Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Scones

 

Ah, there’s nothing better than a freshly baked breakfast scone and a hot cup of coffee on a drizzly, gray day.  Especially with a Netflix Instant Queue, which happens to be jam-packed with a TV series you are trying to catch up on.

Huddled under an electric blanket, complete with one happy snuggly dog (Scout) and two purring, content cats (The Jinx and Cosmo) all packed like sardines on my couch, this was the beginning of my most recent weekend.  No plans, no obligations, no reason to venture out into the slushy Milwaukee weather.  The only thing I had to do was a mountain of two weeks’ worth of laundry and a kitchen to play around in.  And work out, which I did early, so it was out of the way and long forgotten.

And, so I made these little guys.  And while I have been limiting a lot of my carbs lately,  I didn’t (or, rather, couldn’t) give up an opportunity to try my hands at scones again.  They aren’t something that I necessarily go for, but it was the perfect day for a scone, if there ever was one.

I don’t have a lot of access to fresh fruit right now (see above comment about Milwaukee weather), but I did happen to have a bag of dried cranberries and a random orange, so this was swiftly converted into a more holiday-esque scone.  I loved the taste.  I put some aside in the freezer for another rainy day.  I also made a simple sugary glaze to up the sweetness factor (wasn’t too sure about the tartness potential here), but this is optional.

 

 

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Scones

Servings:  about 8 large scones

 

Ingredients

For the scones:

1 cup hot water

6 ounces dried cranberries

1 cup whole-grain flour (I used spelt flour, you can substitute whole wheat)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1″ pieces

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta (you could sub in a lower fat version as well)

1/3 cup heavy cream

Zest from one orange (or as much as you desire)

Decorating sugar (or turbinado sugar), optional

For the glaze (optional):

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons water

 

Instructions

1. For the scones: Place the cranberries in the hot water and set aside for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cranberries have plumped up.  Drain the excess water.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. In the bowl of your food processor (or you can also do this by hand, using a pastry cutter and a spoon), combine the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt, mixing well.

4. With the processor running (or using a pastry cutter), add the butter, one piece at a time, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

5. Add the ricotta and heavy cream, mixing well.

6. Remove the dough from the food processor and transfer to a medium bowl.

7. Gently fold in the cranberries and the orange zest, mixing until just combined.

8. Transfer the dough to a clean, flat surface and pat the dough into a 1″-high disc.  At this point, you can cut the dough into any shape you like.  I used a 3.5″ round cookie cutter, reshaping and cutting out the dough until it was all used.

9. Lightly sprinkle the scones with decorating sugar, if using.

10. Baking until the scones are lightly golden, about 15 minutes or so.  ***Watch them carefully.  I found that I only had to bake mine for about 13 minutes in my particular oven.

11. Remove from the oven and let cool.

12. For the glaze, if using:  Whisk together the powdered sugar and water, adding more sugar or water until you reach your desired consistency.  Lightly drizzle each scone with the glaze and serve immediately.

 

Source:  Adapted from 101cookbooks, as originally adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

December 12, 2012 - 11:19 am

Mr. & Mrs. P - We are on a big cranberry kick lately!! We have to make these!

December 12, 2012 - 3:48 pm

Virginia - I love cranberry-orange scones in general, and now I’m craving these! Today is cold and rainy after a week of sunny and decidedly un-winter-like warm weather. Also, I love your ornament tree/topiary/cone in the background- so cute!

December 12, 2012 - 5:12 pm

srlacy - Thanks, Virginia! The topiary is from Target ($15, I think). I went a little overboard on decorations a couple of weeks ago…. :)

December 17, 2012 - 3:48 pm

a farmer in the dell - these sound fantastic! what a great Christmas morning breakfast. thanks for another lovely recipe!

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies

 

I haven’t posted a cookie recipe in a loooooooonnnnggg time. (This whole P90X thing is taking a serious hit on my chocolate intake…but you know what? I’m not craving the sweet stuff that much anymore.  Go figure.)

But, in the holiday spirit (and in a serious ten minute chocolate craving urge), I realized that I had all the ingredients on hand for these cookies.   The ingredients are pantry staples, for the most part (as long as you keep an emergency stash of chocolate chips on board.)

I like gingerbread cookies.  I like chocolate chip cookies.  Consider this the merging of two totally important cookie genres into one fabulous and festive holiday cookie.

Get creative with these.  You could add in white chocolate instead.  Or instead of chips, add in some candied ginger to make them extra-gingery.  Don’t have sprinkles?  I bet these would be fantastic with a little extra frosting on top (there…I said it.)  For a vegan-friendly cookie, use your usual vegan butter substitute and dairy-free chocolate chips.  Delish!

