Inspired by Rose: Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

I became a big fan of  Rose Levy Beranbaum when her first cookbook, The Cake Bible, came out in 1988; since then it has become a classic. As each of her many cookbooks were released, I kept buying them and continued to be an avid fan. I have baked many of Rose’s recipes, always with great success. Besides giving you great recipes, one of the things I appreciate the most is the way she writes the recipes: in addition to volume, the weights of all ingredients are given (in both ounces and grams), which is perfect for me because I like to bake in grams. I prefer metric weights for baking because I know that the final results will be consistent every time. Besides that, in my opinion, weighing the ingredients in grams is just simply easier and faster.

Recently, while browsing through her newest book, The Baking Bible, which was released at the end of last year (October 2014), my eye stopped on the page with a photo of what Rose calls “Scone Toppers”, which are thin, rectangular, almost cookie-like (or shortbread-like) versions of scones. What a great idea! What crunchiness! It is just one image, but I saw in it a lot of possibilities. I imagined adapting some of my best scone recipes for “Scone Thins” (my name, a name that just popped into my head for no reason). This collection of “Scone Thins” would include all sorts of favorite flavors: Cinnamon Streak, Orange Currant, Cinnamon Raisin Walnut, and Ginger (with crystallized ginger). I think a cheese version would be nice too: Gruyère Cheese Scone Thins. Inspired by Rose, I immediately got to work developing the recipe for the first of my collection: Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins. I promise to share more recipes for Scone Thins in the future, but today is the very first one.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins


I calibrated the recipe to make 3 ½ thin sheets of dough quarter sheet pan size (8 1/2” wide x 12” long x 3/8” thick), each one cut into 16 neat rectangles (2” x 3”), for a total of 56 Scone Thins. You can’t have too many of these! The recipe yields about 2000 grams (4 ½#) of dough, with each pan scaled at 570 grams (1 ¼#). This may seem like a lot, but this dough freezes well (up to one month) so you can bake off as desired.  What I like to do is roll out the sheets of dough, stack them layered between parchment paper sheets in a quarter sheet pan, put the whole thing in a jumbo Ziploc plastic bag, and pop in the freezer, ready to bake at a moment’s notice.

When cutting squares or rectangles, whether it be dough, cake, brownies, or anything else in pastry, I prefer to use a 12″ C-Thru Graph Ruler or an 18” C-Thru Graph Ruler. These rulers are two inches wide, which makes it easy to use one as a marker and cut the scone dough, or anything else, into 2” strips, which is a good portion size. From there, you cut the strips as desired: in this case, into 3” pieces, for 2” x 3” rectangles.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins


If you prefer to make round “Scone Thins”, the recipe will make 42 – 2 ¾” rounds (plain or fluted), with scraps that you can bake off for snacking: 12 rounds per quarter-sheet of dough. You also have the option of cutting the dough into other shapes as well, such as triangles or squares. When I made the “Scone Thins” for this post, I cut part of the dough into rectangles and for the rest, I used a Matfer #70 fluted round cutter (2 ¾” diameter). (Note: I know Matfer cutters are an investment, but the range of sizes makes them useful for so many things: cookies, puff pastry, scones, scone thins. Plus, they last forever; I’ve been using mine for over twenty years.)


Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

In addition to all of the flavor possibilities, the possibilities for what to do with “Scone Thins” are endless: #breakfastcookies, #coffeebreak, #teatime, #snacktime, or anytime you have the munchies and crave a little nibble with some crunchiness. Bake and enjoy a tray full of Scone Thins!


Step-by -Step:

Making Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Dough by Hand





Scone Thins: How to Cut Rectangles




Scone Thins: Cutting Fluted Rounds



Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins
Scone Thins are like #breakfast cookies, but are perfect for teatime, coffee breaks, or any time you want just a little bite of something crunchy. I know this recipe makes a lot of dough, but it is great to have this in your freezer. The dough freezes well (up to a month) so you can choose to bake it as needed. I wanted to calibrate the recipe so that it would take a full package of cream cheese (Philadelphia brand). Along with two sticks of butter, a half pint of heavy cream, and two large eggs, this makes four out of the nine ingredients that you don't have to weigh or measure, so it is easy to put the dough together. See notes at the bottom of recipe about equipment and supplies that I find helpful when making this recipe.

