In my kitchen dreams, I have a large stand-alone freezer. In my kitchen reality, I have a standard freezer drawer. I love buying seasonal items, like cranberries, and freezing them for later use. But my other half doesn’t have that same freezer philosophy, as I was reminded when he pulled out two freezer bags full of cranberries and said,
“Are you really going to use these?”
“Yes, yes I am, as a matter of fact I’m baking cranberry, er, um, scones, yeah, cranberry scones this weekend.”
So that’s how I decided to make cranberry scones last weekend. They turned out great. But. There’s always a but. But, I made too many, thinking they would rise more, and they ended up looking more like cookies than scones. But they tasted like scones! They tasted better than most scones because they weren’t dry at all.
I don’t know whether my baking powder needs to be replaced (probably) or if I just made them too small. I made well over 24 of them so it might be the latter.
If you’re not a freezer hoarder like me, you can use dried cranberries for this recipe. A few of the comments in the original recipe at The Kitchn used dried cranberries and gave suggestions on how to do that.
I topped my scones with vanilla sugar, instead of regular sugar. Vanilla sugar is real easy to make. Fill a saved-from-recycling glass jar with granulated sugar. Slice a vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scrape the tiny seeds onto the knife blade. Stick the bean and the seeds into the sugar. Give it a good stir. Seal the jar and let it sit a few weeks. I like to occasionally sweeten and flavor my coffee or tea with vanilla sugar or add it to recipes like this one.
Fresh Cranberry Scones
Makes about 2 dozen. You’ll need two baking or cookie sheets, food processor (or pastry blender, optional) or fork, large bowl and biscuit cutter or drinking glass.
1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 1 small orange (or lemon)
2-1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
White sugar, for topping (or vanilla sugar)g
Heat the oven to 350F and prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment or Silpat, or lightly sprayed with oil.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cranberries until lightly chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the cranberries as best you can. This can be tricky as they’ll roll and pop all over the place. One idea is to put them in the juice moat of a carving board and slice them there, hopefully they won’t roll, but this will take longer.
Dump the cranberries into a bowl and toss them with the brown sugar and orange zest. In the food processor, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and process with the flour in the processor until fine and crumbly – don’t overdo it. If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. Mix with the sugar and cranberries and stir in the beaten egg and milk.
Sprinkle the counter or a board with flour, and dump the dough out on it. It will be very wet and sticky. Very sticky. Push it with a flour-covered wooden spoon or your flour-covered hands into a slab. Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter or a glass, dipped in flour, and put on baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with sugar or vanilla sugar.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until just getting golden. Serve warm with plenty of butter.
Original recipe: Fresh Cranberry Scones, The Kitchn