Friday, April 29, 2011

Cranberry White Chocolate Scones


Hello??  Anyone out there still??  Am I all alone now??

I apologize profusely for abandoning ya'll.  I'm sorry!  I'm not sure what changed, but suddenly, my life was chock-full of things demanding my time and something had to give.  Now, things are starting to slow back down to a "normal" pace, so I have every intention of sharing with ya'll the recipes that I've been accumulating in my absence.

This past year (starting in September), I have had the wonderful privilege of leading Bible study with a group of ladies from my church (and some not from my church!).  Not only have the studies been amazing (Beth Moore, anyone?!), but those ladies come hungry for a treat!  The baking enthusiast in my aims to please!  One week, I just simply did NOT have the time in my prep time to bake, and I showed up empty-handed.  Trust me, I heard about that one!!

Enter these scones.  Simple.  Easy to make and fast to prepare.  They have some sort of yummy all over them.  One could definitely increase their "wow factor" by adding some orange zest to the batter.  Ooohh....

Cranberry White Chocolate Scones
Adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips; roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one orange, optional
1 egg white, beaten slightly
sugar for sprinkling

Directions:
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
SLIGHT DISCLAIMER:
If you have a food processor, these scones will come together in about 2 seconds, using that kitchen workhorse!  If you don't have a food processor, you will love yourself for buying one!  Cooking in your kitchen will be transformed!

Food Processor Instructions:
In the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the cutting blade, place all dry ingredients in it.  Pulse to incorporate.  Cut the butter into small squares and toss over the flour mixture.  Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles medium-sized crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth, stir in vanilla.  
Add cranberries and white chocolate chips to the crumb mixture.  With the food processor running, slowly pour in the liquid and let pulse until dough comes together.  Be careful to not over-process, as that affects the gluten and will result in a drier scone.  Use your hands to finish pressing the dough together.  Turn onto a floured work surface, and follow the rest of the instructions below**.
Traditional instructions continued....
In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth; stir in vanilla.

Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. Continue pressing until the dough comes together--it will!

Place on a lightly floured surface and **roll into a large square (the size of the square will depend on how thick you want your scones to be).  Cut across the square, making 3 rows.  Cut each row into alternating triangles, and transfer triangles to prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1/2 inch between each scone. Brush each scone with  beaten egg white and sprinkle sugar on top.  Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate after the scones have cooled.  I did this the first time around, took the picture, then decided I didn't really prefer the chocolate on top.  Just keeping it real!

Another note:  I actually think my second batch baked better after I had frozen the unbaked scones.  These are easily made ahead and stored in the freezer.  Just bake frozen, maybe adding an additional minute to the baking time if necessary.  Baking them frozen resulted in a more tender, fluffier scone.  :)

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