Almond Cranberry Vanilla Chip Scones


These were a bit of a surprise to me. When I first made them, it was sans almond. I enjoyed the Cranberry Vanilla Chip Scones, but thought them a bit bland, a bit in need of some je ne sais pas. (How’s that for high school French?) But since I needed to make scones again soon, I decided to give this recipe a second chance–with some alterations. Namely, the addition of that glorious tree nut which I am currently taking a hiatus from: Almond.

And that was, exactly, the je ne sais pas I was looking for. The almond made the perfect addition to the cranberries. They were melt-in-your-mouth wonderful.

Unfortunately, since I am separated from my external hard drive right now, where I have all of my pictures saved, this post is lacking evidence in the form of pictures. Until I am reunited with my hard drive, and until I get the time once I’ve moved into my new house. Use your imagination then, or make these scones. Today.

Prep time: 20 mins
Yield: 20 medium scones
Baking time: About 15 mins

Ingredients:

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp truvia
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, unsalted, cold, and cut into cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup vanilla chips, chopped fine if larger
1/4 cup almonds, chopped as fine as you like
3/4 cup buttermilk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp almond extract
Approximately 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk to mix well.

2. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, extracts, and vanilla bean paste.

3. Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients and mix with a pastry blender or your method of choice until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

4. Add the vanilla chips, almonds, and cranberries to the dry, butter ingredients and toss with a wooden spoon until uniform.

5. Add the buttermilk/extract mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a rough dough is formed (you will probably need more liquid, just make it uniform for now).

6. Add whipping cream to the dough until the dough begins to come together. A few dry crumbles at the bottom are okay, and the amount of whipping cream needed may vary according to many factors.

7. Once the dough is just beginning to form, turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and give one or two kneads to bring the crumbs into the dough. Then flatten out, either into two rounds about 8-10 inches across, or one long log about 1/2-inch high and 8 inches wide (or the distance of two scones laid end to end). Cut the dough evenly into 20 scones.

8. Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet a couple of inches apart from each other. Bake at 450ºF until golden on top, about 10-15 minutes.*

*I neglected to write down how long these took to bake, so if anyone happens to duplicate this recipe before I get a chance to update it, feel free to comment on how long yours took!

Results:

If you couldn’t already tell, I was a big fan of these. I think hardly any of them made it to the next day, and certainly none existed into the day after that. Of course, I have a weakness for almond in certain baked goods, and this is one of them. To be honest, I could have done without the vanilla chips, as they were a bit too sweet for me and since the ones I found were not made with real vanilla, they were hardly worth the effort.

When I am able to eat wheat and dairy and nuts again, I will certainly be repeating this recipe, sans vanilla chips.

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