YIELD: NET WEIGHT OF DOUGH = 2000 grams (4# 6 oz)
56 - 2" x 3" RECTANGLES (About 35g each)
OR: 42 - 2¾" ROUNDS (About 30g each)

  • 490 grams all-purpose unbleached flour (King Arthur) (3½ cups)
  • 280 grams bleached all-purpose floiur (Gold Medal) (2 cups)
  • 200 grams sugar (1 cup)
  • 40 grams baking powder (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
  • 10 grams fine sea salt (2 teaspoons)
  • 225 grams cold unsalted butter, cut in ⅜" chunks (2 sticks)
  • 225 grams cold Philadelphia cream cheese, cut in ⅜" chunks (one - 8 ounce package)
  • 240 grams heavy cream (1/2 pint / 1 cup)
  • 100 grams whole eggs (2 large)
  • 240 grams dried cranberries (1½ cups)

  • 2050 grams = Total 72 oz (4# 8 oz)

  • Brush tops of unbaked scone thins with heavy cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  • Or, omit the sugar, and just brush tops with cream.
  1. COMBINE dry ingredients a large mixing bowl. Whisk to blend.
  2. ADD cold butter and cream cheese chunks to the flour and rub between your hands creating large flakes. Continue rubbing until mixture is mealy with some remaining butter / cream cheese chunks the size of small peas.
  3. WHISK together the heavy cream and eggs and stir in until the flour is half absorbed, using a large rubber spatula.
  4. SCATTER dried cranberries over the top and mix in.
  5. PRESS dough together in the bowl, scraping up loose flour from the bottom.
  6. SCALE into three portions 570 grams (20 ounces / 1¼#) each and one portion 285 grams (10 ounces). (Note: this recipe makes 3½ sheets of dough - Quarter Sheet size 8" x 12" x ⅜" thick).
  7. FOR EACH DOUGH PORTION: PRESS into a small rectangle about 6" x 8" on a floured counter. Fold in half. Repeat two more times.
  8. TO ROLL OUT DOUGH SHEETS: PLACE each rectangle of dough onto a quarter-sheet (cut half sheets of parchment in half) of parchment paper sprinkled with flour. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and roll out with rolling pin to the size of the parchment; the dough will be about ⅜" thick. This not only makes it easy to roll the dough to the correct size, but it allows you slide the rolled-out dough (with plastic wrap still intact) off the counter and into a quarter-sheet pan to freeze. The dough sheets may be stacked in the pan to save freezer space.
  9. FREEZE the dough sheets. This dough can be frozen for up to a month, so cut and bake off the Scone Thins as needed.
  10. REMOVE one sheet of frozen dough from the freezer at a time. Let rest at room temperature about 15 minutes, then cut into desired shape.
  11. FOR RECTANGLES: CUT a sheet of partially frozen dough crosswise into four 3" strips, then cut lengthwise into four 2" strips, creating 16 - 2" x 3" rectangles. For cutting, use a long slicing knife (or a pizza cutter) with a ruler as a guide.
  12. FOR ROUNDS: CUT a sheet of partially frozen dough using a 2¾" round cutter. I like to use a Matfer fluted round cutter #70, which is 2¾" in diameter, but you can also use a plain round cutter of the same size. When using a 2¾" cutter, each sheet of dough will yield 12 rounds. The scraps can be baked off for snacks.
  13. ARRANGE the Scone Thins on parchment-lined half sheet pans. Brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired.
  14. BAKE @ 400° F (204° C) for 15 - 17 minutes, until golden brown.
  15. COOL on the pans.
  16. EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES that I find helpful when making this recipe: 1) Digital Scale: I like this Escali scale; it is very durable and not too expensive 2) Sheet Pans: Quarter-size sheet pans (9½" x 13", also called bun pans) for the dough sheets and Half-size sheet pans (13" x 18") for baking. Note: heavy-duty sheet pans don't warp. 3) Parchment Paper: Half-size parchment sheets (Cut them in half to use in the quarter sheet pans). 4) Long slicing knife or pizza cutter for cutting into rectangles.4) C-thru ruler: 12" C-Thru Graph Ruler or 18" C-Thru Graph Ruler. 5) 2¾" Round Cutter: Either plain round or Matfer #70 fluted round. Click here for a set of Matfer fluted cutters.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
The concept for thin scones was inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum in her cookbook The Baking Bible (2014). Rose calls them "Scone Toppers". Also inspired by Rose: the use of cream cheese as an ingredient in scone dough. This recipe is loosely adapted from one for Orange Currant Scones by Judy Rogers in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook (2002).

Fluted Round Scone Thins

Fluted Round Scone Thins

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!