Scones

Is it really Monday again already?  I don’t know about you guys, but this weekend flew by so quickly for me.  You may have heard, frigid weather invaded the northeast (-15 to -25 F with the wind chill last night – eek!) so I spent a whole lot of time on the internet researching vacation ideas.  Shane and I have been talking about a vacation for nearly 6 months so *hopefully* we’ll make a decision soon.  A week on the beach with warm, sunny weather and a fruity drink sounds seriously appealing right now.  The rest of my weekend was spent in the kitchen (sports on the tv in the background of course, side note – the Australian Open is wreaking havoc on my sleep schedule with its 2 am matches but I can’t help myself).  I was super productive, whipping up a good mix of sweet and savory items.  Among other things, I made these cranberry orange scones using a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa after realizing it’s been way too long since I baked scones.   

Scones

I quartered Ina’s recipe because I didn’t have anyone to share these with, and they’re pretty rich with 3 sticks of butter and 4 eggs in a full batch.  My mini batch yielded 4 reasonably-sized scones – perfect!  I made the dough late one night and cut the scones, then froze them and baked them fresh the next morning.  In my sleepy state I forgot the egg wash so they’re a little pale in color, but they baked up beautifully otherwise and were really delicious regardless.  Texturally, they’re light and fluffy, and despite the richness, they’re actually not very sweet.  The addition of the glaze – a combination of confectioners’ sugar and freshly squeezed orange juice – provided the extra touch of sweetness I needed.  The combination of cranberries and orange is a good one, though I think you could easily substitute whatever dried fruit you happen to have on hand. 

Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones
from Ina Garten (via FoodNetwork.com)

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 sticks (24 tablespoons) 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
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 4 cups of the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest until combined.  Add the butter and mix on low until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas.  In a measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the egg/cream mixture to the dough, beating just until incorporated.  Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour in a small bowl, then add to the mixer and beat on low speed just until distributed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball.  Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it is 3/4-inch thick, turning the dough as you roll so you ensure it doesn’t stick.  Flour a 3-inch round cutter and cut circles of dough.  (Or, roll the dough into a square and use a knife to cut into square-shaped scones).  Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet.  If necessary, collect the scraps, reroll them and cut more scones.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops have browned and are firm to the touch.  Transfer the scones to a wire rack and let them cool for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice together to make the glaze.  Drizzle over the scones.

Makes about 16 scones