Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sweet Potato-Cranberry Orange Scones

There are all of these quotes about change out there…and recently it feels like I need a calendar with one each day as a friendly reminder.  Like today's could be…”The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”  And then tomorrows’ could be, “It’s amazing how drastically your life can change when you stop accepting s*** you hate.” Or “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.”

You see the thing is recently (well almost three months ago now...I am a bit behind) I made what feels like one of the hardest decisions I have ever made that was a BIG change.  After 9 years, at the same company, working with some of my closest friends, and with great colleagues, I decided to move on.  I decided to fully jump into life in Richmond with my husband and puppy, and take a new job that would allow me to actually be home more often.  The thing about it is that I don’t always love change in general.  I know, I know change is good; it is what challenges us, and helps us grow…but still it can be F*ing hard.  So, I am trying to jump feet first into my new roll.  To push back the tears that come when I miss my old team and work friends, and get excited about finally living in Richmond after 8 months of “living” here.  So cheers to new adventures, and more treats with new co-workers. 

This little lady is thoroughly enjoying her new home in Richmond.

One of the first things I made for my new co-workers were these sweet potato cranberry orange scones.  They are so delicious, light and jam packed with flavor.  One of my new colleagues even said they were the best scones she has ever had.  If you like cranberry orange, they are definitely worth a try.  You could also make them with canned pumpkin if you have it on hand instead of sweet potato.  Either way, give them a try as they will not disappoint.

Adding the cranberries to the dry ingredients.

Wet ingredient folded into the dry.

Roll and cut.

Brushed with egg whites and topped with brown sugar.  Then into the oven!

Sweet Potato-Cranberry Orange Scones: (recipe adapted from Southern Living Dec. 2017 Issue)
3 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced (I like to stick it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes after it is diced.)
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons maple extract
1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato (from 1 [8 oz] potato), at room temperature
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup light brown sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, and using a pastry blender or your fingers, blend butter quickly into the flour, until butter is pea sized.

3.  Add egg yolks, and stir until combined.  Then fold in the halved cranberries.

4.  Whisk together heavy cream, sweet potato and orange zest in a separate bowl until well combined.  Gradually add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir gently (I like to use a spatula for this.) just until dough holds and isn't crumbling.  (Add additional milk or flour if dough is too dry or too wet.)

5.  Transfer dough to large cutting board that has been lightly floured.  Form dough into a square and roll out until it is about 1 inch think.  Cut scones into desired shape/size.  Place on prepared baking sheet.

6.  Beat the egg whites just until foamy.  Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the egg whites, and then sprinkle the tops with brown sugar.

7.  Bake in the preheated oven for  22 to 24 minutes, until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.  Best served on the day they are baked, but can be stored in an air tight container for a few days.  Enjoy!

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