This morning, my kitchen was a haven with classical music (Enescu), the smell of oranges (from the grated rind), coffee brewing, and a chatty toddler at my heels.
Ok, so these are not the most attractive scones you'll ever eat...but they are sooooo good! Cranberry orange scones are my favorite scones. I hadn't made this recipe in years--because it's a two-sticks-of-butter recipe (sigh). But today, the easiest scone recipe I've ever come across (no shaping the dough!!!), got gleefully dusted off.
Husband: what are you making?, Wife: Scones. But healthier. With whole wheat flour...and maybe some light butter. Husband: (Inaudible muttering accompanied by a sigh).
Because I CAN. I'm sure he's wondering why ruin a good thing...so HERE is the original recipe (made with currants-but who has currants lying around?) just in case you don't want to mess with perfection--because the original recipe REALLY is perfection (especially if you add white chocolate chips). But if you try to sneak in a little whole grain and lower a tiny bit of fat in your recipes, try my version below. You really won't miss the original. That much.
A bit of whole wheat pastry flour won't destroy the integrity of this drop scone. I promise. It's still VERY good. Crumbly texture...crispy crust...soft interior. Heavenly with coffee.....These scones are not very sweet-as authentic scones really shouldn't be--and you can control the sugar content of the topping too. These are cakier rather than drier scones. I'm sure if you baked them longer and at a lower temperature, they may get drier (or let them sit out longer).
Final result? Husband said 'they're really good' and my toddler inhaled two today without making a single sound. Did I mention I ran back in the house as we were leaving just to grab another? YUM! But just once in your life...make them with all white flour. They orange color comes out brighter and they are wonderful to serve to company .
ORANGE CRANBERRY DROP SCONES
adapted from Gourmet magazine
Yield: 24 scones
4 cups all-purpose white flour (I used 2 cups all-purpose & 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour)
3 Tbsp. sugar (any sugar will do, really)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp, baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
*2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cut into bits
3 Tbsp. freshly grated orange zest (from about 2 navel oranges)
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk (I used low-fat)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated raw sugar (turbinado or Demerara--gives you that crystalized look)
white chocolate chips
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and zest and beat until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in currants (and any optional ingredients). In a bowl whisk together buttermilk and eggs and add to flour mixture, beating just until a dough forms. (Dough will be sticky and will not seem completely mixed-that's ok--better not overwork the dough so you don't get tough lumps).
Preheat oven to 350°F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On each sheet arrange mounds of dough about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle mounds with raw sugar and chill 15 minutes.
Bake scones in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets half-way through baking, until light brown, about 20 minutes. (your total baking time is 20 minutes at most)
*One of the recipe reviewers stated they used 1/2 cup less butter than called for. I tried it but my dough was quite clumping as it should. So, at the last minute I added 1/2 cup of LIGHT butter. I am not sure I'd do all whole wheat flour and all light butter--you won't get the same wonderful texture-sorry.