Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Scones

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you. I've made these scones about a zillion times and each and every time, they are tasty, buttery, flaky and satisfying. This recipe will yield 16 decent size scones but you can always cut them to the size that you want. I normally make the dough, cut them into triangles and freeze them, that way I can bake them off individually or a few at a time depending upon how many people want them.
This is a Martha Stewart recipe that originally calls for currants. I like currants, but I like dried cranberries and chocolate chips more. You can substitute in anything you like. Walnuts, bananas, blueberries -- the dough is what makes this scone, you just have to add in whatever your heart desire.
One thing to note, these scones have to be placed in the freezer for up to 2 hours before baking. So don't think you'll make the dough and then immediately shove them into the oven because that's not going to happen.
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tbsps granulated sugar
2 tbsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 cup dried currants (or 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, plus more if needed (get more, you'll need it)
1 large egg yolk
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional, I never use this)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining. Fold in the currants (or dried cranberries and chocolate chips). Make a well in the center.
Pour 2 cups cream into the flour mixture. Using your hands, draw the dry ingredients over the cream, gradually gathering and combining the dough until it just comes together. If it is too dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, gently press and pat the dough into an 11-by-7-inch rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut the rectangle into 16 triangles. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheets; cover with plastic wrap and freeze until the dough is very firm, at least 2 hours or overnight. (At this point, you can freeze the unbaked scones in a resealable plastic bag until ready to bake, up to 3 weeks.)
Preheat the over to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk with the remaining 1/4 cup cream; brush over tops of the scones and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar, if using. Bake, until the tops are golden and flecked with brown spots, 30 to 35 minutes.
Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, Clarkson Potter/Publisher, New York

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