Christmas Scones

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Christmas Scones

star rating (25) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

These tender/crumbly, full-flavored scones feature cranberries and pecans. With oats in the dough, they're a tasty throwback to their Scottish origins.

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) butter
1 cup (4 ounces) dried cranberries
1 cup (4 ounces) diced pecans
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk, sour cream, or plain (not Greek-style) yogurt
coarse sparkling sugar for topping, optional

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks unevenly crumbly. Mix in the fruit and nuts until they're evenly distributed. Stir in the buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and cut it into two pieces. (Keep sprinkling on flour if you need to.) Form each into a disk, and gently pat each disk into a round about 6" in diameter. Sprinkle each disk with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the round into 8 wedges. Do this by cutting straight down through the dough so you shear the edges. If you saw the dough, you tend to press the edges together, which keeps the scones from rising as they bake. Don't separate the wedges.

Transfer the scones, still in their circular shape, the the prepared baking sheet. Separate the scones slightly; there should be about 1" between them at the outside edge. Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until they're just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm. Or reheat for 10 minutes, lightly tented with foil, in a preheated 350°F oven. Serve with traditional clotted cream or Devon cream, if desired. Yield: 16 tea scones.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.


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  • star rating 01/09/2015
  • Melody from Oregon
  • This one is my new favorite. It has such a good flavor and seems healthier having the nuts, oatmeal and cranberries. What a good combination. The only problem with this recipe is the name. It is way too tasty to just be made at Christmas time.
  • star rating 12/14/2014
  • anne from IL
  • Love this recipe. I've tried it with cinnamon chips as well, and everyone really raved about those. Could I use the white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, or will that change the texture?
    You will definitely get a different texture and flavor with the white whole wheat flour. You might want to start by substituting half the flour amount with white whole wheat flour and add an extra tablespoon of liquid, to allow for the thirsty bran in the whole wheat flour. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 11/24/2014
  • from
  • star rating 11/09/2014
  • Marie from Beautiful Northern Michigan
  • As written, I'd give this 3 stars -- but it has great bones with the oatmeal and brown sugar, so it's worth working with. I prefer a somewhat sweeter scone, with more flavor, and one that holds together better. To achieve my preferences, I usually add 2 1/2 T. more sugar, 1 1/2 to 2 t. cinnamon, a slightly-beaten egg white, 1 t. vanilla, and a bit more buttermilk as needed. This yields results that fit my taste and cohesiveness preferences and seems to please those with whom I share my scone experiments. With changes, I bump this rating to 5 stars, and thus gave it 4 stars here. The oatmeal texture is great.
  • 06/27/2014
  • Tina from Beaver Dam WI
  • Sorry but I need to ask. When the directions say to transfer the circles to the sheet and then to have an inch between scones. Does that mean between the two intact circles or separate all 16 and leave room between all 16 scones. I will be making these this Sunday with dates and hickory nuts...can not wait!! We love the texture of oatmeal scones. I assume I can use sour milk. Correct?
    We do not recommend that you use expired milk for your scones. Cultured buttermilk or milk soured with vinegar is fine. The spacing of the scones referred to in the recipe is suggesting the distance between each scone individually. ~Amy
  • star rating 03/02/2014
  • LL from Charlotte NC
  • This is my all time favorite scone recipe. I add grated peel of an orange to it when I make it as otherwise written. You can easily switch up the fruit in this or make the cinnamon chip or chocolate chip scones. I feel like the oats make this scone recipe more healthy than many others. For the 3/4 cup of buttermilk/sour cream, I typically add a couple tablespoons of yogurt to a pyrex measurer and fill the remainder of the way to 3/4 c with milk. I feel that if you used just sour cream or yogurt it would not be enough liquid and be too crumbly. LOVE these scones!!! Thanks KAF!
  • star rating 11/26/2013
  • Heidi from California
  • Wow! This are amazingly delicious and couldn't be easier to make! I have made this recipe twice since discovering it two days ago. The first time I followed the recipe exactly and they were wonderful. This morning, I cut the butter into the dry ingredients, then added the pecans. I split the 5 cups of mix into two bowls. To one I added the 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1 tsp orange extract before adding the 3 oz. of buttermilk. I added 3 chopped medjool dates to the other half before adding the 3 oz. of buttermilk. Both flavors turned out really well, but the date scones surprisingly stole the show. Tomorrow I am planning on using dried cherries with sliced almond for half the recipe, and dried apricots for the other half. Or maybe I'll try apple cinnamon or lemon blueberry? The possibilities are endless! These scones are delicious anytime, but are truly irresistible warm out of the oven!
  • star rating 08/10/2012
  • lacpeb from KAF Community
  • KAF, please revise this recipe to include the glaze with, what appears to be, orange zest.
    I'm sorry a glaze recipe was not included. You may use this one and add orange zest to taste: ~Amy
  • star rating 02/23/2012
  • musiqlife00 from KAF Community
  • Not sure why but mine didn't turn out crumbly at all. I used sour cream..could that be the reason"? They came out soft and bready. However the flavor is awesome.
    For a more crumbly scone, leave the butter is bigger pieces next time. Frank @ KAF.
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