Cranberries make a strong play at Thanksgiving, but I don't like to forget them as soon as we pack up the turkey carcass. I take advantage of the abundance of fresh tart cranberries this time of year and pack them into everything.
These scones, for instance, are flaky and not too sweet, with pops of brilliant cranberry in every bite. But of course, if you wish to make a holiday moment out of it, by all means pour on some rum glaze.
The rum glaze is a little over-the-top, I acknowledge, but it's a sweet touch for a holiday or festive morning. For more normal weekday breakfasts I leave it off and sprinkle these with crunchy turbinado sugar instead.
But the real star is the cranberries themselves — bursting with sour, punchy flavor. Their taste and color are a boost to the senses on cold winter mornings.
Like any scone, you can cut these into rounds or wedges, but personally I love fat, misshapen little squares like the ones pictured here.
Fresh Cranberry Scones
Makes 12 to 18 scones, depending on size
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 small orange or clementine, zested
2 1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup milk
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, optional
For the rum glaze: 1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla
Heat the oven to 350ºF and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment or lightly spraying with spray oil.
In the bowl of a food processor, whiz the cranberries with the brown sugar and orange zest until lightly chopped. Remove to a separate large bowl. Back in the food processor, whiz the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and pulse with the flour in the processor just until roughly crumbled.
Mix the flour and butter mixture with the cranberries in their bowl. Add the milk and stir just until the dough comes together; it's fine if there is still crumbly flour.
Sprinkle the countertop or a board with flour, and dump the dough out on it. Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter or glass, or pat into a thick circle and cut into wedges. If you aren't planning on using the rum glaze, sprinkle the scone tops with sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just golden. Serve warm.
To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, rum, and vanilla together until they form a thick, glossy glaze.
If using the glaze, arrange the scones on a baking sheet or cooling rack and drizzle lightly with the rum glaze. Let sit and cool until the surface of the glaze dries.
Updated from recipe originally published November 2007.