Cranberry Oat Scones

I’m starting to feel this sort of subterranean revving of the engines as I get closer to the holidays.  Thanksgiving is next week and then before we know it, Christmas will be here and there are all those gifts to buy (and wrap) and all that baking to do and meals to plan and shopping to do and I haven’t even started and how am I going to get it all done and I’m sure I probably won’t and I need a scone.

To be specific, I need a cranberry scone, and I would prefer that it have oats and make me happy and help reduce the stress of all that I have to do in the next month.  I guess it’s no coincidence that we have a delicious cranberry-studded scone to talk about today.

I will admit right here and now that I crave these scones.  They’re probably not your typically traditional British scone, but Bon Apetit called them scones, and I’m going with that.  They’re not terribly sweet, but just sweet enough; they’re not dry and crumbly, but a little soft and yielding, with a nice oat presence.  The top is a little crunchy with a light dusting of raw sugar, and the cranberries add just the right amount of tart and oh, I do love these.

And I thought that maybe you, too, might be starting to feel a little stress relating to all that must be accomplished in the coming weeks and thought I’d do my little part to help you out.  So here’s the plan…

Make cranberry scones.  Boil water, pour into mug, drop in favorite tea bag, sit in comfy chair.  Eat scone, sip tea, relax.  It will all get done.  I’m almost sure of it.

Cranberry Oat Scones

Click here for a printable recipe

Adapted from Bon Apetit

3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
*11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1 cup of dried cranberries
**1 3/4 cups chilled half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons raw sugar (or turbinado sugar)

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and coarse salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add 1 cup oats and cranberries; stir to blend evenly.

Stir half and half and vanilla in small bowl. Gradually add to flour mixture, tossing until dough just comes together (dough will be very moist).

Using 1/3-cup measuring cup for each scone, drop dough in mounds onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with remaining 3 tablespoons oats, then raw sugar.

Bake 15 minutes. Reverse sheets and continue baking until scones are golden and tester inserted into center from side comes out clean, about 12 minutes longer. Transfer scones to a rack and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

* I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for half the butter.
** I used buttermilk here and added 2 tablespoons of white sugar in with the flour mixture.