Cherry Chocolate Scones
I first became acquainted with the marriage of chocolate and cherry in the form of deep dark cake layers moistened with a kirsch syrup and filled with sweet whipped cream and cherries. The whole beautiful marriage was covered in a stabilized whipped cream frosting and dotted with more cherries. It was memorable and repeatable. In fact, The Kitchen just might need to make cake as soon as the weather cools. But could this match made in heaven combination be turned into a scone? Could dried cherries and chocolate chunks be added to a basic scone and bring the wonder of Chocolate and Cherry to a proper afternoon tea? Or would this combo create an American scone-ish sidekick of a morning cup o' Joe?
The Kitchen decided it was worth a try and enjoyed the tasty end product. To be clear, this is not a traditional English scone. It is too fussy and too heavy to be served at an afternoon tea. This is, however, a delicious baked treat.
After a summer of playing with lots of scone recipes and discovering my own scone-ish recipes I have decided that it is time to return to tradition. