Cranberry-Orange Cream Scones

These tender scones are a delicious twist on my perfect cream scone recipe. Loaded with orange zest and studded with dried cranberries, they're amazing eaten just as they are, but are even better topped with a little homemade orange curd! I love that these can be made and frozen, unbaked, ahead of time. Then, whenever you get a craving or have guest stop by, a warm scone is only 15 minutes away!

Cranberry Orange Cream Scones
Makes 8-9 scones

3 tablespoons sugar
zest of one orange
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest, and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in dried cranberries.
4. Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
5. Dump the entire bowl out onto to a large, well-floured piece of parchment paper and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.
6. Form scones by pressing the dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle and cutting into 8 wedges or pressing it out into a square and cutting into 9 smaller squares (3x3).
7. Place scones on an ungreased or parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake until scone tops are very light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!!!

*If you choose to freeze them, simply place the unbaked scones on the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to flash  freeze and then transfer them to a freezer-safe zip top bag labeled with what kid of scones they are and directions for baking them (temp and time). When you're ready to bake them, they can go straight from freezer to oven, just add a few extra minutes of bake time.

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