Every Thursday, I’m part of what we call Ladies Day … which is the one day a week that a group of us gets together for cards, companionship … and dessert! Most of us don’t indulge the rest of the week … we reserve those pure sugar carbs for the sweet extravaganzas we create each week … so I’ve decided that the things I make for Ladies Day are going to become a regular feature here at AFoodJourneyToGo.com
It had been a while since I made scones–and I had a request for something with ginger in them–so I decided to make one of my personal favorites … my own twist on a Starbucks seasonal favorite: my Cranberry Bliss Scones
Starbucks makes their Cranberry Bliss Bars each year–and I love them–but they’re only offered from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It’s a dense ginger-flavored, cranberry-studded cake with a thick smear of cream cheese frosting that’s buried in more cranberries, and then topped with white chocolate chips. It’s about a billion calories of shear heaven as far as I’m concerned, and it made me really appreciate that whole ginger/cranberry/white chocolate flavor combination. It’s got a little of everything as far as I’m concerned: sweet, sharp, bitter, creamy, pungent … just a whole lot of love in one mouthful! I also make a NSA version of their Cranberry Bliss Bar (which I may/may not share here one day. I still have ideas of starting a NSA bakery one day … and that would be one heck of a secret recipe *grin*) … but I figured out that those flavors play really well together in a scone as well, which I’m happy to share here!
Here’s the basic recipe:
Lane’s Cranberry Bliss Scones
- 1-1/2 cup Bisquick Baking mix
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger chopped small
- whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons Real Lemon concentrate
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Combine the first four dry ingredients (Bisquick, white chocolate, cranberries and ginger) together in a bowl, stirring until they’re mixed well.
Start by adding two tablespoons of cream into a well in the center. I use a spoon, and just barely fold mix into the cream until it’s absorbed. I wait a moment or two–until I think all of the cream has been absorbed into the Bisquick mix, then I add another two tablespoons or so of cream … and do the same thing all over again. I can’t tell you how many tablespoons you’ll ultimately need to make your specific batch of scones because that depends on how dry your Bisquick and other ingredients are when you start. But–have no fear–there’s a trick to it
To make the optimum scone with the most perfect buttery texture, you want to add just enough whipping cream to bring the whole thing together … but not one drop more or less. Plus, you want to bring it together with the least amount of motion/mixing that you can, since … the more you mix it, the tougher you make the gluten … and the tougher the gluten, the tougher you’ll make your scones.
When your scone mix is damp enough to lay in clumps in your bowl–with almost all of the loose Bisquick incorporated, but you should still have a bit of loose stuff in the bottom that you’ll use to pick up any damp spots–set your spoon aside and either strap on latex gloves (I keep single-use medical gloves in my kitchen) or use your bare hands to just sort of press the mixture into a ball.
I was trying to work with a double batch today–and I wasn’t working in my kitchen, so I didn’t have my dough blade handy–so I basically just pinched off pieces and patted them into individual rounds from there. On a normal batch of scones, I lift the dough ball out of the bowl and set it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then I use my dough blade (or you can use a good, sharp knife) to cut my dough into triangles, that I then space around the cookie sheet to give each of them adequate exposure to the heat. Cutting them rather than patting them–again–helps keep them more tender because you’re working that gluten less.
Bake your scones at 425 degrees for approx. 11-13 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Turn the oven off. Pull the pan out of the oven, and–with a pastry brush–first brush the tops with melted butter, then with a mix of concentrated lemon juice and powdered sugar. Put the pan back in the oven (don’t turn it back on) and set a timer for 10 minutes.
How do they look?
The texture just melts in your mouth, right along with those white chocolate chips. Then the cranberries and the ginger and that hint of lemon juice finds your tongue … and just dances all over it, running through that melty white chocolate. They were … heavenly!
And–bound points–they’re soooo easy to make!