As I sat sipping my green tea and eating scones early this morning I had a bit of a scare.
I was watching out the window at my fluffy little dog Duffy sniffing around the side yard when from across the cul-de-sac comes a big red fox...my heart stopped. All I could think of was my little dog was going to be breakfast for this big red fox.
I tapped on the window to distract the dog, ran to the refrigerator for the bag of Boar's Head Ham (the ultimate retrieval device for small fluffy dogs f.y.i.) and dangled a pink slice out the front door. The approaching red fox went completely unnoticed as fluffy little Duffy came running for a piece of ham (pathetic, I know). We have so many foxes in the woods next to our house-it really does make me nervous. This fox was particularly healthy looking for this time of year-often they'll look a little mangy about now which makes me even more nervous.
My scone unfortunately got cold while tending to all this animal drama but a quick reheat in the microwave solved that problem.
One of the things I love about this time of year is that fresh cranberries are once again plentiful in the produce aisle of the supermarket.
While I love the dried variety like Craisins...I really enjoy the unsweetened tartness of fresh cranberries. For this recipe you can use the dried variety if fresh are not available or if you prefer a sweeter scone.
The texture of these scones is a tender almost muffin like texture as opposed to the flaky, drier texture of many scones. A nice addition might be pecans or walnuts if you would like a little crunch.
Brown Sugar Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal Scones
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (plus additional for sprinkling)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
12 tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tablespoons
zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
2/3 cup half and half
2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal; pulse until combined and the oatmeal is somewhat ground. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Using a wooden spoon stir in the zest and the cranberries. Gradually add the half and half and the orange juice, stir just until combined. Spoon the dough onto a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick disc.
Using a floured cutter (I used an oval shaped cutter, but round is fine), cut the dough into discs and arrange on the prepared baking sheets.
Brush the tops lightly with a bit of half and half then sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool or eat them warm from the oven.
Yield: about 1 dozen scones