Monday, December 19, 2011

Scones– Orange Cranberry and Chocolate

My friend Priya was loving the chicken sandwiches while her husband couldn't believe that I baked the scones at home. Both were fun and not as time consuming as they seemed to be. The scones took me an hour, including clean up. I then decided to bake a second batch for variety to serve, but one batch will take you no more than an hour.
I have baked these scones before, and it works as a great 'base' recipe which you can then flavor as you like– orange cranberry, ginger chocolate, cinnamon sugar, chocolate or any other way you'd like to go. The recipe doesn't have eggs either, so you can serve this to vegetarians. 

A great tip is to make the dough and cut it into triangles, freeze it in an airtight container, layered with parchment paper. Defrost as many scones as you would like to have and then bake them when you want them. I've had last minute guests come over for tea once and I told them I just put some fresh home baked scones into the oven, they were so impressed with my ability to whip these up with such short notice! Little did they know ;-)

To make the scones chocolate flavored, either add chocolate chips, and add 1 tsp ginger powder to the flour mixture.
Or you could add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture and then add the above two ingredients to further flavor it. 

Makes 15–20

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp orange zest
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup cranberries
3/4 cup heavy cream

  1. 1.Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400F (200C)
  2. 2.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 tbsp baking powder. Mix on low to incorporate. 
  3. 3.Add 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon) and 1 1/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter. Mix on low until the mixture is a pale yellow and consistency of fine meal.
  4. 4.Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in 2/3 cup candied ginger and 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, finely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces. Make a well in the center and pour in 3/4 cup heavy cream, mixing until just combined. 
  5. 5.Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to gather them into a ball. Roll or pat the dough into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. Cut out the circles, cutting as closely together as possible and keeping the trimmings intact. 
  6. 6.Gather the scraps, pat and press the pieces back together and cut out the remaining dough. 
  7. 7.Place scones 1-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. 8.Brush the tops with cream.
  9. 9.Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until the surface cracks and they are lightly browned.

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