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Going through my archives a few days ago, I realized that for the last few years I’ve been posting a muffin recipe prior to Mother’s Day. I decided to change it up a bit this year with orange cranberry scones. Don’t worry, they’re still easy to make. Even for little hands.

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Scones and biscuits are basically kissin’ cousins. They’re very similar in ingredients and technique, but the texture should be slightly different. A scone shouldn’t flake like a biscuit, is (only ever so slightly) drier than a biscuit and has a finer crumb than a biscuit. This makes it perfect for the addition of other tasty ingredients. If you remove the zest, extract and cranberries from this recipe, you will have a blank scone canvas. From there you can add any flavorings you want, savory or sweet.

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Orange Cranberry Scones

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp orange extract
  • 1¼ cup heavy cream, cold. plus more for brushing
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling
  • 3 T confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Add butter and toss to coat. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work butter into flour until only pea-size pieces remain. Make a well in the center; add egg, extract and 1¼ cups cream and mix with a fork, incorporating dry ingredients a little at a time, until a shaggy dough forms (it’s okay if it looks a little dry; don’t overwork). Lightly knead dough in bowl until it just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1″-thick rectangle. Starting at the upper left corner, using a sharp knife make a 45˚ angle cut to make a wedge. Make the next cut from the bottom at a 90˚angle to make another wedge. Alternate cuts of angles until you get to the end. You should end up with 8-10 wedges. Transfer wedges to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake scones until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. While scones are baking, make glaze by mixing confectioner’s sugar with orange juice. Let scones cool slightly before glazing. Serve hot.
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