Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Scones

I'm backkkkk! This is my first post of the New Year (which, in retrospect, doesn't say much considering I've been off the grid since September). Naturally, I am accompanying this return with a recipe that is worthy of a same-day share.

Scones are perfect for winter. I will tell you why. The process requires cold ingredients-- specifically, cold butter that will result in that oh-so-dreamy flakiness. With "room temperature" scaled on the cooler side these days, you don't have work quite as quickly as needed during the warmer months. The chance of messing this up is thus very low. You're welcome.

Back in May, I adapted a savory Cheddar and Chive Buttermilk Scone recipe. But if you are craving something fruity, I now have something new for you: Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Scones. They are divine. Tart, citrus, buttery, flaky sweetness... nailed it.

Cranberry Orange Buttermilk Scones
Adapted from Tartine // Elizabeth M. Prueitt & Chad Robertson
Yields 12 scones 

4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries, unsweetened (Sometimes, it's hard to find fresh cranberries. I used frozen and then thawed them ahead of time)
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Orange Glaze

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
extra zest for sprinkling (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add sugar and salt and stir with wooden spoon.
3. Cut cold butter into 1/2-in cubes and scatter over dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into dry ingredients until it's a coarse mixture with visible pea-sized lumps of butter.
4. Add buttermilk, cranberries, orange juice, and orange zest all at once to the mixture. Stir gently with the wooden spoon. Continue gently mixing until dough comes together-- add small amount of buttermilk at a time if the dough is too dry. 
5. Turn dough onto work surface lightly dusted with flour. Shape into a rectangle about 18 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick. 
6. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 triangles and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  
7. Brush the tops of the triangles with melted butter (you will need about 2-3 Tbsp).
8. Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before glazing.
9. Prepare the Orange Glaze: While the scones are baking, make the orange glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until even consistency. Then, set aside.
10. Once the scones have cooled down, generously drizzle the top surface of the scones with the orange glaze. *TIP: I like to transfer the prepared orange glaze into the bottom corner of a plastic ziplock bag. I just slightly snip off that corner of the bag when I am ready to drizzle!
11. Allow the glaze to set up and harden a bit or just eat right away. I don't judge! I couldn't wait to dive in either..

This is the treat you want to have on a lazy winter morning/afternoon/night when it's too chilly outside to care about leaving the premises. So, instead, you pop in a movie and devour a scone [or two] while sipping on hot tea. P.S. I just described my whole day. Oh yeah, also, it was awesome.

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