I have been trying not to look at the calendar too much. When I do, it sticks its tongue out at me for having fallen behind so much. I have two days to cross things off my holiday list–there’s still hope! My husband and I are celebrating Christmas a bit differently this year so time is even more of a factor. That said, I am still looking forward to Christmas–I have reminded myself that this time of year is not about the gifts still unwrapped, work not yet completed and least of all, it’s not about the stress I am feeling for not being prepared. It is a time for family and for celebrating the birth of someone truly, truly special. When I fix my mind on that I am able to calm down and proceed with a bit less angst.
Before I dive into my to-do list for the day, I thought I would infuse the blog with a bit of holiday spirit. Cranberries and spices are hallmarks of holiday fare and I brought them together to satisfy a recent craving for scones. It was also a nice way to put my bags of cranberries in the freezer to good use. Do you ever buy more fresh cranberries at Thanksgiving than you know you will ever use? I raise my hand.
If you can look past the color of the glaze, you might believe that these were actually delightful little scones. I bought a bottle of beet juice for another project and I was struck with the crazy idea of matching the glaze to the cranberries. Then I realized that achieving that bold color with beet juice might overpower the glaze so I was left with this Pepto-Bismol pink. Not to worry–it tastes like cinnamon, just like the scones. All the sweetness is in the glaze, a pleasant complement to the slight tartness of the cranberries. Next time I will leave the beet juice out of the equation but yes, these are worthy of making again. I hope you enjoy them!
* Base Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 cup fat free half-n-half
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon beet juice (optional)
- Couple drops vanilla extract
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process with six 1-second pulses.
3. Remove the cover of the food processor and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cranberries.
4. Stir in the half and half with a rubber spatula or fork until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
5. Transfer the dough and all dry flour bits to a countertop and knead the dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. You can shape the dough into an 8-inch round and cut into 8 wedges but I rolled the dough into a rectangle and cut about 22 triangles for smaller scones.
6. Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes (2-3 minutes less for smaller scones). Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. While the scones are cooling, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled scones or dip the top of each one before serving.