I took a day off work – a much needed day off work. I was exhausted to the point of not being able to form a cohesive sentence and to add to it I had been a little sick. I needed a day that demanded nothing from me and one that I could wake up and choose how I would spend it.
I woke up missing home so I called my sister and chatted for a while and for some reason we started to talk about scones with clotted cream and jam. I love scones. Whenever we would go on a trip we would inevitably stop at a little café somewhere for tea and scones. The cafés I love the most are the ones with mismatched chairs, chintzy tablecloths and little old ladies who really know how to bake a solidly good old classic British scone
I am not a little old lady – just yet, however I decided scones are what I needed for my day off.
Cranberry Cream Scones
Recipe from joyofbaking.com
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I added these dried cranberries soaked in lemon juice to give the scones a slightly sweeter taste)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil lightly greased.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.). I tend to use my hands to do this. Make sure your hands are really cold. In a small bowl whisk together the half-and-half, beaten egg and vanilla.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add this mixture and the cranberries to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat into a 7 inch round. Using a lightly floured 2 -3 inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Or, if you are like me and don’t have any round cookie cutters, use a glass.
Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. (This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking.) I only used half of the dough. I put the other half in the freezer for another time. Dough freezes very well, just make sure it is fully defrosted before you want to use it again.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
Serve with whipped cream, butter, cream cheese or your favorite jam. Or all of them if you so desire.
I enjoyed mine still warm (the best way) with cream cheese and strawberry jam and even though I was not in an English café with my sister, I was quite happy watching my new favorite show, Revenge while enjoying my scone and a coffee. They were everything I remembered them to be and made me smile.
Although scones are best the day they are made, even better while still warm, you can keep them covered and stored for a few days. They also freeze very well.