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies

Servings:  about 24 cookies

 

Ingredients

1 and 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a coarser salt here, and I loved the mix of sweet and salty in the cookies.)

1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup sprinkles, white non-pareils, pearl sugar, or whatever you like

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and cocoa until combined.

4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

5. Reduce the speed to medium and add the brown sugar, mixing until combined.

6. Add the molasses, mixing well.

7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients until just combined.  (*I found that my dough was a smidge on the dry side, so I added a tablespoon or so of water to the mixture.  You need it to be a consistency that is able to be rolled.)

8. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

9. Using your hands or a cookie dough scoop, gently roll the dough into individual balls (each about 1.5 inches or so in diameter.)

10. Gently roll the top of each dough ball in the sprinkles (or whatever you are using) and place the balls (sugar side up) on the prepared baking sheet.

11. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, until the surfaces just begin to crack.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Source:  King Arthur Flour Company.

 

December 5, 2012 - 9:36 am

Jillian {Her Split Ends} - um…YUMM!!! I can’t wait to try these!! I’m going to try with GF flour…i’ll report back ;)

Cheers
~ Jillian
http://www.hersplitends.com

December 6, 2012 - 8:56 pm

Laurel - This look great. I love the combo of ginger and chocolate. How is p90x going? I am thinking of trying it.

December 7, 2012 - 11:49 am

srlacy - Hey Laurel-

P90X is going-almost halfway done now! It’s absolutely incredible and I can’t believe the results I am seeing already, but I am also working my buns off (literally!) You should totally try it!

December 11, 2012 - 11:37 pm

Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips - This look delicious! That’s awesome that P90X is going so well for you! I didn’t have the willpower to stick with it when I tried it! go you!

December 17, 2012 - 12:42 pm

JenK - Thanks for the recipe. I made these last weekend and they are delicious!

Persimmons in Spiced Syrah Syrup

Oh, dear.  I’ve recently been introduced to persimmons, those bright orange-spicy little globes that (very modestly) nestle into the corner of my Whole Foods produce section-not clamoring for any attention, not taking up too much space (they let the bananas and pineapples do their thing), but quietly announcing their presence this season.  I tend to spend a lot of time in the produce section (sometimes just admiring the beauty there-or-trying to not to look like a complete fool as I navigate my apparently oversized cart through their snug little aisles.  Yesterday I knocked two apples off the bin…much to the delight of a sweet little 5-year-old boy who laughed with me as I picked them up and placed them in my bag.  Hopefully no one else saw.  It was our secret.)  Anyways, I’ve noticed a few people slowly walk past the display of persimmons, stealing a second glance as they walk past.  A few have stopped and picked them up, as if trying to decide what to do with one.  I was the same way, until I found this recipe and was bound and determined to try one for myself.

Anything with a wine sauce is good, right?  Yes.  I cooked the syrup in the morning with plans to serve this dish in the evening. My whole apartment smelled divine-a mix of vanilla and cinnamon and totally holiday season-appropriate.  In the end, I served the persimmons (lightly reheated) over some frozen Greek vanilla yogurt-but you could serve it with anything, really.  Ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream, whatever.  This is a fantastic addition to any holiday meal.

 

Persimmons in Spiced Syrah Syrup

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

1 cup Syrah wine

1/2 cup sugar

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

One half of a vanilla bean (or the whole thing, if you love vanilla)

2 slices lemon

3-4 ripe Fuyu persimmons

Frozen Greek vanilla yogurt

For garnish:  mint, candied ginger

 

Instructions

1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the wine, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and lemon slices to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened, about 18-20 minutes.

3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl.  Discard the solids.

4. Remove the brown stems from the persimmons and slice the fruit into wedges.

5. Place the persimmons into the warm Syrah syrup and cover.  Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring every once in a while.

6. Serve the fruit over ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc and garnish with mint and candied ginger, if desired.

 

Source:  Vegetarian Times November 2012.

December 2, 2012 - 6:25 pm

a farmer in the dell - I love persimmons! This sounds amazing. Thanks for an excuse to buy a bottle of syrah. Yum!

December 3, 2012 - 10:11 pm

Kelsey - I love persimmons and am always looking for ways to use them. This looks fantastic!

December 16, 2012 - 2:30 pm

Lynn Cote - Curvey!
Have a Merry Christmas. I sure do mis you. You are not going to beleve who has been to my gym and in my
class the jerk himself!!!! lynn

December 16, 2012 - 7:45 pm

srlacy - Hi Lynn-

Hahaha. Well, that’s because he’s fat. ;)

May 7, 2013 - 9:54 am

Persimmons in Spiced Syrah Syrup - [...] For recipe visit:  thecurvycarrot.com [...]