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Gingerbread Scones with Cranberry-Maple Butter

Traditional buttermilk scones flavored with ginger and molasses for a special seasonal treat. These scones are great for breakfast, brunch or tea-time. gingerbread scones with cranberry maple butter I worked in a British tea shop for a number of years and baked hundreds of scones every week. The owner’s mom had been baking the scones but was moving back to Britain, so I was hired to take over. A few months later, when the mom was visiting, she stopped in the shop for a cup of tea and told me my scones were just right, that I “had the touch”. I took that as the only seal of approval I needed. scones and tea I have to admit that I see lots of bad scones in coffee shops and bake shops. Most of the time they’re so light and sweet they’re closer to a muffin than a scone. To my taste, a good scone should neither be too biscuit-like nor too muffin-like. I also don’t like scones too rich or sweet since I like to top them with a little clotted cream, curd or butter. scone dough

Tips for making perfect scones:

  • Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Dispersing the salt and leavening helps the scones rise evenly.
  • Work the cold butter in with your fingers until the bits are no bigger than a pea. Those little bits of butter will give the scones a slightly flakey texture.
  • If you don’t have fresh buttermilk, buttermilk powder is the best substitute. Mix the buttermilk powder according to the directions before adding to the scones.
  • Once the wet ingredients are added, mix just until the flour is incorporated. I like to make scones by hand to avoid over-mixing the dough.
  • You can use a rolling pin, but I prefer to pat the dough by hand to avoid overworking the dough.
  • Since the baking powder is activated as soon as the wet and dry ingredients come together, it’s best to bake the scones soon after the dough is mixed.
  • To work ahead, mix all the dry ingredients and work in the butter. Combine the wet ingredients and refrigerate the prepared ingredients until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
  • Scones are best eaten they day they are baked.
  • Baked scones should never be refrigerated.
  • Baked scones can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the scones at room temperature, then warm in the oven to revive the texture.
ginger sugar on scones I always finish the scones with a little coarse sugar for a nice crunch. For this recipe I made a ginger-sugar for an added hit of spice. warm gingerbread scones
cranberry maple butter in a food processor

Mix the Cranberry Maple Butter in a food processor

gingerbread scones with cranberry maple butter Perfect for your holiday brunch, breakfast or afternoon tea. Time to put the kettle on! You might also like these super simple Cranberry Orange Scones.
Gingerbread Scones

Gingerbread Scones

Yield: 12-18
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Traditional buttermilk scones flavored with ginger and molasses for a special seasonal treat. These scones are great for breakfast, brunch or tea-time.

Ingredients

Ginger Sugar

  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar or "Sugar in the Raw"
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

Scones

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 5 cups (1.5 pounds) all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (2.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) cool unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks

Cranberry-Maple Butter

  • 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon real Maple syrup

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F convection or 400°F regular.

Make the Ginger Sugar:

  1. Combine the demerara sugar and ground ginger in a small bowl, whisk to combine

Make the Scones

  1. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and molasses, set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt and sugar in a mixer bowl.
  3. Mix dry ingredients on low speed with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds to combine.
  4. With the mixer running, toss in the butter chunks a few at a time.
  5. Continue to mix on medium-low speed until the butter bits are the size of a pea.
  6. With the mixer on low speed add buttermilk mixture all at once
  7. Mix on low until just barely combined.
  8. Some loose flour will remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
  9. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and finish kneading by hand just until all the loose flour is absorbed-about 10-12 kneads
  10. Use your hands to pat the dough until it is a 3/4" thick disc.
  11. Use a 2"-3" biscuit cutter to cut scones, cut straight down, don't twist or turn the cutter.
  12. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
  13. Arrange the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1/2" space between.
  14. Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with ginger sugar.
  15. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, flipping the tray after 10 minutes (see note).
  16. The scones are ready when they are golden brown, feel light and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
  17. Total baking time about 15 minutes.

Cranberry-Maple butter

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor
  2. Process in 30 second increments, scraping the bowl between.
  3. Process util the cranberries are chopped into small bits.

Notes

When you flip the tray around after 10 minutes take a look at the bottom of a scone. If they look like they're browning too fast slide another tray under the scones until they are fully baked.

If you don't have a small food processor to make the cranberry maple butter mince the dried cranberries by hand and stir together the ingredients.

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