Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cranberry Scones with Orange Almond Glaze

Scones sound very British and frankly, very boring. We've all had the doughy, dry things with no flavor that are passed off as scones. I suppose those are specifically designed to be doused with jam and clotted cream (which I've yet to try) but I was seeking something that could stand on its own delicious flavor and texture.

So what inspired this baking session? I woke up early on a Saturday morning, Andrew was still dead to the world in bed, and I happen to see this recipe for Grapefruit Honey Yogurt scones in my Google reader. It instantly made me want to make scones, and once I mourned the fact that I didn't have any grapefruit on hand, I set out to make the best batch based on what I did have. I had an ulterior motive as well, I wanted to make scones good enough to tempt Andrew into eating one, since he had once told me that he didn't like scones.

Thanks to a Costco-sized bag of Craisins I have on hand, I decided on cranberry scones with an orange glaze.

Martha Stewart's recipe for Cranberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) half-and-half (I used heavy cream)
1/2 cup halved cranberries, drained on paper towels (1 cup of Craisins for me, but I would recommend 3/4 cup for the perfect ratio of berries to dough)
I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  (By the way, the knives method never works for me. I ended up sticking my hands into the flour and breaking up the butter myself with my fingers. It never fails to work.) Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.

2.On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round.

Cut into 8 wedges (I was ridiculously proud of how symmetrical my wedges turned out);

Place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Let me tell you, these smelled amazing baking and I knew instantly that they were going to come out great! Andrew apparently agreed, he followed his nose out of bed and downstairs to the kitchen.  I could hear him stirring around in the bedroom , so I quickly grabbed a fresh-out-of-oven scone, topped it with orange almond glaze, and stood at the bottom of the stairs like a Stepford wife, holding out the plate to him.  Talk about a great start to the morning!

Because of my addition of vanilla and the cinnamon, the scones had a slightly sweet and distinct flavor all on their own that I really enjoyed, and I felt with the glaze on top, it was too sweet. However, Andrew liked both together, so I'll give you the recipe for the glaze but recommend leaving out the vanilla in the scone batter if you use it.

Orange Almond Glaze (I added the almond flavoring because I thought it needed a little flavor boost)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Mix ingredients together to form glaze, spoon over scones and enjoy each and every bite:

As mentioned above, I enjoyed mine sans glaze with a cup of tea - heavenly!
This is the perfect recipe to treat yourself to on an overcast or rainy morning, or a nice breakfast treat on an occasion like Mother's Day.


Ms. Camille said...

Note "bookworm" coffee mug...:)

bcallegra said...

I knew that you would notice that - thanks for the very appropriate mug!