Dried Cranberry Scones

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Soso and I love the scones from a local Breadsmith, but we rarely have time to stop by these days. She’s mentioned several times how she misses having scones for breakfast so . . . What’s a mother to do? This is one of the many aspects of parenting you only come to realize as you parent. The desire to tackle new things such as baking scones from scratch.

One of my friends recently mentioned how I’m such a good baker and I laughed.  I’m so NOT a good baker.  Let me tell you what happened the other day when I tried to make spritz cookies… Wait, I’ll have that for another post. Anyway, I do some baking but I still consider myself a novice baker and I have a mental hang up about baking where anything new, any unknown process and technique is involved.  Sometimes, I’m so intimidated that I don’t even try.  Say for example, baking breads because of the yeast factor.

Fortunately scones do not require yeast; otherwise, I would never have tried it. I found a simple, basic scone recipe on King Arthur’s site.  Mix in your choice of add-ins, dried cranberries, currents, raisins, blueberries, nuts, and ta-da!  You have dried cranberry/blueberry/etc scones.  I chose dried cranberries because I always have a Costco sized bag of Craisins at home and I love the slightly tart taste.

If you’ve never made scones before, you may want to read some of the modifications I’ve made to the original directions below.  I found a few steps not intuitive.  For example, I had no idea how to “incorporate butter” into the flour mixture. I found this site that explains several methods.  I used the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and it worked out great.

Also, I placed the divided dough onto wax paper first to shape and slice into wedges, placed the whole thing into a pie pan before throwing into the freezer.  I have a side-by-side freezer and a baking sheet does not fit well at all.

I chose not to add the sugar toppings because same as muffin toppings, I wasn’t sure how well it would do from being frozen and defrosted.

Dried Cranberry Scones

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 25 mins
Serves: 12 scones

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (use more for sweeter scones)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups dried cranberry or add-ins of your choice
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk*

Optional topping
2 teaspoon of half and half or milk
2 tablespoon of sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar

*According to King Arthur’s website, use less half and half or milk during humid season and more during dry season

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Incorporate butter into the flour mixture using your preferred method until just crumbly. I used the paddle attachment on a stand mixer. Stir in the dried cranberry.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.

Divide the dough in half and place on wax paper. Press and shape each half into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. If putting on topping, brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with coarse white sugar/cinnamon sugar.

Using a sharp knife run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull apart the wedges from the center and leave 1/2 inch space between them. Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. While the doughs are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Transfer the dough wedges onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, store them in resealable plastic bag for a few days or freeze them.

 

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