For the third year in a row, I’ve traveled with my daughter Zoey and her good friend Livi to Wisconsin during Cranfest. Our official business is biking the Elroy-Sparta Trail, but Anita, the innkeeper at Amil’s Inn, always manages to bake a lot of cranberries into our trip. We were greeted with oatmeal cranberry cookies when we arrived, and in the morning cranberry scones were the highlight of breakfast. The cranberries are "fresh from the bog," as Anita loves to say.
When I found a recipe for Cranberry Scones on the site, I thought it would be a great way to bake up some memories of Amil’s Inn and our fun biking trips. The recipe requires only 15 minutes of prep, and it makes one round of six scones—perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
To begin, get all the ingredients ready. Zest the skin of one orange, which should give you about 1 tablespoon. I use a Microplaner, which I love for fast, easy zesting.
Next, measure out the flour. The amount needed is 1 ¾ cups, so to measure accurately I used my cup measure plus my half- and quarter-cup measures.
Measure by scooping the flour into the cup, and then leveling with a knife.
As you measure add the flour to a large bowl, then add the orange peel, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and—the star of the scones—the cranberries.
Mix all of this together, and then add the ¼ cup of butter—cutting it into several pieces is helpful as you get started. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
As you cut in the butter, you will likely need to scrape off the cutter a few times.
The next step is to add the liquid ingredients. Combine the egg, sour cream and milk in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
Mix with a whisk until it’s nice and smooth.
Then pour it into the big bowl.
Mix with a big spoon until the dough starts to come together. It doesn’t have to be in one ball yet.
Now pour out the dough onto a lightly floured board …
… and shape it into a ball. If it’s sticky, dust your hands with flour so they don’t stick.
Now, knead the dough about 5 to 8 times until it’s nice and smooth. Keep flouring your hands as necessary to prevent sticking. Avoid dumping flour directly onto the dough as it can add more flour than you need. The idea is to use just enough flour.
Place the dough ball onto the greased baking sheet and flatten it into a 7-inch circle. I use my rounded palm to guide the shape as I flatten.
If you want to make sure the size is 7-inches in diameter, just measure it with a ruler.
Looks great! The final step is scoring the dough. I used a butcher knife, pressing down about ¼ inch. Dusting the knife with flour as needed helps keep it from sticking.
Pop the scones into the oven for 18-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned.
Gorgeous! Since it was sort of like a "cake" of scones, I used my cake plate to serve them. With the scoring, it’s easy to break off a scone and enjoy.
Warm, delicious cranberry scones on a fancy cake plate and silver doily reminded me of Wisconsin all over again!
Even though both girls will likely go to different high schools next year, we hope to continue our annual tradition of a long weekend of biking on the Elroy-Sparta Trail. When we do, I think we should bring some of these Cranberry Scones along for the car trip. They should tide us over until we get to Anita’s cookie jar.
I’d love to hear back from you if you try these wonderful Cranberry Scones. Let us know what you think.
Check back in a few days when Amanda will share a tasty pumpkin recipe.
Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.