We’ve all heard the old adage: A baby changes everything. Three weeks into this parenting thing, and I can indeed confirm that our tiny bundle has made a mountain-sized impact on life as we knew it. Although the Bean’s birth hasn’t literally changed everything — there’s still work to do, school to attend, holidays to plan for — she’s certainly changed our approach to everything. Suddenly a happy baby seems so much more important than a spotless house, oven full of baked goods or even a good night’s sleep. While Jared perfects his swaddling skills (he’s the only one who’s consistently successful at containing our ninja baby’s flailing arms), I’m learning to revisit my to-do list in one-hour increments of time. Of course, I’d still much rather watch the Bean make silly sleeping faces than do anything truly productive. Life is good.
During one of the baby naps yesterday, I did manage to squeeze in a batch of cranberry orange scones, my newfound favorite that I seem to love more every time I bake them. Packed full of cranberries and zinging with fresh orange zest, these buttery bites are perfect for breakfast or dessert and can be made ahead of time and frozen, which is right handy dandy when you’re too busy chasing sugarplums to find time for anything else.
Cranberry Orange Scones
Adapted from mrslarkin’s blueberry scones on Food52.com (food52.com/recipes/11455_royal_wedding_scones/1)
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on tops of scones
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
• 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 cup dried cranberries
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1 scant cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the large bowl of a food processor (fitted with the chopping blade), place the dry ingredients and orange zest, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse 10 or so times to combine (you should retain some small pieces of butter). Transfer flour mixture to a large mixing bowl. Fold cranberries into mixture.
In a large measuring cup, place heavy cream, egg, orange juice and vanilla. Mix well, then pour into flour mixture. Using a fork, fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture while gradually turning the bowl (you’re aiming for a folding motion, not stirring). When dough begins to come together, gently kneed dough into a ball shape.
Transfer dough ball to floured board, and gently pat it into a 6- or 7-inch circle. Use a pastry scraper or large chef’s knife to cut it into 8 triangles.
Place the scones on a wax-paper-lined sheet pan, and freeze until solid.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place frozen scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning pan halfway through. Scones are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
What’s your favorite seasonal baked good? Did anyone discover a new favorite recipe over the holiday weekend? How did the festivities go? And in baby news, how do other parents of little ones manage to find time for all the holiday to-dos?
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It’s officially the Christmas season! Woo hoo!