I don’t necessarily love to cook, but I LOVE to bake. There is something about baking that seems so overwhelming, so daunting, at first. Yet the process is easy and predictable and the result delicious and impressive. Seriously, a few minutes measuring and mixing, a few minutes waiting on the oven timer, and you are rewarded with squeals of, “You baked?!” followed by the nom nom nom of baked goods being rapidly consumed. What’s not to love about it?
All our lives we were taught that imperceptible differences in measurement could spell disaster for your baked goods. I think this has many of us so freaked out that we don’t even attempt basic baking. It’s not really true, though. I mean, as long as you generally follow the recipe without leaving out a major ingredient, your result will probably be yummy and certainly be edible. Of course there is always room for improvement but who is going to argue with cake or cookies? Even dense cake or spread cookies are better than no cake or cookies, in my humble opinion.
Baking was hard for me as a kid because I am not a great recipe follower. My mother despaired at trying to get me to follow the instructions on the cake box mix. But all of these years of experimenting have given me the confidence to know that my baked goods are going to turn out just fine-even if I scooped my four instead of spooning it.
Cranberry Orange Sconesmade 27 round scones, prep 10 min, cook time 40 min, adapted from Ina Garten
- 4 cups flour plus 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup sugar (I would increase to 1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 3/4 lb unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- egg wash (egg mixed with water or milk for brushing)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 6 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a mixing bowl combine 4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
- Add the diced, cold butter and set mixer to stir until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
- Combine eggs and cream and slowly add to flour mixture.
- Combine cranberries and 1/4 cup flour and add the flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
- Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands into a large ball. Dough starts out pretty sticky so be well floured.
- Flour the rolling pin and roll out to 3/4″ thick.
- Cut into shapes as desired, I used the suggested biscuit cutter but I really wanted to use a heart-shaped cutter. I know you are disappointed that I couldn’t find it.
- Gather scraps and re-roll, and continue cutting.
- Place cut scones onto parchment lined baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Combine orange juice and powdered sugar.
- Drizzle cooled scones with glaze.
- If desired, once scones are completely cooled, pop them into the freezer for an hour or so.
You can also bake these ahead and store them in the freezer until you are ready to serve them. They thaw in a few minutes a room temperature and turn out deliciously tender.
These are wonderful scones, buttery and crumbly, with chewy tart cranberries and a hint of orangey sweetness. Straight from the oven they are quite biscuit-like, but a short stay in the freezer improves the texture. Also, I would increase the sugar to 1/2 cup at least. I am not normally one to increase the sugar in any recipe (usually I cut it down a bit) but these are barely sweet even with double the orange glaze.
What’s for Dinner? yeah, I said it.