I’ve had a love affair with scones since pastry school when I worked at a teashop that made fresh scones daily. Those savory, cheddar cheese, rosemary, flakey delicious pastries. Oh gosh, I want one right now! It was my breakfast every day before class. I would work at the tea shop as the baker from pre-open hours until about 9am, then eat my employee breakfast and head to culinary school. It didn’t take long for me to develop a love affair with those warm buttery flavorful scones.
Before then I had no appreciation for scones. I thought they were all dry crumbly triangles. After testing a few recipes I learned that the key to a great flakey scone is all in the butter. Cold butter. The colder the better. I can’t stress this enough. When the little crumbs of butter melt as the scones bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air. Making the scones airy and flakey on the inside while the outside remains crisp and crumbly. Think of it as little pockets of buttery goodness.
The next important part is to not overwork the dough. You just end up creating a tough scone. Remember you don’t want to melt the butter.
And the last bit is all about the glaze. I always have fresh oranges in the refrigerator. So this is just a combination of fresh squeezed orange juice, a tiny bit of vanilla, and powered sugar. The glaze will seep into the top of the scones, providing a sweet flavor that just blends perfectly with the chocolate and cranberry.
You could also freeze the dough. I like to do this so I can have a scone whenever I like. Once it is rolled and shaped, I place them into a freezer bag. Then I can pull them out one at a time and bake. It’s like the gift that just keeps giving. Freeze these for up to one month.
I hope you like this as much as I do. Give the recipe a try and let us know how it goes.
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter - Cold
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Do not overwork the dough.
- In a medium bowl combine eggs, heavy cream, cranberries, chocolate and orange peel.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir using a fork until just moistened.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 10 - 15 strokes until it is nearly smooth.
- Divide dough in half. Roll each portion into a 6" circle. Cut each circle into six wedges. We used a cutter and just made round pieces instead of wedges.
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the wedges with additional cream. Place these in the freezer uncovered for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and bake for 12 - 14 minutes until golden. Cool slightly and drizzle with glaze.
- In a small bowl stir together the powdered sugar, orange juice and vanilla. Stir in additional orange juice if needed to reach a drizzling consistency.