Cranberry Orange Scones
Any baked good that can double as both dessert and breakfast is one that I will hold near and dear to my heart. If I could send a Valentine to scones, I sure would. Not only are they perfectly acceptable to eat in the morning, afternoon and evening, but they require only one bowl, no mixer, and can be made start to finish in about 30 minutes. I love experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and some of my favorites to date have been Dark Chocolate Chip Scones, Quiche Lorraine Scones and Blueberry Buttermilk Scones. I love cranberries paired with citrus flavors, so a cranberry-orange scone was never far off.
I used a basic cream scone base for this recipe (super simple with very few ingredients) and added orange zest and dried cranberries. You’ll see in the recipe that the orange zest is worked into the sugar using your fingertips. It’s a technique that I picked up from a few of Dorie Greenspan’s recipes and it does a fabulous job of infusing the sugar with all of the flavor and juices that are packed into the zest. I do this anytime I use orange, lemon or lime zest in a recipe – I rub it into the sugar first, and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
The cream scones are very tender and not too rich-tasting, with orange undertones and tons of soft, plump cranberries. I think they make a spectacular breakfast option, especially for house guests, and go great with a morning or afternoon cup of tea. And if you love desserts that aren’t over-the-top (I would not fall into this category, as the more rich and decadent a dessert is, the better for me!), this is a perfect night cap.
Cranberry Orange Scones
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons orange zest
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
¾ cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Place the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and, using your fingers, rub the orange zest and the granulated sugar together until the sugar is uniformly moistened with the orange zest.
3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together. Stir in the cranberries.
4. Pour in the cream and, using your fingers or a fork, stir together until combined. Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to bring dough together. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 triangles and place on baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the melted butter and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the scones are just turning lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature.