Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV on Thanksgiving morning. I remember the house being filled with the scent of delicious food cooking, and it was the perfect way to pass the time until our guests arrived. The Rockettes were always my favorite, and of course, I couldn’t wait for Santa Claus’ big appearance at the end.
Three years ago, we actually travelled to New York City for the holiday and got up at the crack of dawn to snag a spot to see the parade in person… And I have to say, I’ll take watching with my kids from my couch while eating a warm batch of these cranberry scones any day!
It was freezing cold and uber crowded, and to be honest, the famous balloons really lose some of their magic when you can see the dirt, smudges, and patches covering their exterior. I’d say if you ever have the chance to do it, go for it — but it’s not something I’d ever go out of my way to do again.
Anyhow, about these cranberry scones… This is my new favorite scones recipe! It makes for a deliciously light, flaky and tender scone, and it’s super easy to customize by adding your favorite dried fruit, chocolate or nuts (just add between 1-2 cups total).
But what I love most about this scones recipe is that once you slice the dough into triangles, it calls for popping them in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill while the oven preheats. This does two things: it relaxes the gluten in the flour, making the scones rise higher, and it also chills the fat, making them flakier.
And here’s where it gets really good… Instead of baking the scones at this point, you can just transfer the frozen scones to a gallon-size Ziploc bag to bake at your leisure. They’ll stay fresh for up to three months, so you can have hot and fresh scones at a moment’s notice! They can be baked right from their frozen state, but you may need to add a few extra minutes to the time.
I adapted the recipe this afternoon to make a batch of cranberry scones, and they turned out so well that I immediately whipped up and froze a second batch for Thanksgiving Day morning. Easy and tasty holiday breakfast? Check!Print
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup half and half
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add dried cranberries and walnuts; toss to mix.
- Whisk together half and half, eggs, and vanilla in a separate medium mixing bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Knead dough a few strokes on a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and pat each half into a 6″ circle with a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a knife or bench knife, cut each circle into 6 wedges.
- Transfer the wedges to a parchment-covered baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before baking. If you’re planning to freeze them for storage, transfer the frozen wedges to a gallon size Ziploc bag for storage.
- When you’re ready to bake the scones, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay the scones out on a parchment-covered baking sheet. If desired, you can brush the tops with half and half or milk and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. If you’re baking from completely frozen, you may need to add an additional few minutes. Cool briefly and serve warm.
P.S. Remember these Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets? I was super excited to find several packages at Walmart the other day. I’ve been searching high and low and low for them, and they’ve been out of stock everywhere for awhile now. They’re perfect for baking holiday cookies and scones, and they’re only $1.98 for a 22-ct. pkg. with this Reynolds Parchment Paper printable coupon right now!