The lists are out and the countdown has begun. Backpacks and school supplies now line the aisles at the store. Eager young students excitedly peruse lists of supplies they need for the coming school year while teenagers hang on to the last days of summer with lazy afternoons at the pool and late-night runs to the local ice cream joint.
Things around my home are a bit lax during these summer months. It’s a nice break for all of us. I admit though that I like to run a tight household ship. It keeps us all on track and the wheels of organization running smoothly. At this point in the summer I’m ready for things to get back to some semblance of normal. So I too begin crafting a back-to-school list for the home.
The fun part of that list is testing out new recipes for weekday breakfasts. I will prepare ahead with healthy muffins, mini pies and scones to stock the freezer. Wrapping them individually works well for us and the kids can pull one out before going to bed to thaw. Breakfast squares and quiches can easily be prepared at the same time I’m pulling dinner together the night before. A few test recipes include utilizing the slow cooker overnight for a hot breakfast in the morning.
Buttermilk Pecan Cranberry Scones
I prepare the dough the night before, refrigerate it and then bake it the next morning (save step 4 the just prior to baking). You can easily freeze one half of the recipe and thaw the night before.
1 c. Diamond of California pecans
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
¾ c. chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
½ c, sweetened dried cranberries
1 c. buttermilk
1-2 Tbsp. whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread pecans on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Let cool. Chop coarsely. Increase oven temperature to 425° F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Add butter and orange zest. With your fingertips, 2 knives, or a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add pecans, cranberries, and buttermilk; stir with a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened and dough holds together in a rough mass.
3. Scrape dough onto a generously floured work surface and knead gently about 10 times, until smooth. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; lightly pat each into a 6-7-inch-diameter circle 1-1/2 inches thick.
4. Brush with cream, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to a large baking sheet, placing them 1/4 to 1/3 inch apart. Bake until scones are firm to the touch and golden, 16-18 minutes. Serve warm.