Chocolate Cranberry Scones are a delicious marriage of semi-sweet chocolate, tart cranberries and a citrusy orange glaze. Don't forget to freeze some of the dough so you can enjoy these any time the mood strikes!
A Love Affair with Scones
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 9 am, 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. I miss the days of daily scones, so I decided to whip up these Chocolate Cranberry Scones.
Ingredients in The Scones
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- COLD butter
- Heavy whipping cream
- Dried cranberries
- Miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Orange peel
- Powdered sugar
- Orange juice
The Key to Flakey Chocolate Cranberry Scones
Before my teashop days, 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.
How To Make Scones
- Make the Dough - Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. Combine eggs, heavy cream, cranberries, chocolate and orange peel and blend into the flour and butter mixture with a fork until just moistened.
- Knead and Freeze - Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, divide, and roll into two 6-inch circles. Cut each circle into 6 wedges, brush with cream and freeze, uncovered on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Bake - Bake at 400°F for 12-14 minutes.
- Glaze and Serve - Allow the scones to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze. Drizzle over the scones and serve.
Do not overwork the dough. You just end up creating a tough scone. Remember, you don't want to melt the butter.
Use a pastry blender. If you don't have one of these to cut in the dough, you could use a fork; it will just take a bit longer.
Freeze the dough. I like to do this so I can have a chocolate cranberry 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.
Make the glaze last. 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 powdered sugar. The glaze will seep into the top of the scones, providing a sweet flavor that blends perfectly with the chocolate and cranberry. It will harden quickly, so make it when you are ready.
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I hope you like this as much as I do. Give the recipe a try and let us know how it goes.
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Chocolate Cranberry Scones
- 2 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup butter - Cold
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries
- ¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ¼ 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.
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