Home. It’s my favorite place to be. When I’m having a bad day, all I can think about is being home, sitting on the couch with a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate, watching the fire, and letting my problems melt away. When I’m out shopping, I think about the pillows, curtains, and accessories that would be perfect in my home. And when I think about home, I think about my husband and baby boy, and there’s no place I’d rather be. On Saturday mornings, I like to make a nice, big breakfast. It’s the only morning where the family isn’t rushed or hurried. I love the smell of french toast, waffles, and scones on these leisurely days. These scones are one of my favorite things to make in the winter, because they remind me of spring. Something about that orange scent and cranberry goodness. They aren’t that hard to make;, you just have to get over your fear of getting dirty. Yes, you need to gently, and quickly, work with the dough, which means you’ll be in the nitty-gritty of it all. To make these Cranberry Orange Scones, you will need the following:
Take out one stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter and cut it into tablespoon-size cubes.
Then put them in a bowl and return it to the fridge until you are ready to work with it again. This way, your butter doesn’t soften. Scones are a bit particular. Warm butter is not their friend.
Turn it on and let it do its magic.
It should be fine, like flour when you’re done. (Probably a little finer than mine. I could have run the processor a bit longer.)
Add the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, chilled butter, and orange zest and pulse a couple of times to incorporate.
You want the butter to get mixed in and be small, pea-like chunks. Be careful not to pulse too much.
In a separate bowl, add the egg and heavy cream and whisk.
Add the dried cranberries and whisk again.
Take the dry mixture and fold it in the wet mixture. Make sure you fold just enough for the dough to come together. If you over-mix it, the dough will be very tough and dry.
Once it’s mostly incorporated, turn the dough on a lightly floured surface. I like to use my plastic cutting board, because it’s easy clean-up. (And since I have to clean up my messes, I’m all about that!)
As best you can, fold and then gently press into a round disc. Mine ended up being a bit of an oval, but for me, that’s the best I can do. (Circles are hard!)
Look at those beautiful chunks of butter and flakes of orange.
Then you will cut the circle (or oval, in my case) into 6 or 8 slices, depending how big or small you want the scones. It’s easy to cut the dough if you cut it like you would a pizza, but use a large chef’s knife. Just rock it back and forth to gently cut into the cranberries. Place each scone on a cookie sheet. I like to put wax or parchment paper on the cookie sheet. It’s easy to take off the sheet when they’re done baking and cleaning the cookie sheet is breeze.
Brush the scones with leftover heavy cream and sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden brown, in a 350 degree oven. Since scones last only a couple of days, I put most of them in a freezer bag and then freeze them. If you do this, take out the scones the night before you want to eat them, to let them thaw out, and then put the scones in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Orange Scented Scones
adapted from Melissa Murphy, podcastgo.com
2/3 cup whole oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cold
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
zest of one orange
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the butter into tablespoon sizes and place in a bowl. Return to the fridge until ready to use again. (It’s best to keep the butter nice and cold.)
Put the oats in the food processor, and blend until there are no chunks. You will probably need to blend for a good minute. Pour the flour, blended oats, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, and orange zest into the food processor and pulse a couple of times until the butter is coated and pea-size.
With a whisk, mix the egg and heavy cream. Then add the dried cranberries. Gently pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold until the dough has just come together. (You will have some of the dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl–this is okay.)
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until all is incorporated. Shape the dough into a disc about 1-inch thick and cut the disc into 6 or 8 scones, depending how large or small you want each scone.
Place on a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper over and brush the scones with a little cream. Sprinkle coarse sugar on the top of each scone and bake for about 30 minutes. (Check it at 25 minutes and see if it’s golden brown.) Remove from cookie sheet to let fully cool on a wire rack.