I decided a while ago that I wanted to start a baking bucket list. I am happy to say that today’s Cranberry Maple Walnut Scones are first up on the list. My bucket list is made up of all sorts of things that “intimidate” me, or things I have never made before. Other things on my list include yeast fried donuts, pastry cream, bagels and more. You get the picture, right? I hope that you will find yourself inspired to try out these recipes too!
My first attempt at a scone was a recipe from Pioneer Woman, but they came out more like soft cookies than scones. I knew it wasn’t right but I haven’t tried to make scones again since then. After I took a class with King Arthur Flour in LA, I got to know a little bit more about textures for breads and pie crusts. I knew this would help me to determine the proper texture for my scone dough.
This scone is a recipe I adapted from King Arthur Flour. I have mentioned before that I am a HUGE maple syrup snob; none of that fake stuff going on over here.
The first time I made this recipe, I made it with butter. I felt they were somewhat dry, and maybe a little over baked. The second time I made this recipe, I decided to use Crisco instead of butter. My scones came out 100 times better. They were softer, more delicate and seemed to have a better flavor. I know that some of you might be shaking your heads at the thought of using Crisco instead of butter, but I am telling you, it worked so much better for me.
The third time I made these scones, I nailed it. I used the Crisco again, but I also used buttermilk instead of regular milk. Wow! What a difference that makes. I knew the buttermilk had enhanced the flavors in this recipe and I could taste the difference. The other alteration I made was adding cranberries into the dough. Cranberries and walnuts make a great combination for holiday flavors! Lastly, I added a brown butter maple glaze because all baked goods deserve a good glaze.
It just so happens that I am partnering with King Arthur Flour to share holiday recipes that can be made ahead and frozen as well. Scones make a great last minute treat when guests pop in unexpectedly. You can make these ahead of time and freeze them. For any frozen pastry, I like to freeze them on a sheet pan before sealing in an airtight bag or container. This helps to prevent them from getting freezer burn. You should freeze without the the glaze on these.
To thaw, simply remove the scones from the bag and lay out a single layer on some paper towels. The paper towels will help to absorb any excess moisture. You can prepare the glaze in a matter of minutes, and glaze the scones as if they had just come out of the oven! If you want, you can even warm them in the oven before glazing. Don’t stress yourself out with baking this holiday season, whatever can be baked ahead of time will help alleviate last minute pressure!
Disclaimer: I was asked by King Arthur Flour to share a recipe. All opinions are my own.
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A flakey buttermilk maple scone stuffed with cranberries and walnuts. Finished with a brown butter maple glaze and crushed walnuts
- 3 1/2 C King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
- 4 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2/3 C (4.5 oz) Vegetable shortening
- 1 C Buttermilk
- 1/2 C Maple syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 C Chopped walnuts
- 1 C Dried cranberries
- For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter, browned
- 3/4 C Powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- 2–4 tsp Milk or buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add vegetable shortening. Use a pastry cutter or two forks and work the shortening into the flour until it resembles a crumbly mixture.
- Pour buttermilk, maple syrup and vanilla into the center of the bowl. Add chopped walnuts and cranberries into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon and fold the flour over and over to work in the wet ingredients.
- Turn the dough around the bowl to pick up all the dry ingredients. Once dough has formed, pour onto a floured surface. Gently knead several times.
- Cut dough into two halves. Form a ball and then gently press out with your hands or a rolling pin to form a disc that is about 1” thick.
- Use a pizza cutter or bench knife to divide into 8 pieces. Repeat with the second half.
- Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- For the glaze, brown butter in a shallow saucepan. Pour browned butter over powdered sugar. Add maple syrup and stir until mixture becomes thick. Slowly add milk while stirring until you have reached the desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over scones.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
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