I have a hard time resisting a good breakfast pastry, and scones are high up on my list of favorite breakfast treats. I have found that you are either a scone person or you are not. Some complain of scones being dry, and while that can be the case, it is not always true. (And, I don’t even mind the dry ones.)
These cranberry scones are some of the best scones I’ve had. They have a light, buttery texture with just the right amount of tartness from the cranberries. They are dusted with a little extra sugar before baking, giving the top crust of the scones a bit of extra sweetness. I like to enjoy one of these cranberry scones with a cup of coffee as a morning snack. It just brings a little sunshine into my day. Enjoy!
Makes 8-10 scones
- 1½ tablespoons freshly grated lemon or orange zest (I used orange)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 3 tbsp. sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1¼ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Additional sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the orange zest, flour, ½ cup of sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Add in the cold butter pieces and use a pastry blender to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter pieces are no larger than peas. (Alternatively, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor to work in the butter.)
- In a small bowl, toss together the chopped cranberries and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir this into the flour-butter mixture.
- In another small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg, egg yolk and heavy cream; whisk to blend. Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Knead gently to be sure the dough is evenly mixed, being careful not to overwork the dough.
- Place a 2½- or 3-inch round biscuit cutter on the lined baking sheet. Scoop some of the dough inside the cutter and pat down gently to form a 1-inch thick round. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the rounds 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet. (I do not have a biscuit cutter, so I just spooned mounds of dough onto the baking sheet and gently flattened them a bit.) Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Make-ahead note: You can freeze the scones before baking by placing the unbaked scones on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer until ready to bake. You will only have to increase the baking time by a few minutes. Alternatively, you can freeze the baked scones and defrost at room temperature.