You may have noticed that I am a big fan of scones. A dear friend and I came across this recipe on the blog The Pioneer Woman and have been wanting to make it ever since, but time has not been on our side. After telling my mother about the recipe, she made it on a recent morning to share with my classmates. It was a huge hit and I became more determined to make it myself and share it here. It is easy to put together. The glaze really takes these scones above and beyond your everyday scone. For a larger group, you can make 2 small rounds, still cutting each into 8 equal portions or simply double the recipe.
I wasn’t able to find white whole wheat flour anywhere, so I just used an organic whole wheat flour. I also used salted butter because that was what I had. The result was still delicious.
1/2 cup chilled unsalted Butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of 2 large oranges
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 1/4 to 2 cups icing or powdered sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425°F (400°F if using a convection oven). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest, breaking up any clumps of zest.
Mix together the buttermilk, orange juice, vanilla, and egg in a 2 cup measure or a small bowl. Set aside.
Cut the chilled butter into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes. With a rigid pastry blender or two knives, cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces. Add the cranberries and mix in, breaking up any clumps of the cranberries. Make a well in the center, and then add the liquid ingredients. Stir just until combined, taking care to not over mix. Try to work quickly so that the butter in the dough stays as cold as possible. If the dough gets too warm, the scones will lose their shape more easily in the oven and have a more relaxed appearance with less defined edges.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Working quickly, gently fold the dough on itself pressing it together to incorporate any dry bits that are not holding together. Do not over work the dough. Just make sure it is holding together nicely. Shape the dough into a 7-inch diameter circle and cut into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the scones are puffed and golden brown, about 10- 14 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the scones sit on it for a minute before removing to a wire rack to cool.
While the scones are still slightly warm, prepare the glaze. Combine the juice, zest,vanilla and nutmeg in a small bowl. Begin to whisk in the sugar 1/4 cup at a time to achieve a smooth consistency that you will be able to drizzle over the scones, but which is not too runny. Although the original recipe specified 2 cups of sugar, I stopped at 1 1/4 cups of sugar and it worked perfectly. If your glaze is suddenly too stiff, whisk in another teaspoon of freshly squeezed orange juice. Drizzle as much of the glaze as you desire over the scones. Allow the glaze to set completely, then serve and enjoy!