Last weekend we attended another beautiful wedding for the daughter of our friends. All the usual festivities were in place with carefully selected music, scripted vows read from their electronic device of choice (that still got messed up when she said “to be my wife” instead of husband — oops!), cute as a button flower girls and ring bearers, dinner, toasting, dancing, etc. The sweetest moment of the evening was during the heritage dance, you know, the one were all the married couples are asked to take the dance floor and over the course of the song are eliminated based on the number of years married.
One of the couples married last month left the floor faster than a “Name That Tune” answer, but there were a number of us out there for more than half the song as the DJ rattled off 2-3 year time spans. We made our exit, along with several of our friends at the 25 years or less mark—we’ll hit that next year. Couples quickly dwindled after that, 30 years, 35 years, then three couples remained even after the 50-year mark … at this rate, we wondered if they’d have to start another song. They were so cute, well along in years (I’m more sensitive to using the “old couple” term now), shifting glances at each other thinking they had to be married the longest, but only one remained when “less than 60 years married” was called out.
The parents of the mother of the bride had celebrated 63 years of marriage; there was heartfelt applause as they finished out the song alone. They deserved the spotlight. Honestly, as much as I love being married, I can hardly wrap my head around being married that long, it is right up there with the 7 wonders of the world in my book. What an inspiring heritage to pass along within the family and among the friends of this young couple.
Over the years as friends have prepared for weddings, we have offered an extra pair of hands to help with food, set up, decorating, tear down, or any number of things to make the day special. This time, our friends asked for breakfast items to help them host out of town family staying with them. This is the same friend we had the gluten-free bridal shower for, so it was easy to recreate some of her favorite items for their family brunch. Cranberry Orange Scones [GF] were my contribution, other friends provided various delights. Nearly worn out from the wedding, it was a great relief to have the brunch already prepared and effortless. She was so blessed by it, she is committed to making sure the next wedding hosts in our group of friends will have the same luxury.
These Cranberry Orange Scones are gluten-free, but you wouldn’t know or care because they are so good. I like to bring the orange flavor forward by adding plenty of orange zest in addition to the orange extract (you’ll want to juice the naked orange when you’re done and put it to good use). Plump dried cranberries give it a tart-sweet balance, the texture is true to biscuit type scones. I prefer splitting the dough to create 16 smaller scones, especially when including them on a buffet. Scones just aren’t the same without clotted cream or jam—take your pick or serve with both and double the fun.
- 1½ cups gluten-free flour mix -- King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-purpose Flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup sugar -- + 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ rounded teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 6 tablespoons butter -- very cold
- 1 whole orange -- zested
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup heavy cream -- less 2 tablespoons, set aside
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Using a pastry knife or a food processor, cut butter into dry ingredients until the butter is the size of small peas (using a processor will produce more fine pieces).
- Mix cranberries and orange zest into flour and butter until combined.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cream in a cup or small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining heavy cream, egg, vanilla, and orange extract just until egg is lightly beaten.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir to combine. The dough will begin to hold together and may be somewhat stiff, depending on the flour mix used. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cream and mix-in.
- Divide dough into two equal parts. Sprinkle a small amount of GF flour mix to lightly dust the counter and place half the dough on the flour. Lightly press and shape dough into a disc approximately 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick. If the dough is sticky, lightly flour hands to shape the dough. With a sharp knife, cut each circle into 8 equal pieces resembling the spokes of a wheel.
- To lift the dough off the counter, slice a pastry knife or sharp knife under each piece and place the dough pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush tops with reserved cream and bake for 8-10 minutes and light-golden browned.
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