Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dried Cranberry Cream Scones

Scones are one of my favorite breakfast or tea-time treats to eat. I've wanted to make them for a while so it was a good thing that I found this America's Test Kitchen recipe after looking for one that would help me use up my leftover heavy cream. America's Test Kitchen, along with Alton Brown's Good Eats, is a great show that I like to try out recipes from. Their recipes are tested in their kitchens hundreds of times or even more in order to optimize the best flavors that people look for in a particular recipe. Not having access to their cookbook, I looked at food blogs and found this recipe, adapted from one originally for cream currant scones.

These scones were not as sweet as the typical ones you can buy, which explains the low amount of sugar in the recipe, but I still enjoyed them and they were even better with jam. It tasted cakey due to the addition of the egg and vanilla and almost reminiscent of the taste of a biscuit (after all scones are very similar to biscuits). One thing to be careful about when making scones is not overworking the dough otherwise the scones will be tough and less tender. Though I used a mini food processor to make mine as I thought it would make things easier, I found that I would have preferred making it by hand. It's ultimately up to your personal preference as either method works. 

For ease of access, here's the recipe below with slight additions from the adapted recipe.

Dried Cranberry Cream Scones Recipe
Servings: 16 small scones


2 cups (9 ounces) All Purpose Flour (preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury)
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes*
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg slightly beaten
1 tsp. of vanilla
2 Tbsp of sugar for sprinkling on top

*You can freeze the butter, grate it, and then refreeze it just until you're ready to use it which works better if you're doing this by hand and don't have a pastry blender.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and butter in a food processor (half at a time if using a mini food processor). Pulse everything in 3-second intervals until everything resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. If doing this by hand, use 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add dried cranberries and pulse one more time or stir in.

Transfer everything to a large bowl. Stir in heavy cream, egg, and vanilla mixing the dough by hand until it forms into a uniformed and slightly moistened dough.

On a floured surface, grab enough dough to fit into your hand about the size of a baseball and gently roll it in a ball.

Flatten the ball and until your disk is approx. 3/4″ in height. Press down the outside of the dough circle so the center is slightly taller. Evenly sprinkle sugar on top of each circle.

Cut each circle in quarters. You should have enough dough to make 4 circles and 16 scones.

Bake on a ungreased cookie sheet, or line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. You can eat them as is or serve with butter or jam.

Hot out of the oven

Serve with jam...
...or eat plain :)

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