Light and flaky Cranberry Scones with chunks of almond paste or white chocolate are a special treat warm out of the oven with butter or clotted cream and a dollop of jam. What a treat for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or just tea with a friend! (And they work brilliantly with gluten free flour.) [Skip to recipe.]
Warm scones are always a hit in our house. A pan of these coming out of the oven means it's time to stop everything and grab one quickly to slather it with butter and a dollop of jam, then stand at the counter and eat it blissfully while licking the melting butter that drips down my fingers. Only then can I remove the rest from the pan and get the table set with a pot of tea and some pretty plates.
These scones are melt-in-your-mouth flaky and tender. Tart and chewy dried cranberries add pops of flavour, and big chunks of almond paste bake into little pockets of soft deliciousness. I know almond paste can be hard to find (I still happen to have some in my freezer leftover from Christmas baking), so you can always replace the almond paste with the lusciousness of white chocolate chips or chunks (or even regular chocolate). Either version elevates these scones to a delicate treat.
So there's still time to get your bake on. Gather your ingredients and you can be eating these lovely scones for a teatime treat with somebody special.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: I have only made the gluten free version of these Almond Cranberry Scones with my gluten free flour blend. It may work with another cup-for-cup blend, but I haven't tried it so can't comment on how they'd turn out.
Almond paste isn't always easy to find during the year (it's more available around Christmastime), so if you can't get any, try making these scones with white chocolate chips or chunks - they are equally delicious that way.
Almond paste is similar but different from marzipan. Almond paste is not as sweet, and because it has more almonds in it, it holds up better in baked goods. The high amount of sugar in marzipan will cause it to melt during baking, so almond paste is your best bet for baked goods.
Gluten Free Almond Cranberry Scones
- 2½ cups (350gms) gluten free flour blend (or regular flour for non-gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup (115gms) cold salted butter
- ½ cup (120ml) cold milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 4 oz/115gms diced chilled almond paste, about 1 cup (or substitute with ⅔ cup/110gms white chocolate chips or chunks)
- ⅓ cup (50gms) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon milk, for glaze
- 1- 2 teaspoons coarse sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Dice the butter and cut it into the flour with two knives or a pastry cutter.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until mostly combined.
Dice the almond paste into ½-inch (1cm) cubes. Add the cubes (or white chocolate chips) and the cranberries to the dough. Work them in roughly - there may still be bits of flour not work in. Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead 3 or 4 times with your hands to work everything in to a shaggy dough.
Pat the dough into a 1-inch (2.5cm) thick disc (about 7½ inches/19cm in diameter). Cut the disc into 12 wedges. Whisk together the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon milk and brush it over the top of the wedges. Sprinkle the tops with the coarse sugar, if using.
Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve warm with butter or clotted cream and jam.
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