Freedom From the Green Mermaid

My quest this summer, other than painting, is to free my self and my family from the grips of the green mermaid. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the green mermaid, she is typically a purveyor of coffee, coffee type beverages and other breakfast pastries. In return, she requires a hefty sum of money, and a huge amount of patience.

My quest for freedom has to do with not only decreasing unnecessary expenses, but the once attentive and helpful partners have become…well…not so attentive and not so helpful. I tend to get very frustrated when I have to repeat my order three times to the cashier, and again twice to the barista. I also get really irritated when the cashier worries more about writing my name on the cup, than getting my order. I realize that most of this occurs before I have had any coffee, so my patience level is minimal to begin with – but still – I miss good old-fashioned, top-notch customer service where the customer is treated with dignity and respect, rather than disdain and indifference.

Um, sorry. I’ll step off my soap box now.

One of the biggest challenges to snipping our ties to the green mermaid, is that Hubby and I are completely addicted to one of the pastries served in the local stores – Cranberry Orange Scones. Their Cranberry-Orange Scones are truly the only reason I’ve had any interest in going to their store any time in the past six months. This past week, I finally found a recipe for scones that looked like it might be similar to our favorite. It’s Ina Garten’s recipe from the Food Network.

Cranberry Orange Scones

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of the dried cranberries, I used Craisins instead. And I just discovered this morning, that means they are sweetened dried cranberries. Which makes for a sweet tasty recipe, but it’s a deviation never-the-less. I also tweaked the frosting portion of the recipe because Hubby and I like a nice thick frosting, rather than a thin drizzle. Here’s a picture of the final result.

Believe me when I tell you it tastes as good as it looks –

And it smells like freedom…

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1 thought on “Freedom From the Green Mermaid”

  1. well, i feel dorky, but it took me awhile to figure out what you were talking about!

    it is always good to find taste-alike recipes!

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