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Scones

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December 26, 2007

Makes 21

Barefoot Contessa TV personality Ina Garten writes that the secret to good scones is the butter, which should not be completely incorporated into the dough. "When the heat of the oven hits the butter," she says, "the water in the butter evaporates, creating steam and making the scones light and flaky."

SCONES

1 cup dried cranberries
4 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Grated rind of 2 oranges
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut up
4 eggs
1 cup cold heavy cream
Flour (for shaping)
Extra sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Have on hand a 2 1/2-inch cutter.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries and 1/4 cup of the flour; set aside.

3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the remaining 4 cups of the flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange rind. Add the butter and mix at low speed until the butter is the size of peas.

4. In a bowl combine the eggs and cream. With the mixer set on low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until blended. The dough will look lumpy.

5. Add the cranberry mixture. Mix on low speed until they are blended.

6. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead it into a smooth flat cake. Roll the dough until it is 3/4-inch thick. You should see small pieces of butter in the dough; that's OK. Keep moving the dough on the counter so it doesn't stick. Flour the cutter and cut circles of dough. Reshape the scraps and stamp out more circles.

7. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are browned and the scones are firm to the touch.

8. Let the scones cool for 15 minutes.

GLAZE

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons orange juice

1. In a bowl, sift the confectioners' sugar. Stir in enough of the orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a mixture that is pourable.

2. Using a small spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Leave to cool completely. - Adapted from "Barefoot Contessa at Home"

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