The first thing I ever baked without mum’s supervision, at the age of 18, were scones. Up until that point in my life I never took an interest to baking, but for some reason I was drawn to a picture of scones in one of my mum’s cooking magazines and I just wanted to try it. For about a year when I was in college, I made a variety of scones (cheddar and apple scones, buttermilk scones, currant scones, low fat raisin scones, etc.) for various reasons (dad’s Monday morning sales meetings, mum’s coffee mornings, study group, etc.) but never thought to make anything else.
I don’t know why I started baking obsessively, or when exactly I started identifying myself as a baker, but at the end of the day all that matters is that baking makes me happy. Friends often ask if I plan on opening a bakery some day and to be perfectly honest with you, dear readers, I don’t. I have no desire to own a bakery and work in the kitchen from 5 in the morning (or earlier) on the same recipes over and over again for the rest of my life. I enjoy baking, I love trying new recipes, and I love taking on the challenges of the occasional order for custom cakes.
Here’s one of the things I love about my hobby: fresh, home made afternoon snacks with my flavours of choice. Today I’m going to share this recipe for American scones with you, sweet and fresh with a great hit of citrusy goodness to satisfy the mid-afternoon snack craving. Check out this article on Slate.com for an explanation of British vs American scones. I like both types depending on the occasion; proper plain British scones for tea, and American scones when I’m feeling generous with myself (sugar!).
Cranberry Orange Scones
For the scones:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp caster sugar (plus about 1 tbsp for sprinkling on top later)
- 5 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- I did it the lazy way and used my food processor, so put the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the food processor and whizz to combine. Drop in the cubed butter and pulse until it comes together (about 1 round of singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in your head). Transfer the mixture into a bowl and hand stir in the heavy cream, orange zest, and vanilla. Then fold in the cranberries. Once the dough has come together, transfer it to a well floured surface and knead a couple of times. Flatten the dough into a round disc (roughly 9″ in diameter, around 3/4″ thick) and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then move it to your prepared baking sheet and using a butter knife, just cut across the disc to form 8 wedges. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until it turns golden. Remove from the oven to cool
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- While the scones are cooling on a wire rack, stir the sugar and orange juice together in a bowl. Once the scones have cooled almost completely, drizzle the glaze over the tops and let it harden before serving
If you don’t have a food processor, simple combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Then crumble the butter in with the flour mix with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Continue as above instructions with the rest of the ingredients.