I really like the addition of marzipan in these scones. A lot of the time scones can be a little bland even though they may have currents or some other fruit. The marzipan is uplifted even more with the addition of almond extract and gives the base dough a really good flavor.
The tartness of the cranberries melds very well with the almond base and I usually have marzipan on hand this time of year. You can substitute dried cranberries when fresh ones are no loner available.
I will be experimenting with this recipe and adding other fruits to it to see what I can come up with.
TIP: One thing I don’t usually have on hand is buttermilk and I don’t want to not make something if I don’t have it. There is a product I discovered that is basically powdered buttermilk. You simply add water to it to get that tangy dairy flavor you need for recipes like buttermilk pancakes or cornbread. Of course do use real buttermilk if you can but this helps in a pinch when you don’t want to run to the store.
Christmas Cranberry Scones
- 3 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 8 tbsp cold butter cut into small cubes
- 8 oz almond paste frozen and grated using the largest grate holes
- 1 cup buttermilk you can also use a buttermilk powder substitute
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup fresh cranberries mash half of them (1/2 cup)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg beaten with a little water for egg wash on top *not needed if you are doing the'tear and form'
Preheat oven to 400F
Line a balking sheet with parchment
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a course mixture and the butter is the size of a pea.
In a large measuring cup combine the buttermilk, almond extract and egg and whisk together.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and fold together. Do not over mix.
Turn the dough into a floured surface and knead gently. Fold the dough over onto itself using 2 folds about 3 times. The dough should still look a little rough.
Press dough out to 3/4 inch think. At this point you can use a biscuit cutter or you can do what I did and just tear off the size fo scones you want and gently shape them into rounds or whatever shape you like. I didn't use an egg wash for this 'tear and form' technique. I would recommend it however if you are using a biscuit cutter.
Place onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. You may need to do 2 batches.
Sprinkle the scones with the almonds and turbinado sugar. The sugar gives the scones that crunch on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are a little golden brown on top.
Let cool on a wire rack.
This recipe was inspired by Tricia from savingdesdessert.com