Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gloria's Cranberry Walnut & Orange Mini Scones

Although I love baking all sorts of breads, I rarely bake anything sweet.

This was my first attempt at scones, and I dare say they turned out nicely, albeit more reminiscent of shortbread than scones.

The recipe is what I came up with after doing some research online and in cookbooks, and using the ingredients that I had on hand in my kitchen pantry. For richer scones, you can use whole milk or half & half (I used skim milk for a lower-fat scone, and I'm sure you could use low-fat milk or even buttermilk).

Because I made these cranberry walnut orange scones for a potluck brunch, I cut them into mini-scones rather than full-size traditional scones. If you prefer larger, taller scones, press out the dough to a full 1" thickness and cut into larger, fewer wedges (8 to 10, perhaps).

3/4 cup milk (I used skim to cut fat)
Ready for egg wash & sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, very soft but not melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs chopped candied orange peel
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Topping: 1 beaten egg, approx. 1 Tbs sugar**

*Use either sweetened or unsweetened, whichever you prefer.

**I used a "cosmopolitan rimmer" sugar which was granulated sugar flavored with pomegranate juice, hence the pink color of the sugar shown in the photo to the right.

In a large bowl mix together the milk and butter. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt & cinnamon. Add this flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and whisk or stir until you have a stiff, dry dough -- you may need to use your fingers to work it together. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts until thoroughly incorporated, using your fingers if necessary. Remove dough from bowl, place in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap and use your hands to press out into a large rectangle about 1/2" thick. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.

Baked and cooling
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator, unwrap and brush top with beaten egg then sprinkle with sugar as desired. Cut into 24 wedges, rectangles or diamond shapes, then place 1" apart on lined/sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 375°F until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Zestfully yours,

PS: If you love cranberries, the Carolina Sauce Company is your source for zesty cranberry sauces and condiments, including cranberry salsa and award-winning cranberry hot sauce. Visit our online store to browse our selection!

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