Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cranberry Orange Scones

I don’t think I ever seem scones until I was an undergrad at Urbana-Champaign. I honestly don't recall ever having seen scones in Brazil. However, upon stumbling across these delectable treats, I came to really enjoy them. My first encounter with these lovely sweet treats was at a cafe near where my children began attending a preschool co-op in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Nearby there was a coffee shop that sold delicious orange and cranberry scones which soon became my breakfast of choice accompanied by a latte.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my kids were not at the co-op for long and I soon found myself lonesome for my morning treat. I missed my scones dearly and tried different recipes until I found this America’s Test Kitchen recipe. What I most love about this recipe is that the scones turn out light and somewhat moist - they are not only good the day they’ve been baked but also great the next. The coffee shop scone I used to buy had a glaze on top; I don’t do that to mine as I don’t see the need for the extra sugar, but you could certainly drizzle on top of yours a mixture of confectioners' sugar and orange juice. These scones are also a favorite of Jill, our editor-at-large who’s been insisting that I post this recipe.

Cranberry Orange Scones
The America's Test Kitchen

(Print this Recipe)

2 cups all-purpose flour (I only use unbleached but I am sure either one is fine)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
½ Tbsp grated orange zest
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times until combined. (If you don’t have a food processor just place the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until combined)

Distribute butter and orange zest over the mixture and pulse in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 to 12 pulses. Add cranberries and pulse one more time then transfer dough to large bowl. (By hand, add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Then mix in dried cranberries.)

Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly until it forms a rough, slightly sticky ball (5 to 10 seconds). Form dough into 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or ungreased baking sheet). Bake until tops of scones are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

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