Cranberries are a staple flavor for autumn and on into the holidays, and cranberry paired with orange is a winning combination
If you want to [bribe] lure your contractor to your house to finish your project, or impress your houseguests that are arriving for the holidays, whip up a batch of these cranberry orange scones. They are absolutely wonderful still warm, of course, but they will keep a few days if your guests and family show great restraint in gobbling them all up. I like to store them on a covered cake stand (like this one) – they look so pretty on the counter…until they disappear! They are a perfect breakfast pastry or a lovely treat for a mid-morning or afternoon tea break.
They also make a great hostess gift if you are attending an evening party – giving something the host/hostess could enjoy the next morning after all the work of creating an event is a very thoughtful thing to do. Package them in these bags tied with a pretty ribbon and you will be assured of future invitations!
If cranberry isn’t your cup of tea, I have also made these up in a lemon/ginger flavor by substituting diced candied ginger (from my favorite vendor nuts online) for the cranberries and lemon for the orange.
The original recipe is by Ina Garten from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home (available HERE). I’ve followed it fairly closely, but I use a 2” cutter rather than 3” and I have doubled the ingredients for the glaze because I always ran out and had to make more!
Aside from the heavy cream and the oranges, these are all ingredients I usually have on hand in my pantry (THIS POST is a list of what I consider pantry essentials).
Yield: approximately 2 dozen if using a 2” cutter
Time: including baking and glazing ~ 1 hour
4 cups plus ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling*
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (2 oranges)
¾ pound (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (½ pint) cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for egg wash
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
8 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (perfect precut sheets available and on sale right now HERE).
In the bowl of an electric mixer (THIS is my favorite kitchen tool!) fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, ¼ cup of granulated 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 flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and ¼ cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.
Dump the dough onto a lightly-floured pastry mat (like THIS ONE) 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. Flour a 2-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on the prepared sheet pan. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles - try not to add too much extra flour and be careful not to overwork the dough.
Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash, sprinkle with granulated sugar, *I like to use sparkling sugar for this for the crunch and look of the larger crystals (you can find that HERE) Bake for 20 to 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.
These are absolutely wonderful on their own…I mean, they already contain enough fat so you can feel your arteries hardening…(but what a way to go?!), BUT if you want to add a whole other level of decadence, you could serve them with the traditional British scone accompaniment of clotted cream (available HERE).
Wishing you a happy and delicious holiday season!
*Please note that this page contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you, and some of the vendors are having a great sale right now so win/win!