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Cranberry-Cinnamon Scones

December 22, 2011

I have been trying not to look at the calendar too much.  When I do, it sticks its tongue out at me for having fallen behind so much.  I have two days to cross things off my holiday list–there’s still hope!  My husband and I are celebrating Christmas a bit differently this year so time is even more of a factor.  That said, I am still looking forward to Christmas–I have reminded myself that this time of year is not about the gifts still unwrapped, work not yet completed and least of all, it’s not about the stress I am feeling for not being prepared.  It is a time for family and for celebrating the birth of someone truly, truly special.  When I fix my mind on that I am able to calm down and proceed with a bit less angst.

Before I dive into my to-do list for the day, I thought I would infuse the blog with a bit of holiday spirit.  Cranberries and spices are hallmarks of holiday fare and I brought them together to satisfy a recent craving for scones.  It was also a nice way to put my bags of cranberries in the freezer to good use.  Do you ever buy more fresh cranberries at Thanksgiving than you know you will ever use?  I raise my hand.

If you can look past the color of the glaze, you might believe that these were actually delightful little scones.  I bought a bottle of beet juice for another project and I was struck with the crazy idea of matching the glaze to the cranberries.  Then I realized that achieving that bold color with beet juice  might overpower the glaze so I was left with this Pepto-Bismol pink.  Not to worry–it tastes like cinnamon, just like the scones.  All the sweetness is in the glaze, a pleasant complement to the slight tartness of the cranberries.  Next time I will leave the beet juice out of the equation but yes, these are worthy of making again.  I hope you enjoy them!

Cranberry-Cinnamon Scones

* Base Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup fat free half-n-half
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon beet juice (optional)
  • Couple drops vanilla extract

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process with six 1-second pulses.

3. Remove the cover of the food processor and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cranberries.

4. Stir in the half and half with a rubber spatula or fork until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.

5. Transfer the dough and all dry flour bits to a countertop and knead the dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. You can shape the dough into an 8-inch round and cut into 8 wedges but I rolled the dough into a rectangle and cut about 22 triangles for smaller scones.

6. Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes (2-3 minutes less for smaller scones). Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. While the scones are cooling, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over cooled scones or dip the top of each one before serving.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2011 1:48 PM

    Well, hello! These are so cheery and festive!

  2. December 22, 2011 2:01 PM

    Ho wincredibel are these?! And that pink color is so gorgeous!

  3. December 22, 2011 2:33 PM

    Happy Holidays Jean! What a perfect scone for the season and oh how do I love scones. These are a must make. I am making more Cranberry, Orange and Ginger Chutney today – I think about 30 jars. Hope the holidays are treating you well and look forward to seeing you in January!! 🙂

  4. December 22, 2011 6:03 PM

    So pretty! I’ve been craving scones, and I love cinnamon. In fact, I just made a batch of cranberry-orange muffins with a cinnamon-sugar topping that are incredible – posting tomorrow!

  5. December 22, 2011 8:25 PM

    These are so beautiful…just love the pink hue! Thank you for sharing this deliciousness with me. I’m about to leave for Colorado, but I’m glad I had a chance to check in before I depart! Many blessings to you and yours!

  6. December 22, 2011 8:25 PM

    Merry Christmas Jean and you are wise no angst needed. Enjoy the holiday season. Cannot wait to hear about your celebration. These scones look incredible!!

  7. December 23, 2011 12:38 AM

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Jean. Cranberry and cinnamon sounds wonderful together.

  8. December 23, 2011 8:53 AM

    Cinnamon scones are some of my favorites. I love the rosy festive addition.

  9. December 23, 2011 11:37 AM

    It does get overwhelming. It would be nice to have a chance to put my feet up, have a cuppa and a couple of these lovely scones. Happy Christmas to you and your husband, Jean!!!

  10. December 23, 2011 3:57 PM

    Amazing colours! Looks elegant~

  11. December 24, 2011 1:29 AM

    I loveee scones. They are one of my favorite things to make. These look wonderful. Love the glaze.

  12. sweetopiagirl permalink
    December 24, 2011 11:46 AM

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  13. December 25, 2011 7:28 PM

    I always find American scones so very different to the scones I’ve grown up with in the UK! But these are gorgeous – I’d definitely have a go at these and see how they measure up 😉

    Happy holidays, lovely!

    Jax x

  14. January 3, 2012 9:04 PM

    Ooh, I love your food styling here! Did you use fresh cranberries for this scone recipe? Thanks 🙂

    • January 5, 2012 9:11 PM

      Thanks, Jen! I used frozen cranberries that I originally bought fresh–left over from the holidays. 🙂

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