The first time I’d ever had a scone was from a local bakery that my mother and I love. By love, I mean, we talk about going there three days before we actually do and will travel out of our way to go to the CVS next door just so we can pop in “since we’re right here.”
After discovering my love of chocolate chip scones I set out to make my own. In the past year, I’ve made a few different versions, like pumpkin, blueberry and now cranberry, from a recipe that of the seasonal sort that struck me as slightly less indulgent than the ones I’d been eating from the bakery.
Even though I still wouldn’t call these health food, they’re probably less indulgent than the kind you’d pick up at a high-quality bakery. I like to go out to eat as much as the next person but there is something to be said for cooking at home and knowing exactly what is going in your food – or in this case, how much butter.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped fine
- finely grated zest from one small lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- heavy cream (optional, for brushing tops of scones)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest; place bowl in fridge.
- Get organized: measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat; set aside. Lightly dust a counter top with flour. Pour a little bit of heavy cream in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.
- Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.
- Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together. Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything. Pat into a circle about ½ inch thick. Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer. Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream (optional).
- Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to cooling rack.