

Chocolate chip scones:  Add 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips; Fold in semisweet or bittersweet chips, perhaps with some nuts or a little orange zest.

Ginger scones:  Add 2 T grated ginger to give a nice tang.

Jalapeno-cheddar:  Roast, peel, seed and chop 2 jalapenos (or more), and add them to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.

Chive-Parmesan:  Add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh chives to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup of grated Parmesan.  Form the scones, then sprinkle a little more cheese over right before baking.

Prosciutto-Swiss:  Chop 4 oz. sliced prosciutto and add to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup of grated Swiss cheese.

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