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Cranberry Chocolate Scones

July 3, 2011

Scones

I am loving that summer is here! It’s been a gloomy June in Los Angeles and seeing feeling the temperature rise to 90-100 degrees now that July has kicked in tells me that it’s going to be one hot and kickin’ summer.

I’ve been very busy lately with the new job and all (actually still with the same company but now I moved on to a sister agency). I am adjusting back to having an insane commute – 1.5 hours each way – and adapting to the new environment. Advertising is a whirlwind. There are the perks and pseudo-glamorous side but there’s high-level stress that pierces you if you are not ready for it. Having hobbies and interests outside of advertising keeps me balanced and lucid. I’ve been playing a lot of tennis recently. In fact, I meet with a coach weekly to pump up my game even more. My husband is teaching me golf (to me, he’s the Rickie Fowler of the Diaz clan) and I devote weekend mornings to yoga.

Scone

Then there’s my love for baking which is slightly being challenged by my finicky oven. The guys at GE claim to have fixed it but every time I attempt to bake something, it decides to act up and not heat up to the right temperature. However, when Bearik uses it (for roast chicken or potatoes) it stinking works!??!!?? Why, oven? WHY? I think my oven hates my guts. I named her Olga for cussing purposes in the kitchen when she lets me down.

Scones

I baked these Cranberry Chocolate Scones for Father’s Day weekend. It took me two hours to get Olga (my oven) to preheat at the right temperature. Yeah, Olga still cooperates… but she has to throw a tantrum 1-2 hours before she decides to cooperate with you. Tolerance is mandatory for Olga, especially if you want your goodies made. I’ve perfected the virtue of patience, thanks to Olga.

Now back to the scones and let me just say that the two-hour preheating ordeal paid off. They were incredibly delicious and not dry at all. You are probably imagining hockey pucks right this moment but I beg you to get that image away from your head. These scones are light in texture and flavor, not dense like most ones out there. This recipe is adapted  from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook written by John Baricelli. If you watched Everyday Food on PBS before, then you’ll recognize his name. His bakery in Connecticut is also of the same name: The Sono Baking Company and Cafe.

Scones and Marmalade

John actually used sour cherries with the chocolate and he only used heavy cream as the fat/liquid ingredient. I slightly changed it by substituting sour cherries with cranberries (just because I had a lot in my pantry) and I used buttermilk/heavy cream ratio for my liquid ingredients. You will notice that there’s no butter in this recipe. I was worried too… I usually add a couple of tablespoons of butter into the mixture to add flakiness and boost flavor. But after eating one bite out of the baked scone, I didn’t even think about the absence of butter. It was so toothsome and satisfying and just the exact opposite of those brick looking (and tasting) scones you buy at coffee shops. Mmm mmm mmm.

Cranberry Chocolate Scones

Adapted from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook by John Baricelli. You can buy his amazing book here. The recipe calls for a lot of baking powder but have no fear. You want these puppies to rise especially with all the flour in the recipe. Makes 12 to 15 scones.

Ingredients:

5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for cutting

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Zest from 1/2 orange

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

2 cups heavy cream, chilled, plus extra 1/4 cup for brushing tops of scones

3/4 cup buttermilk

Sanding sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and zest. Stir in the dried cranberries and chopped chocolate.

2. Add the heavy cream and half of the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and fold using your hands or a rubber scraper until the flour mixture has absorbed the cream and buttermilk. Add remaining buttermilk a little bit at a time until the dough starts to come together and there are no visible dry clumps.

3. Turn the dough into your work surface that’s been lightly floured. Ever so gently press and pat the dough with floured hands and form into a 1-inch thick round. Using a 2.5 inch to a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible, dipping the cutter into a small bowl of flour after each cut to prevent sticking. Lightly re-roll the scraps (don’t overwork it) and cut out more rounds. Place the cut scones about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F. Once scones are chilled, lightly brush the tops with remaining 1/4 cup cream and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake the scones for 25 to 30 minutes and until they are golden. Cool on your sheet pan for 5 – 10 minutes and then transfer the scones to a wire rack to completely cool.

Enjoy!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2011 11:11 pm

    Kathy, so happy to see you post again! Very warm here in Northern California the last few days and I’ve been waiting all evening to cool down just so I can bake. It’s good Olga cooperated with this batch of scones. Thank you for sharing!

    • July 4, 2011 12:54 am

      I used to adore Olga… but now she’s making me really testy sometimes. Happy to be back as well. Have a great summer and don’t forget to slather that sunscreen on. Xo!

  2. July 6, 2011 7:18 pm

    I have missed you and I’m glad to see you back. I, too, make a long commute to school, so I understand! Thank you for sharing your sweet self with me today. These scones look so good! I’m smiling (and I’m hungry now!) I need to read your blog after I’ve had dinner 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous end to your week. Take care, my friend!

    • July 11, 2011 4:41 pm

      Do you have a favorite commute tale you can share? Hahaha! I have lots. Thank you my friend. Hope you are having a great summer!

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