Cranberry cream scones with Spiced Honey Butter
Yield: 4 scones
Who can resist tender, melt-in-your-mouth scones, those golden brown quick breads that truly live up to that name? Made with just a handful of ingredients and accomplished almost faster than you can list the adjectives to describe them, these baked treats come together quickly ( in fact, the key to tender scones is to handle the dough as little as possible when mixing and shaping). Baked for just a short time at high heat in the oven, they are most welcome served piping hot on a cool weekend morning. Since the dough can be made and shaped in advance and then baked right from the freezer, they will easily satisfy the urge for a tea- or coffee-time accompaniment whenever it strikes.
Here’s how to make them.
For the scone dough:
Generous 1 c. all-purpose flour
Generous 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and squeezed to remove excess moisture
For the egg wash: 1 large egg, mixed with 1 T. heavy cream, refrigerated abd covered until ready to use
Position oven rack halfway up from the bottom of the oven.
Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30 seconds to mix the dries well. Add butter and pulse until the butter is reduced to pea-sized piees. Add the cream and pulse the mixture 5 times or until the ingredients barely begin to come together. Remove the dough mixture to a lightly floured work surface and distribute the cranberries evenly over the dough. Using a dough scraper fold the dough onto itself and then pat to make the dough come together in a rough shaggy mass. Repeat this process twice more and then form the dough into a neat rectangle about 2 inches thick. Using a dough cutter or chef’s knife, cut the dough into four even triangles and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Place the pan into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the scones are firm. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the scones from the freezer and now brush the tops of the scones evenly with the egg wash. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and well-risen.
Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then place the scones onto a cooling rack. Store at cool temperature. Serve with the Spiced Honey Butter as shown below.
Spiced Honey Butter
1/2 t. ground spice mix–composed of 2 star anise, 2 allspice berries, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 whole cardamon pods, pulverized together in a spice grinder and then put through a fine meshed sieve
(Note: You wil be making some extra, handy to have around for other uses in stews, roasted chicken, spice cookies and cakes, etc.)
1 T. honey
4 T. sweet butter, softened
Mix the spices, honey and butter together until smooth and well blended. Put into a small ramekin and refrigerate until ready to serve the scones.
Note: Any leftover spiced butter may be used in any favorite spiced cake or cookie; simply add the leftovers to the butter called for in the recipe, subtracting whatever you are using from amount of butter required in the recipe.
Other ideas: Try melting the spiced butter and slather over a toasted English muffin, pancakes or waffles, or your morning hot cereal.