Tag Archives: orange

Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones

Get your skillet out!  Spoil your family this week and make Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones for breakfast.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know about my weakness for this quick bread, because it’s so incredibly versatile.  I rolled thousands of scones when I owned a bake shop, and still regularly make them for home.  These buttery scones are bursting with cranberries and orange zest, and then glazed (twice for good measure) with a sweet orange glaze.   I’ve really come to love baking a small batch in the skillet, and the presentation is simple and beautiful.

Cranberry Scones SweetRevelations

Often people mistakenly think that scones are bland, dense, and dry.  I can assure you, these are not.  The trick with scones, is to handle the dough as little as possible, use good quality frozen butter, and fresh buttermilk.   A batch of scones is easily mixed in 20 minutes or less, is done by hand, and they can be prepared ahead of time, frozen and baked as needed.   I know right?  I can’t talk these things up any more, they sell themselves!

cranberry scones, sweetrevelations

With the holidays approaching, I always, and I mean always, have a batch ready in the freezer.  They are the perfect tea time treat when company arrives, make an excellent gift, and are a delicious addition to any holiday brunch table.  I can also bake up a few in the morning, right from the freezer, for the kids before they head off to school.

cranberry scones- sweetrevelations

I bet your kitchen is in full swing with holiday baking.  I hope you might take a few minutes to mix up a batch of scones and have a much deserved coffee break!

Happy baking friends,

Renee

Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

 

Preheat oven to 415°

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and zest.  Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.  Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

2.  In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, extract, sour cream and egg.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in.  Mix gently to incorporate.

3.  Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times.  The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold.  As best you can, fold in the cranberries with your hands.  Pat the dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Cut the dough into eight even wedges, but still keeping it in the circle shape.  Place the scones into a well seasoned skillet (a circle of parchment on the bottom works well too).  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until dough is cooked and scones are golden.

4.  While scones are baking, mix the powdered sugar and orange juice into a smooth glaze.  Once scones are baked, drizzle with orange glaze while they are still warm.

Notes:

  1.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a skillet.  You can use a round cake pan, lightly sprayed with baking spray, or bake the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  2. Scones do very well in the freezer.  Roll a batch and freeze on a cookie sheet (before baking).  Simply bake from frozen, adding additional time as needed.
  3. This recipe doubles nicely.  I usually make a double batch, baking one up and freezing the other for later.

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Garden Party Cupcakes

Today I met up with some girls from work for lunch.  In just a few weeks summer will be over and we’ll be back to our jobs at school!  I offered to bring dessert (of course) and as if my co workers haven’t had enough of my cupcakes, I brought some!

Pretty ones this time (well, I think they’re all pretty…).  Perfect for a garden party!  Treats for a nice bunch of ladies who deserve a bouquet of summer flowers every now and then.

I think these would be welcome at any gathering.  How about a rose or two?

Do you have a picture of cupcakes fit for a garden party?  I would love to see it!

I must say that as good as they looked, they tasted even better.  Blueberry Cakes with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting.    A very moist cake, bursting with fresh local blueberries and a tangy, creamy frosting.  I am a die-hard fan of Swiss Meringue Buttercream.   I rarely make any other kind of frosting.  Nothing compares to the creamy, light texture and sweet taste.  It’s what takes cake to a gourmet level!

Blueberry Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups vanilla sugar, regular white sugar is fine too

4 eggs, room temperature

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350° and line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined (2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated.  Beat in lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and alternate with the milk and vanilla.   Mix the last addition of flour until the ingredients are well incorporated but do not over mix!  Gently fold in blueberries.

3.  Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

from Martha Stewart

5  large egg whites

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add lemon extract and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

I use a 1M Wilton tip for icing swirls.

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Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Fig Sauce

The best thing about a cupcake is that it is the perfect little portable dessert.  Generally no utensil required!  However, I recently saw an episode of Cupcake Wars (remember this one?), and really wanted to try the recipe for Brown Sugar Fig Sauce.   These were oooey gooey, lick your fingers, use a spoon kind of cupcakes.  On the show, they were presented upside down with the sauce spooned on top, but I didn’t get that fancy.

I love figs.  Dried figs are a great little snack and full of fibre and calcium….  (These are the things I repeatedly tell myself when I eat 3 cupcakes in a sitting)

Oh, and I think they symbolize peace too.

Hmmm, I always thought chocolate was the symbol for peace?  Weird.

The fig sauce was amazing.  I was sadly eating it by the spoonful.  The cake itself had a lovely hint of orange flavour and they were so moist!  Even a few days later, still very moist!   The icing is a simple cream cheese icing.  The actual recipe calls for a similar frosting made with goat cheese which looks just as yummy.

The left over fig sauce (if you have some) would be delish on some vanilla ice cream.

The Absurdist Cupcake

*Cupcake Wars 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Brown Sugar Fig Sauce, recipe follows

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 18 to 19 cupcake liners.

1.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the eggs, orange juice, butter, and vegetable oil on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Finish mixing by hand just until combined.

2.  Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

Brown Sugar Fig Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 black figs, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the brown sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the figs, butter, and orange zest, and heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 250 g cream cheese – cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1.  Cream the butter and powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla and cream cheese in large pieces and beat just until combined (do not over beat).

Note: adding the cream cheese cold makes the icing thicker and easier to pipe onto cakes.

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