Thanksgiving flew by and now Christmas is almost here. I have been piled under a mountain of essays these past few weeks and have just now emerged. Yeah to Christmas Break almost being here! And speaking of Christmas, one tradition that I had growing up was my mom making cinnamon rolls Christmas morning. In elementary and middle school, I was up before the rolls were done, but once I hit high school, it was the smell of the rolls from the oven that awoke me. (You can read about these cinnamon rolls here .) Now that I have children of my own, I am thinking about what traditions I want to continue, and a large breakfast spread is on the top of my list!
I had some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving that I wasn’t sure what to do with. And believe it or not, I have never worked with fresh cranberries before. Wow, what a difference is fresh versus dried! I didn’t realize how naturally sweet fresh cranberries are! I’m not sure I’ll ever go back. Dried, schmied…well, maybe in a salad.
Anyway, these scones are so delicious, and like many scones, taste best right out of the oven. If you’ve never made scones, please don’t be intimidated by them; they are really very easy to make. And since they are round scones, you don’t have to worry about every wedge being perfect, as the cutter does all the work for you.
I made these scones before heading out to pick out the perfect Christmas tree (Eric’s family’s tradition). I’m lucky to live in Oregon where 20 minutes from my house I can be on a Christmas tree farm. There, I pick out the perfect tree, chop it down, and bring it home. (However, this year, the day we went was so cold that we found our tree in record time–10 minutes! Albeit our tree is 13 feet tall, but that’s okay.)
So whatever your Christmas traditions are, old or new, I hope they involve food and family. Enjoy! xoxo
makes 16-18 round scones
2 c flour
1 c rolled oats
1 T baking powder
½ t baking soda
1 t salt
½ c packed brown sugar
8 T unsalted cold butter, cut into chunks
1 ½ c fresh cranberries, cut in half
1 ½ c pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1 c buttermilk
½ t vanilla
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Place wax or parchment paper on two cookie sheets; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until the butter resembles cornmeal. Gently mix in the cranberries and pecans.
Using a spatula or large wooden spoon, add the buttermilk and vanilla, gently folding the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. When the buttermilk has been evenly distributed, after about 20 seconds, dump mixture onto floured surface. (You may have some crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, and that’s okay. Just add that to the top of the dough.)
Gently knead the dough, getting it to form a round ball, just until it comes together. (You don’t want to knead it too much. And if it’s too sticky, add a little bit of flour.) Flatten the round a bit to make it between 1-inch to 1 ½-inches thick. Using a round pastry cutter, gently press down into the dough and then place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Rework the dough into a round ball, and again use the round pastry cutter, cutting out the scones. Repeat until all dough has been used. Have 9 round scones per sheet and the place in the oven.
Turn down to 450 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check at 12 minutes; the edges should be a light golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.
As always for baking, use high quality ingredients. I can’t stress enough how much better these scones will be with quality butter and real vanilla extract. You can substitute 1 cup dried cranberries for the fresh, but they taste so much better with fresh cranberries.