Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cranberries in a food processor. If using frozen, set aside to partially thaw while measuring out the remaining ingredients, approximately 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the orange zest. Using clean hands, press the zest into the flour mixture to break up any clumps. Whisk to incorporate evenly.
Pulse the cranberries in the food processor until very coarsely (barely) chopped (about 3-4 1-second pulses). Larger, halved or 3/4 pieces are fine. If you're using frozen cranberries, let them partially thaw for 5-10 minutes first.
Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger pieces. Stir in the cranberries until the are evenly coated with flour.
Combine the half & half with the orange juice and add to the bowl, mixing the ingredients until just combined. The mixture should be fairly dry, but the texture might vary depending on how much cranberry juice has incorporated into the dough. If the dough sticks to your fingers, combine in an additional 1-3 tablespoons of flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
Divide the dough in half and flatten into two round discs, about 7 inches in diameter. Cut each disc into 6 pieces. Brush melted butter on top of each piece.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms are golden. If using the glaze, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl while the scones are baking. Brush the glaze over the scones immediately after removing them from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keep the butter in the refrigerator until the last second.Dried cranberries can be substituted, but I highly recommend using fresh (or frozen, if fresh are out of season). The taste and texture works so well here!