Featherlight Christmas Drop Scones Spread Some Holiday Cheer!
I tend to take my inspiration wherever I can get it. But sometimes it come easy, infact right from my refrigerator!
Enter, candied blood oranges a.k.a. aranciata rossa from Sicily. On our trip a few years ago, I had bought back a circle of this delicious stuff from one of my favorite and one of the oldest chocolate shops in Sicily, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto and because as you know, everything we bring back from travels far and wide falls into the 'simply precious' category, I've been waiting to unwrap this beauty when inspiration struck.
It's a serendipitous coincidence when inspiration strikes just in time for my Holiday baking class that I teach annually (but it might also be that one was the catalyst for the other).
This scone recipe is a classic, one I've used over so many years with different seasonal add-ins, blackberries, pumpkin and the like that these Christmas scones were bound to come about. Add-ins like dried cranberries, pecans, orange zest and of course candied orange peels are just what you need to make these gorgeous aromatic scones.
Now as much as I hope that you all have a wonderful circle of aranciata rossa in your refrigerator, perchance you don't, Amazon is that place to go and you'll find some really delicious candied orange peels from vendors like Olive Nation. I've been using theirs for years and I don't earn a commission for saying so.
I hope you'll give these Christmas scones a try because you really will love them. I serve these with imported Devonshire clotted cream that I purchased from Wegmans at $8.99 for an itty bitty bottles that's good enough for 4 persons but I find mascarpone works just as well!
Don't gasp - think about it, same concept.
Hope your holidays are cheerful & bright!
Spread Some Holiday Cheer! Featherlight Christmas Drop Scones
By Devaki Das
Shopping list : Makes 12 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
3-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbs. softened unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 tsp salt
Zest of 1 orange
¾ cup dried cranberries (craisins)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
3 tbs candied orange peel, finely chopped
1 beaten egg for eggwash
Preheat the oven at 425 deg F.
Orange – Zest the orange using a Microplane zester. Cover the bowl until ready to use.
Eggs - In a separate bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Set aside until ready to use.
Spray an 11” x 17” pan with non-stick baking spray. Line with parchment paper.
Place the all-purpose flour, baking powder, white sugar, salt & softened unsalted butter in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
On the lowest setting blend till the flour & butter is well mixed. It will be crumbly like soft crumbs. Empty the contents to a large mixing bowl.
Add the beaten eggs, heavy cream & buttermilk to the flour. Stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup more flour, if the mixture is too gooey.
Add the dried fruits, nuts and orange zest to the bowl. With a rubber spatula, gently begin to fold the mixture so it is thoroughly mixed.
This is very important - do not over mix. STOP as soon as the mixture is well blended. Over working the dough makes awfully TOUGH scones.
Using clean hands, take ¼” of dough and gently place on the baking tray. Pat down until dough is about 1/2" thick.
Place the scones in rows, not touching each other and about 1” inch apart.
Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top surface of the scones and rest for 15 minutes.
Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until the tops begin to brown. Do not allow the scones to over-brown.
Serve warm with clotted cream and strawberry preserves.