Saturday, April 23, 2011

Because you NEED a scone

Really, you do.  Here's an idea for Easter morning - or any morning.  Make a batch of scones to nibble on with your coffee while the kids tear into Easter baskets  and smear chocolate bunny smears on their pristine Easter outfits. Scones will take the edge off and make it much easier to pat their little heads and tell them it's okay.

I have been making these scones for years and they are a hit every single time.  Easy to throw together using ingredients I normally keep on hand. My kind of recipe.  Keep in firmly in mind - these scones? They are American scones.  They are about as authentically British as, well, they just aren't British, okay? No respectable scone from across the pond would run around wearing glaze, for heaven's sake!  Appreciate them for what they are. Noisy, sweet Americans, baked up browned and crusty, studded with cranberries and finished off with a decadent orange glaze. 

Orange-Cranberry Scones

1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter
zest of one orange - about 1 teaspoon
1 egg yolk
1 cup sour cream

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tablespoons orange juice

In small bowl, pour enough hot water over cranberries to cover.  Let stand for about 5-10 minutes.  Drain well before using. This step plumps up the dried berries. If you forget this step or don't have time, don't worry about it.  The scones will turn out fine.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add drained cranberries and orange zest.  About that zest.  How do you get zest off a piece of citrus?  There are many different ways.  I used to use a vegetable peeler to slice off a very thin layer of zest.  Then I would chop it finely before using.  Finally, I broke down and bought a zester from Pampered Chef.  I love this little tool.  It allows me to quickly and evenly remove a pile of zest.

In small bowl, combine egg yolk and sour cream.  Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture.  Using a fork, stir until combined.  Mixture may seem a bit dry.  Dump the whole bowl onto a floured surface.  Lightly knead for 10-12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth.  Pat dough into an 8 inch circle.  Using sharp knife, cut into 12 wedges.

Arrange 1 inch apart on sprayed cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool for several minutes.  While still warm, drizzle with orange glaze.  Serve warm.

Orange glaze

Wisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and orange juice.  Use more juice as necessary to make glaze a nice drizzling consistency.

Enjoy your Easter!

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