This post is sponsored by Grains for your Brain, a resource provided by the Grain Foods Foundation. Did you know, consuming whole grains helps to reduce blood pressure, vascular disease, obesity, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes (source). Bring on the scones. As always, all opinions are my own. Sponsored posts such as this help to fund grocery trips, sweet new recipes, and ongoing site maintenance.
We’ve been talking a lot about traditions lately—traditions we want to start in our family. Up until now, the conversation never crossed our mind. Apart from decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving, we don’t have many. Usually we head home for Christmas (either my house or his) and pick up the traditions we left off with there. They’re ours but not ours.
I’m not a gift giver. Spending just to spend hurts my insides, and coming up with solid (creative) ideas is like pulling teeth for me. It’s safe to say giving gifts is not my gift. But we want to give Hal the gift of traditions.
I want to give her snowy magical nights. Homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows to get warm. Twinkling lights on a tree and around the house. Christmas movies she’ll watch for years to come. Presents that will paint the biggest smile across her face.
But more than just presents under the twinkling tree, we want to teach her to give. (A lesson we need to learn ourselves. Badly.) I always say—to whom much is given, much is expected. But rarely do I practice it. I can’t teach this to Hal until I first learn it myself.
We talked about doing a couple service projects with her. But then criticized our idea for only wanting to do service projects around Christmas. This seems to be the problem of Christmas. It’s only a season. A season I look forward to every year. A season I’m always sad to bid farewell. But a season none the less.
It’s like a diet. It pokes and prods us to clean up our bad habits (sweet treat eating aside). We do it for a month and even begin to feel good about ourselves. But like clockwork, we go back to our old ways come the first of January. The good cheer. The giving spirit. The twinkling lights. And the magic. They disappear.
As I think about what I want to give Hal over a scone and coffee, I wonder—what if “Christmas” became a lifestyle?
That’s almost too big of a thought for me to handle right now in between feedings, diaper changes, dirty stacked dishes, and gifts still needing to be bought. My head is still stuck in the fog most days. But as it starts to burn off, I hope I’ll think more about this question. I’ll try not to save it just for December. In the meantime, I’m adding cranberry orange scones to the Christmas season baking line up. That’s one thing that needs little thought.
I’ve always been a buttermilk scone girl until now. There’s nothing better than a cream scone. Slightly sweet with a semi-dry texture. The addition of fresh cranberries yields a tart note accompanied with the citrusy sweet notes of the orange.
1 c. fresh cranberries
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 large egg + 1 yolk
1 c. all purpose unbleached flour
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1/3 c. + 1/2 tsp. pure cane sugar, divided
1 tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
zest of one orange
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
turbinado (or sanding sugar)
Halve cranberries and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Set aside.
In a measuring cup, whisk together cream and eggs. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, 1/3 c. sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
Cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Make a well in the center and pour in cream mixture. Using a pastry fork and/or your hands, combine until dough just comes together.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Place dough on the baking sheet and form into a 7″ square (or so). Carefully add 2/3 of the cranberries to the dough. Roll the dough up as you would a cinnamon roll to seal in the cranberries. (If dough becomes too sticky, pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Adding more flour toughens the scone.) Being careful not to overwork the dough, press into a rectangle, about 12″ x 5″. Press remaining cranberries on top.
Cut into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle on the diagonal leaving you with 8 triangular scones.
Using a pastry bench, loosen from the bottom and even place on the baking sheet.
Lightly brush with cream and sprinkle with turbinado.
Place in freezer. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Once preheated, remove scones from freezer and bake for 15 minutes.