Friday, June 22, 2018

Cranberry Ginger Scones and a #giveaway

This past week I made one of my rare excursions to a supermarket that I don’t usually visit (it’s all of two miles from my regular one). I stop there periodically to pick up Irish bangers (if you aren’t familiar with those, they’re a kind of sausage that’s probably more cracker crumbs that meat, but they taste good and I’m kind of addicted—when I can find them), and coffee filters (yes, I still use a Melitta and grind my own beans—I’m a dinosaur).

As I walked in I spied a display of artisinal breads, from a local bakery I did not know. Of course I had to try one, and I decided on a cranberry-ginger raised loaf. To be frank, in spite of my hopes I found the loaf rather bland, with little ginger flavor at all. I can do better! I declared. 

I don't often make raised breads, but there were plenty of cranberry-ginger scone recipes available, and it was the flavor I was after rather than the texture. I even found more than one recipe that gave me permission to use my food processor (although they’re not all that difficult to mix anyway).

Crystalized ginger
A note re ingredients. When ginger is called for in baking, it usually means candied or crystallized ginger, which adds a bit more sweetness to the mixture. And I’ve seen recipes which use dried cranberries (usually found as “craisins”), fresh cranberries, or a mixture. I would say that if you’re going to eat your scones immediately, you can use either fresh or half-and-half, but if you’re planning to store them for a day or two, the fresh cranberries might make the scones soggy. Some recipes favor using buttermilk, others heavy cream, still other suggest using yogurt. And quite a few add something orange flavored, though that can be orange zest or candied orange peel. This one had a bit of grated lemon rind instead.

Rather than tear my hair out over all these choices, I decided that any of them would work fine, and long as the mixture isn’t too gooey. So I combined at least four recipes, and here’s the result.



2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 stick cold butter, sliced
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, diced
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup buttermilk (or a mixture of buttermilk and cream)

coarse sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor (or stand mixer bowl or whatever you’ve got) and pulse to combine.

Strow the butter slices over the mixed dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

Add the ginger, cranberries, and buttermilk. Mix to blend, then knead until the mixture holds together. Turn out on a floured surface and shape into a ball, then pat into a circle about one inch thick.

Use a knife to cut the circle into ten wedges, and transfer the wedges to the lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave an inch between each wedge so they will be able to expand. Sprinkle the tops with the sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven to 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, with plenty of butter.

AND A GIVEAWAY! Next week the first book in my new Victorian Village Mysteries, Murder at the Mansion, will be coming out, and my publisher, Minotaur Books, has promised that my copies are on their way. The reviews have been so flattering that I feel giddy, so I want to share!

"Fascinating read...The prolific Connolly kicks off a new series that skillfully combines history, romance, and mystery."―Kirkus
"Amiable...cozy fans will enjoy Connolly's characteristically warm treatment of small-town life."―Publishers Weekly

"Connolly's accomplished series launch avoids the tired tropes found in many cozy debuts, incorporating humor, a realistic setting, and well-developed, appealing characters. Fans of the author's "Museum Mysteries" will welcome the guest appearance of series protagonist Nell Pratt."―Library Journal
Leave a comment about your favorite recipe (savory or sweet) that includes ginger and I'll pick one winner.


  1. During the holiday season, I bake soft ginger cookies. My family loves them. This recipe calls for ground ginger. I'm thinking of trying crystallized ginger for more ginger flavor. This book looks wonderful. I love the combination of history, romance, and mystery in a small village.
    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

    1. I do like soft cookies (including ginger) better than crunchy ones. And you never know what you're going to find when you start digging in a village--even things that the people who live there don't know!

  2. Thanks for the scone recipe. I love scones and jam. Looking forward to Murder at the Mansion and the beginning of a new series! Dspinlexo at aol dot com

    1. I have to say (after a couple of days of testing) that these hold their flavor and texture well. Maybe it's time to have another . . .

  3. I've never made anything using ginger :( . Maybe its time I tried. This one looks grand. And congrats on the new book.

    1. Ground ginger and candied ginger are good places to start. The fresh stuff can be kind of sharp in flavor, but it definitely spices up sauces.

  4. I don't know that I've ever had anything with ginger in it before, but I love cranberries and craisons and could eat them all day. I'm excited about your new series.
    Wendy Clark
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

    1. The craisins do stand out in this recipe--the ginger is milder.

  5. I like almost any recipe with ginger in it. I have a cake recipe that calls for 3 forms of ginger - candied, dried, and juice (which I had to order on-line) and I plan to make it this weekend. I'd be happy to let you know what I think once it's made.


    1. I've never tried the juice (I'll have to look for it), but I did order a couple of bottles of ginger syrup, which is also tasty. I'll look forward to your report!

  6. I found a ginger cake recipe in the back of a mystery novel a couple of.years ago and made it in a bundt pan for Christmas. Delicious...and I can't remember which book.

    1. I've got a recipe that sounds like that (although I can't remember where I found it), that's become a favorite for pot-lucks. One trick is to coat the bundt pan with coarse sugar, which gives the cake slices a nice bit of crunch.

  7. I use a mix of ginger, Thai chili sauce and soy sauce when I make salmon.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net