in the kitchen with: denyse schmidt

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a former graphic designer and graduate of the rhode island school of design, denyse has been sewing since she was a young girl, when her mother taught her. as a professional seamtress, denyse worked on everything from tutus and bishop’s mitres to fine clothing. she brings these eclectic influences together in patchwork quilts, characterized by simple graphics, rich color, and quality workmanship under the name of denyse schmidt quilts, founded in 1996. her couture and custom quilts are pieced to order in her studio and hand-quilted by amish women in minnesota. in addition to pillows and fabrics, denyse also produces stationery and how-to books (with chronicle books). but today it’s all about producing something for the kitchen and denyse was kind enough to share her cranberry scone recipe with us. just click here to view the full recipe with pictures or click “read more” below. enjoy!

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Cranberry Scones

Preheat oven to 425°

• 3 cups flour (400g + 50g as needed)
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (12g)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (3g)
• 1/2 cup sugar (125g — more or less, to your taste)
• 12 tablespoons cold butter, cut up into small pieces (170g)
• 1 cup buttermilk (or you can use regular milk in a pinch) (240ml)
• 1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries (or more if you like, I just throw them in so I’m not sure how much I use) (a handful and a half)
• cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg to taste
• 1 beaten egg white

Make sure all ingredients, especially butter and milk, are very very cold, straight from the refrigerator.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a bowl.

Using two knives, or a pastry cutter, cut butter into mixture until the mixture resembles chunky oatmeal. Do not use your hands as the heat from them will soften the butter.

Add cranberries.

Add buttermilk and mix with a fork until just blended. It will resemble a shaggy mass.

Quickly knead the dough into a ball shape. If the dough is still quite sticky, add a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time until it no longer sticks to your hands.

Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and grated nutmeg.

Fold dough in half and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and grated nutmeg.

Knead and fold a few more times, sprinkling with a little of the cinnamon and nutmeg so the spices are layered in the dough. Be careful not to overwork dough.

Form the dough into a flat-ish circle on your baking sheet.

Cut into pie-shaped pieces – I usually cut it into about 8 to 10.

Brush tops with beaten egg white.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

About this recipe: I have a sweet tooth. I love breakfast. I love this scone recipe because it is foolproof. These scones are moist, not too sweet, and really really good.

Vintage tea set, Mayfair Palissy Deco

Compiled and Photographed by Kristina of Three Layer Cake.com

  1. Anna @ D16 says:

    Yum. I know what I’m doing for Sunday breakfast!

  2. kristina says:

    i tried out the recipe in a very well known baking book, and denyse’s recipe thrashes it all around town. if you need a good scone recipe, don’t look any further! my freezer always has a batch of these in it.

  3. Becky says:

    I love Denyse’s work, her book is on my Christmas wish list! Thanks for the recipe, looks perfect for a weekend brunch!

  4. ung says:

    omg i have all of these ingredients. i have been craving scones for the last hour, how did you know?

  5. Meredith says:

    Yum! These look amazing. I love breakfast too, especially with tea. I love the picture at the top of the post. so retro but elegant too!

    And I just made the connection of who Denyse Schmidt is. I see her stuff everywhere and I always love it! Thanks for giving us a little personal touch.

  6. heather says:

    Denyse Schmidt showed is one of my biggest inspirations as a quilter! And I love scones…I’ll be getting back into the kitchen with this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!!

  7. sue says:

    is there anything this girl can’t do?????!!

  8. Delicious-looking, and really nicely shot.

  9. Margo Morgan says:

    Not only are her scones lovely, and her quilts, but she is too. :)

  10. Kathy says:

    I just pulled a batch of these out of the oven, and they are utterly heavenly on a cold winter morning!

  11. Erika says:

    I made some for breakfast tomorrow and couldn’t resist a quick bite- they’re incredible! Thank you so much for posting this! I’m going to try blueberries next.

  12. ung says:

    omg, i’ve made three batches already, chocolate chips, craisins, and plain. they’re a hit with the family and coworkers.

  13. Asha says:

    This recipe is delectable and holds up amazingly well as a vegan (swap 1/2 soy milk + 1/2 soy creamer for the buttermilk and non-transfat margarine for the butter) and/or whole wheat recipe! We ate a whole batch for breakfast yesterday. Perfect accompaniment to a rainy Sunday morning. Yum!

  14. Steven Parry says:

    Tried it – LOVED it! It’s a regular now…
    :)

  15. Liz says:

    Great recipe! I made mine with a food processor (instead of a pastry cutter) and it came out great.

  16. chanelle says:

    beautiful! i just took my batch out of the oven ten minutes ago and had to take a moment here (between bites) to say THANK YOU! wonderful recipe. yum.

  17. anne says:

    oh my goodness. i tried these yesterday for my sister, an avid scone lover, and got rave reviews. they were so easy too. thank you!

  18. Kristin says:

    Just made a batch and I’m in the middle of eating one now. OMG!!! So good!! Will try to make some with blueberries next.

  19. Suzy says:

    I found your site by googling “foolproof scone recipe.” I was motivated to find a less costly alternative to my husband’s bakery scone habit. This recipe is amazing. Beyond easy and super delicious and beautiful. We have made a dozen batches for ourselves and others. The best (so far) were made with whole wheat flour, fresh blueberries and raspberries and some chopped walnuts (tied with the apple-walnut. In a hurry, I just mix the nutmeg (key!) and cinnamon with the dry stuff and hand form flattened balls. Load up on brushed egg white for a glossy, brown top, and sprinkle with some sparkly turbinado sugar for full-on dazzle. Thank you!

  20. Pat says:

    I threw away all my scone recipes after I made these cranberry ones. We cannot be without these scones on hand. They freeze beautifully and taste even better afterwards! I appreciate you sharing the recipe!

  21. erica says:

    I just made a batch of scones from a different recipe and my kids took one bite and said, “no thank you.” I found your recipe by Google-ing “foolproof scone recipe”. After these reviews/comments, I’m super hopeful and can’t wait to try them!

  22. Mel Brown says:

    I’ve been looking for a good scone recipe for years’ and this is the one! Yum, I’m sure the smell will awake boyfriend from bed. Thanks!

  23. Megan says:

    Awesome scones! Thanks for the recipe!

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