These pastries can fit any occasion, from casual to classy, plain to dressed-up. 

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Kissing cousins with biscuits, scones are a staple of afternoon tea, sure, but they can be so much more. Whether savory or sweet, a scone—that perfect combination of tender dough and inventive filling—can be a light breakfast, a savory treat, or, yes, an elegant afternoon snack. During fall, we naturally like to turn our thoughts to making the most of seasonal ingredients. With that in mind, we’ve been dreaming of cranberry scones.

Whether you’re using up some fresh cranberries from a holiday dish (make sure to adjust sugar accordingly), or you’ve got a few dollops of pumpkin puree leftover from another recipe, a batch of seasonal scones is an easy and delicious way to welcome in the fall. We like our cranberry scones plain, sure, but a cranberry-orange scone or a pumpkin-cranberry scone are also great options. You may prefer other combinations, of course, but here, we’ve collected some tips for making the best cranberry scones, no matter how creative you may get with the accents.

1. Just like with our famous buttermilk biscuit recipe, make sure that your dairy and other wet ingredients are cold. And use full-fat milk! This will result in a more tender cranberry scone.

2. Make sure that you combine all of your dry ingredients—this includes your cranberries, orange zest, or other (dry) additions. Incorporate these together well; don’t make the mistake of just dumping in dry ingredients and assuming everything will just work itself out.

3. While you may want to use fresh cranberries, keep in mind that the extra moisture from the fruit can leave scones a bit soggy.

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4. Perhaps most importantly, make sure not to overmix your dough. Much in the way that a tender biscuit needs only the slightest stir, scones will toughen up if you overwork the dough.