cranberry marzipan scones

Posted on March 15, 2011. Filed under: Brunch, Dessert | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Since it was a tight race between the brownies and the scones in the first ever “What Next?” poll, I decided to whip up the scones for brunch this past Saturday when some of my favorite ladies came to town for a visit.  After a crazy night on the town on Friday, we needed a solid base before heading wedding dress shopping.  Thankfully Liz agreed to make her fantastic sausage egg casserole while I took on the bloody marys and scones.

I have to admit that this recipe is not my favorite.  I’m not sure if my baking powder was old or if the almond paste affects the dough but I found them to be a bit more dense than I would prefer.  Ina Garten’s Cranberry Orange Scones are a great recipe and if I was going to make scones again, I’d probably go with that recipe next time.  Not to say that this is a bad recipe or that they didn’t taste good but I just wouldn’t rank it #1. I used a recipe from and replaced the cherries with cranberries as per the lovely Marie’s request.

Anyway – after my raaaave reviews, here is the recipe 😉

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed almond paste (not marzipan!) – SOLO Brand is the ideal choice here
1/3 cup unsalted butter, very cold
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Amaretto (optional…but duh!)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
sugar (raw/turbinado), for sprinkling

If you are using the Amaretto (do it!), soak the cranberries in the Amaretto for about 15-20 minutes before you start making the scones.  I just bought a nip at the liquor store and that was a perfect amount.  Feel free to throw the butter in the freezer while the cranberries soak.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Stack two cookie sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Following this brilliant suggestion from the recipe (which I will now use any time I need to do something similar to this) – using the large holes on a box grater, grate the almond paste and then the butter directly into the dry ingredients.  As mentioned in the ingredient list, SOLO brand almond paste is the best thing for this if you can find it.  I’ve been able to find it at Giant with the pie filling in the baking aisle.  But seriously now – how amazing is that idea for incorporating the butter and almond paste.

So once you’ve grated everything into the flour, use a pastry cutter to cut the almond paste and the butter into the dry ingredients until a few pea-sized lumps remain.

Stir in the cranberries. (If you are using the Amaretto, drain the cranberries before adding. Drink or discard amaretto depending on how hungover you are.).

In a separate small bowl, mix together the heavy cream, egg and two extracts.  With a fork, gradually add the cream/egg mixture into the flour mix, just until it starts to come together.  Reserve a tablespoon of the cream/egg mixture if you are able.  Now if you are like me, you might miss the step that adds the cranberries and realize it AFTER you have already added all of the cream/egg mixture so you have to go back and add them and that might make the dough slightly more wet than it should have been, but really not that big a deal.

Anyway, once the dough starts to come together, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat the dough into about an 8 inch circle about 1.5 inches thick.  I used a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 wedges.  Worked well.  Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet and brush the top of each scone with the remaining cream/egg mixture.  If you have none left like me, just use some cream.  Sprinkle the top of each scone liberally with the raw sugar.

Bake the scones in the top third of the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the scones are golden brown (side note: they smell amazing!).  Transfer scones to a wire rack and cool slightly, for 3-4 minutes.  Serve warm with jam.  Editor’s note: as stated in the previous post, if you can get your hands on some clotted cream, it’s fantastic and recommended with the jam.


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2 Responses to “cranberry marzipan scones”

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Thank you so much for the lovely brunch! The company and the scones were both excellent!

While clotted cream clearly needs a better name it is super delicious with these scones!

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