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White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

Truth. I’m obsessed with the show Downton Abbey. First, you must understand that anything British gets me excited. Second, you must know that I love historical stuff — books, shows, clothes — you name it.

So, since I’ve been in a British mood lately I decided scones would be the order of the day. Not just any scones, but my secret cheater’s version! Normal scones take long to make and can be temperamental for even the best cook, but these … magic every time.

Yes, cheaters may not prosper, but they can have one delicious breakfast! Just do me one small favor: don’t tell Cousin Violet that we took shortcuts!

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisans)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips extra sugar for sprinkling

1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.     In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal)…I use a pastry mixer or the food processor when I’m lazy. My *trick* is to freeze the butter overnight then in the morning you basically cut shavings of it with a knife into the bowl then it mixes perfectly.

3.     In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

4.     Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough together. It will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but press on! It’ll all come together. I promise.

5.     Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Oh dear! I know that look. You told her my secret, didn’t you?

Starbucks’ Secret Scone Recipe

During Fall and Winter I become a Starbucks frequenter. I’m not much of a coffee drinker (as in, I don’t seek it out, but if it’s there I’ll drink it), but I’d die for one of their pumpkin scones. And then I came across a recipe claiming to be Starbucks’ secret recipe and I thought, surely not.

I didn’t think the recipe could come close. I mean, I’ve tried plenty ‘secret’ recipes for famous foods only to be disappointed (although, I have Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana down to an art…a recipe for another day). But, believe me, these scones are right on the money. And I’m a scone snob.

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

For the Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg

For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. You MUST line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and
ginger in a large bowl. Use a pastry tool or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat
out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick
rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to
slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each
of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular
slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or
until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

4. To make the powdered sugar glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones have cooled, spread plain glaze over the top of each scone.

5. To make the spiced glaze (which is a MUST, scones are just not the same without this glaze), while the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).