Improv Cooking Challenge: Cranberry and Eggnog Scones

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Me: "Hi, my name is Nichole and I'm a cooking challenge addict." 
Chorus of People: "Hi, Nichole."

It's true. I am addicted to cooking challenges. As you know, I already participate in the Recipe Swap's on the What's Cooking? board and I'm a member of the Secret Recipe Club. For most people, you'd think this would be enough. But I'm not most people. 

Back in November, I was looking around on Ashley's blog and saw that she had posted a recipe for Heath Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake as part of the Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Kristen. I was immediately intrigued and clicked on Kristen's blog, Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. 

Here I found out about the Improv Cooking Challenge. For each challenge there are two ingredients and every participant gets to make anything they want as long as it includes those two ingredients. Now I was really curious. Two ingredients do whatever I wanted with them? Now that sounded like fun. Kristen had already posted the ingredients for December so before I even emailed her to ask if I could join for this month, I immediately began searching for recipes with these ingredients. 

After finding out that there really was an endless list of recipes I could make, I quickly emailed Kristen asking her if I could join in time for December. She responded right away saying that I could! The recipe hunt was on!

If you haven't figured it out from the title of this post yet, the two ingredients for December are cranberries and eggnog. Would you believe I've only had eggnog once? The name alone always scared me. I assumed it was nothing but raw eggs and milk and for some crazy reason people added alcohol to it and drank it. Granted, I wasn't that far off in my assumption, but it took me a long time to even consider trying it. 

Cranberry Eggnog Cornbread Scones
Slightly Adapted from: www.allrecipes.com
Yield: ~12 scones, depending on the size

Ingredients:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1 tbsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt 
    • 5 1/3 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 3/4 cup eggnog, plus 1 tsp.
    • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease two baking sheets or use silpats. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Stir until combined. 
3. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, add the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
4. Add the cranberries and 3/4 cup of eggnog and mix together until a slightly sticky dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough 10 times. 
5. Roll the dough into a half inch thick circle. Using a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or glass, cut out rings of dough and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the remaining teaspoon of eggnog on the tops of the scones. 
6. Bake scones for 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown. Serve warm. 

Cranberry Eggnog scones just weren't enough for me so I also decided to make a Cranberry Butter to go along with the scones. 

Cranberry Butter
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation 
Yield: ~6 tablespoons 

Ingredients:
    • 4 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature 
    • 1/4 cup cranberry sauce, homemade or canned
    • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions:
1. Using your stand mixer or a handheld mixture, combine the ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like scones. I'm not a huge fan of biscuits so I had my hesitations, but these were pretty tasty, especially with the cranberry butter. Now that would also be delicious on a bagel!

Stay tuned to see what the challenge ingredients are for January. The posts will air on January 19th! I already have a few ideas of what I'd like to make!

8 comments:

  1. That would make such a pretty shortcake as well, with a little whipped cream and maybe an orange cranberry sauce spooned over the top! Great choice for the challenge!

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  2. Hello fellow ICC blogger. Your scones look yummy. Come visit and check out our cookie. Also be sure to register to win the wonderful book we are giving away. Today is the last day. Look for the Southern Fried Women post.

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  3. I'm so glad you joined the challenge...and I love that you made cranberry butter to go along with the scones. YUM!

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  4. This is delicious! It's funny - you are all about cooking challenges and posting today I participated in my VERY FIRST challenge! So nice to meet you! The cranberry eggnog scones are terrific!

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  5. I really like the cornmeal addition to scones. This is one variation that I am excited to try! The cranberry butter sounds totally yum!

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  6. These look yummy! Perfect for Christmas Day Brunch!

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