When I was in college I loved coffee and espresso drinks and hated tea. As I’ve gotten older, coffee has made me feel jittery and generally not so great. It was a slow transition, but I’ve learned to fully embrace and love tea and especially tea time. When I’m at work I like to have a quick unofficial morning and afternoon tea break with my friends. These are really just quick trips to the kitchen, but when I’m at home I like to have real tea time with snacks. Usually these are just things we have around the house, but last week I made cranberry scones to go along with a more official tea. I used to think scones were all hard, dry, and heavy hockey puck type “treats” that were best avoided. But then I tried making them at home and they were amazing. I’ve tried several recipes over the years, but this one from the Barefoot Contessa is my go-to. This scone is definitely not dry and heavy. This is a soft, flaky, extremely buttery delicious treat. The recipe comes from the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and is actually a recipe for Strawberry Scones but you can sub in any dried fruit. We had dried cranberries in the house so that’s what I used this time. These are also especially delicious with the dried strawberry/cherry/blueberry packs from Trader Joe’s.
I only wanted a few scones so I quartered the recipe, but I’ve listed the complete recipe here. You could also make the full batch and then flash freeze the unbaked scones on a cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer safe bag when completely frozen. Bake them directly from the freezer, just add 2 minutes to the baking time.
Makes 14-16 scones. Adapted (barely) from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
- 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten (you can use large eggs)
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3/4 cup small-diced dried cranberries or other dried fruit of your choosing
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter on low speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and heavy cream together and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss the cranberries with 1 tablespoon of flour, add them to the dough, and mix quickly. The dough will likely be a little sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 4 inch squares and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked. Serve with jam, lemon curd, cream if you wish but I think they’re delicious plain. Eat for tea time or anytime!