Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones
While I won’t be cooking a vast Thanksgiving spread this year (we’re going to relatives’ for the big dinner), we will have the pleasure of my parents staying with us for a few days, which gives me the opportunity to go crazy on breakfast!

I’ve really gotten into scones as a breakfast pastry lately. They look so pretty and in my mind, rise way above muffins or coffee cake in the “special” category. When blueberries and raspberries were enticing me at the farmers’ markets a few months ago, I made delicious, buttery versions with both. Late autumn has me craving cranberries, and what goes better with cranberries than orange, right!?! The co-op had gorgeous local organic cranberries last time I was there and I stocked up—they freeze so well! A couple organic navel oranges and I’m set!

Especially nice about scones is you can mix them up and cut the dough into wedges, place them on a plate or baking sheet, pop them in the freezer until they’re solid and then wrap ‘em  up and freeze until the big day. Straight from there to a parchment lined baking pan (or thaw in the fridge overnight), add just a few extra minutes baking time if frozen—you’ve got yourself fresh-baked scones in minutes.  With this do-ahead, there’ll be lots of time to concentrate on the rest of the morning’s meal. We’ll be enjoying our scones alongside a hearty wild rice cheddar frittata and a big pile of sweet potato home fries. I can’t wait!

Wishing you a relaxing Thanksgiving with loved ones and full appreciation of all that is good in your life!

Cranberry Orange Scone

Cranberry Orange Scone

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped (no need to thaw, if frozen)

6 tablespoons (85g) very cold or frozen butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

A couple tablespoons milk, for brushing scones

A couple tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Optional glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (or more, to get the right drizzling consistency)

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cube or grate (with the large holes of a box grater—preferred method) the cold or frozen butter.  Use a pastry blender or two knives to mix it together until only small clumps of butter remain. Gently stir in the chopped cranberries.

Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and orange zest in a small bowl.  Stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, just until combined—don’t over mix.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Form into a round about 7 inches in diameter.  Use a sharp knife or a dough scraper to cut it into 8 wedges.  Place them on the parchment paper and lightly brush each scone with a little milk.  Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.

If doing the glaze, once scones are cool, mix powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Drizzle over scones and let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving. Makes 8 scones.

Tip: To make ahead, after slicing scones into wedges, place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until scones are solid. Then place in zip-lock bag and seal. Can be frozen for up to 2 months. Either thaw scones overnight in fridge or go right from freezer to oven (just add a few minutes cooking time if scones are frozen).

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