We feel so incredibly lucky to have landed in the neighborhood we did when we moved to SoCal. Our neighbors have quickly become good friends so we knew we wanted to do something special for holiday gifts this year! I love homemade gifts, but I also knew for it to be realistic they needed to be gifts that I could make relatively quickly. These scones, my friends, qualify as both…special and easy!! So if you’re looking for something quick to take to your neighbors, or planning ahead for a hostess gift on NYE, keep reading…
I use the Barefoot Contessa scone recipe. By far my favorite and easiest, and it makes a great base recipe. Stir in chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, yum they are all delicious! For this time of year though I love cranberry orange scones. I follow the recipe almost exactly, except how I shape and cut the scones. And when I came across the idea from Jenny Steffen’s blog, to gift scones UNBAKED…oh man, I knew she was on to something! I purchased the small bakery boxes from her shop, made a bunch of batches and got to work….
CRANBERRY ORANGE SCONES:
- 4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
- 3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, kosher salt and orange zest on low speed. Add in the diced cold butter and mix on the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the heavy cream and eggs, and add to butter mixer on low speed. Mix until just blended, the dough will look lumpy. Combine the dried cranberries with 1/4 cup flour, and mix into dough.
Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead just a couple times so that it comes together. Cut in half so you have two even pieces. Shape each half into a round disk, about 6-7 inches in diameter. I use a pastry scaper to section the dough into half, then quarters, then two more times to make 8 wedges total.
At this point if you are going to be sending them off to your friends/neighbors unbaked, then you’ll want to wrap the wedges up in saran wrap and package in a box. I tied our boxes with a simple bow and included a pastry bag filled with an orange glaze (see recipe below). A handwritten note tied on to the glaze includes instructions for how to bake.
TO BAKE: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
GLAZE: Mix together 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with approximately 4 teaspoons of orange juice and drizzle on warm scones. For our neighbor gifts I made a large batch of this at once by adding approximate 4-6 cups of powdered sugar to a bowl and mixing enough enough freshly squeezed orange juice so that the glaze is of pourable consistency.
These were fast and fun to make, and are such a fun treat to give around the holidays. Friends can choose to either bake them the following morning or freeze until they are ready to enjoy! Hopefully it made someone’s breakfast just a little bit easier during this hectic holiday season. Only 2 more sleeps!!