Tag Archives: food processor

The British Biscuit: Orange Cranberry Scones Recipe

Gentle Readers, there is little The Practical Cook enjoys more with a cup of coffee than a nice scone. But I’m not a plain scone sort of person, I like things with chew. These Orange Cranberry Scones are the perfect blend of citrus pop and buttery goodness. Best of all, they’re a snap to make in the food processor.

Orange Cranberry Scones Cooling!

Orange Cranberry Scones Cooling!

Orange Cranberry Scones Recipe

Based on a recipe from The Quick Recipe, by the Cook’s Illustrated people.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream (I use Mapleview Farms cream, a local dairy, see what you can find, fresh cream rocks)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in the food processor. Lid on people.

Mix the dry ingredients in the food processor. Lid on people.

2. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 times to combine. (I won’t tell if you pulse a few more just for fun.)

Take the lid off the food processor to distribute the remaining ingredients evenly.

Take the lid off the food processor to distribute the remaining ingredients evenly.

3. Distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients, sprinkle the zest in, and then combine with a dozen 1-second pulses. Add the cranberries and pulse one more time. (Again, pulse a couple times if you need to for distribution purposes.)

4. Pour the cream evenly over the mixture, then pulse until moist pebbles start to form, eight to ten 1-second pulses.

Shape into an 8-inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Shape scone dough into an 8-inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

5. Transfer dough and all bits to a clean work surface (I like my baking mat) and knead the dough by hand until it just comes together in a ball, about a half dozen kneads. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle (think size of cake pan) and cut into 8 wedges. Put the wedges on the prepared baking sheet.

Scones make for a festive brunch!

Scones make for a festive brunch!

6. Bake until the tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the scones on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve promptly!

**If you need to make in advance, cook till just done, then reheat in a warm oven.

I’m going to get the teapot now. In fact, I’m in London as you’re reading this, so that is probably a true statement. Are you a scone fan? Do you like them plain or with stuff in them? Post a comment below! I can hear you lurking . . .

Send your tea, umbrellas, and cures for jet lag to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

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Up next, Why Make Pizza at Home? Answered.

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Bring the Biscuits Home: Simple Scratch Recipe

Gentle Readers, though The Practical Cook is deeply Southern, she has yet to settle on the perfect biscuit recipe. Though I’ve been eating them professionally (at least in my mind) for more decades than would be polite to mention here, that perfect home recipe has eluded me. Now I have some requirements: I don’t care for the hockey puck styles, I do like them fluffy, and please don’t make them wringable.

Fluffy little buttermilk biscuits!

Fluffy little buttermilk biscuits!

You know, wringable, as in so greasy you can squeeze them. There’s a certain Bojangles in Charlotte, NC, where I performed this feat many many years ago (looking at you Miss Clairol), and it was not appetizing. But shy of that, I like them big, I like them petite, I like them with flours of all stripes, I like them with cheddar and scallions, plain, with gravy, etc.

The Biscuits of My Childhood, Courtesy of The Practical Cook's Mom!

The Biscuits of My Childhood, Courtesy of The Practical Cook's Mom!

So when the Eldest asked for biscuits on a slow Saturday morning, we started looking for a simple recipe that used what we had on hand that she could help with. This one rocks.

Simple Scratch Recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits

After consulting various Southern tomes, we went with, gasp, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything recipe for buttermilk or yogurt biscuits. He uses the food processor, my fave trick in making dough (it’s the secret behind my scones, too, which are really British Biscuits, to my way of thinking).

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 scant teaspoon salt (I went extra scanty because my butter was lightly salted)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 5 Tablespoons cold butter (Bittman says more is better, and I took him at his word)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Yes, that hot. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in the work bowl of your food processor, a few pulses should do it. Add the butter, pulse it a few more times, until the butter is thoroughly cut into the flour mixture.

Mix the dry ingredients in the food processor. Lid on people.

Mix the dry ingredients in the food processor. Lid on people.

2. Add the buttermilk and pulse the food processor a couple more times to stir it in, just until the mixture forms into a cohesive clump. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it 10 times (Mark Bittman says NO MORE, we dutifully counted, an excellent way to involve the Juniors). If the dough is too sticky, add just a little flour, it shouldn’t be completely unsticky.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get it out of the food processor.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface. It doesn't have to be perfect, just get it out of the food processor.

Biscuit dough that has been kneaded exactly 10 times per the instructions.

Biscuit dough that has been kneaded exactly 10 times per the instructions. (Thanks Eldest for shooting this, since my hands were floury.)

3. Press the dough to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut into rounds, the size of your choice. Now, he says that you can use a glass. I must respectfully disagree. Get a biscuit cutter, or a cute little set. We picked the middle size. Cut straight down, like a Ginsu knife commercial, don’t twist. Your biscuits will be higher, and you can thank me later.

My beloved pastry mat and biscuit cutter. It's sharp and lovely.

My beloved pastry mat and biscuit cutter. It's sharp and lovely.

Biscuits in the oven! Don't fret imperfect shapes, they still eat well.

Biscuits in the oven! Don't fret imperfect shapes, they still eat well.

4. Put the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet that’s been covered with parchment paper. Reshape any leftover dough gently and cut until you have no more. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, depending on your biscuit size, or until the biscuits are a light golden brown (see, No Hockey Pucks, above).

Light golden-brown biscuits!

Light golden-brown biscuits!

Serve fast, and grab one for yourself on the way out of the oven. Otherwise, you may miss your chance.

My favorite, biscuit with molasses. On a pony plate of course.

My favorite, biscuit with molasses. On a pony plate of course.

What do you like on your biscuits? What do you like in your biscuits? Post a comment below!

Send your questions, queries, and compliments to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

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Up next, The Practical Cook’s Mom takes the helm for Weekly Menus!

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