Boy, was I wrong. These ladies have been so welcoming and so understanding with my bad curling that I felt like part of the group right from day one. As a small gesture of thanks, I wanted to bring something to enjoy with our post-game coffee. It's not tradition to have a something to nibble on, but what the heck.
For years, I've made versions of tea biscuits (also known as sconces in these parts). This by far is my favorite way of making these little treasures. By adding some dried cranberries and some orange rind, you've got a wonderful warm treat to share with a cup of tea.
Cranberry Orange Tea Biscuits
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 TBS granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
peel of 1 orange, grated
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 TBS white vinegar
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter in the flour mixture until crumbly. Add the cranberries and orange peel at this point and toss till fully coated.
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, cream and vinegar together (this makes a buttermilk substitute). I never use butttermilk, but would rather use what I have on hand - milk, cream and vinegar I always have.
Add the egg and whisk till blended. Pour over the flour mixture and mix with a fork until the liquid is barely mixed in. The dough will seem very wet and not workable. Don't worry.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and VERY LIGHTLY knead until it comes together. Do not over knead as it will make the biscuits tough and they won't rise. Pat out or roll out to till it is about 1/4 inch thick.
You can cut them out into squares, triangles or my favourite circles using a biscuit cutter or a glass. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch between biscuits.
|I forgot the parchment paper|
Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake in a 400F oven for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown on the top. Transfer to a rack, let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. If you can wait that long.
You can serve them alone or with butter. Go one step further and make an orange butter like I did by mixing in the juice of one orange into 1/2 cup of butter. If you have some grated orange peel leftover, use it to add some texture.
Or go the High Tea way and serve with whipped cream and jam. To really go over the top, try clotted cream. We can't get it here in these parts, but when I was in England last year we had some and almost died right there on the spot.