Thursday, June 18, 2009

BB BRC: Cranberry Orange Scones

I joined a great blogging group called Barefoot Bloggers. Twice a month we cook up an Ina Garten recipe. This week's was a Bonus Recipe, which was chosen by Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef. I have been cooking and baking out of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for years, so I was very excited that my first recipe was one I hadn't tried yet. I am starting to gain more confidence in baking, as for so long I was mostly into cooking. The exactness and the techniques really made me nervous. Especially pastry for some reason.

These scones were flaky and buttery and delicious. I don't know if you've ever had a bad scone, but my first scone experience was awful - dry and hard. I was actually turned off scones for years. I couldn't understand why anyone would actually want to eat that!

Overall I'm really happy with how these turned out. My only complaint was that they seemed to spread as they baked, but i'm sure that's something I did wrong. I also think I glazed them too early, becaus the glaze pretty much melted into the scone. Also, given some of the comments on the Barefoot Bloggers site, I decided to add extra orange zest to give a stronger orange flavor, and less cranberries to compete with the orange. I've reflected those changes below. I'd love to try these as orange and dark chocolate or blueberry or raspberry with lemon.

Cranberry Orange Scones

  • 4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons water, for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp confectioners sugar
  • 4 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees line baking sheets with parchement paper.

In the bowl of an electrice stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add to the four and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!

Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough just under 1-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough onthe floured board so it doesn't stick. Flour a 3-inch round cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the scones.


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