The past three weeks have been a lot busier than I expected them to be! I posted about the macarons I tried to make for the refreshments after my son’s concert on April 8th. Those all ended up being eaten up by my family. Instead, I made chocolate chip cookies, Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle traybake, and sugar cookie custard fruit mini-tarts for the refreshments, all with the help of my mother-in-law. I really could not have made all of those desserts without her help.
And then, just to make things more crazy for myself, we had an early Easter lunch at our house on April 15th. So most of the week before that, I spent prepping the house and the food for Saturday. I’m glad I didn’t have to make all the food for Easter lunch! I did make a strawberry limeade cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting for one of our Easter desserts; I’m not sure if it tasted good or not because I only got one slice! I will try to post about that bake soon.
This past week was spring break for my kids from homeschooling. We drove to a nearby resort and it was so much fun! I had the chance to play with my kids, which is something I don’t always get to do. It was actually pretty nice to take a break from baking. But now, I am ready to get back to baking again.
In February, I made white chocolate chip cranberry-orange scones for the ladies’ tea room at our church’s Leadership Conference and never wrote down the recipe, so today, I decided to make it again. This time, I kept track of all my ingredients. If you would like to go straight to the recipe, scroll all the way down.
I was making smaller scones (but not quite mini-size) so I chopped my white chocolate chips and using a pair of scissors, I snipped my dried cranberries into smaller pieces. I also soaked my dried cranberries in a little bit of water and an 1/8 tsp of orange extract before mixing them into the dough, just to make sure they weren’t too dry after baking in the scones. I never fully mix my dough in the bowl because I am afraid of overmixing.
I dumped the dough out onto a floured surface and worked the rest of the flour into the dough using my hands.
It doesn’t take too long for the dough to come together like this. Maybe 5 to 10 minutes.
I doubled my usual scone recipe and patted the dough out into a rectangle that was around 16 inches by 9 inches. I wanted it to be 24 inches by 6 inches, but I didn’t want to pat the dough out too thin. The 16 x 9 rectangle was probably easier to work with anyway.
I used a bench cutter and a ruler to divide the rectangle as evenly as possible. My cuts along the longer side were 2 inches apart, while the shorter side had 3 inch cuts. As shown above, there were 41 scones. I did end up with some scones that were larger than others or were an odd shape.
When will I learn not to bake two cookie sheets at once? This was my second bake of the day and I was ready to be done, but I should have been more patient and baked only one sheet at a time. Because of my impatience, most of the scones in this batch ended up almost burned on the bottom. They weren’t so burned we couldn’t eat them though, so I was glad of that.
I did like the golden brown color on top of the overbaked scones though! Maybe next time, I will use the convection feature on my oven when I bake these.
I made my usual powdered sugar glaze to drizzle over the scones and added about an 1/8 tsp of orange extract to the glaze just to give it more orange flavor.
I was afraid that the orange flavor would be too subtle, but my oldest son said he was able to taste the orange. Twelve of these scones (the nicest ones I could pick out that weren’t burnt) went to our church bookstore, but the rest stayed with us for breakfast. They were gone by this morning, and I have to confess that I was the one who probably ate most of them because they tasted so good!
White Chocolate Chip Cranberry-Orange Scones
Halve the recipe if you do not need 42 scones.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 2 cups heavy cream (note: if desired, add the juice of the orange used for zest to a measuring cup then add the heavy cream to the measuring cup until you have 2 cups total of liquid)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in water or orange juice, snipped into smaller pieces
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, chopped
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3-5 tsp heavy cream
- 3-5 tsp water
- 1/8 tsp orange extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl; flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and orange zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat pieces with flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the heavy cream, orange extract, and vanilla extract. Fold everything together just to incorporate as much of the flour as possible; do not overwork. Fold the cranberries (make sure to drain off any extra liquid from the cranberries) and chopped white chocolate into the dough.
Dump the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough lightly until it comes together and there are no more streaks of flour in the dough.
Pat the dough out into a 16 in. x 9 in. rectangle. Using a bench cutter, make cuts along the longer side at every 2 inches, and along the shorter side at every 3 inches. You will end up with around 42 scones.
Use the bench cutter to transfer each scone to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of each scone with heavy cream and bake the scones one sheet at a time on the center rack of the oven for 12 – 15 minutes (15-20 minutes if making the larger scones), until golden brown.
Let scones cool on a wire rack before drizzling glaze over them.
To make the icing, mix together 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 3 tsp of heavy cream, and orange extract. Add 1 tsp of water at a time and mix until the icing is your desired consistency.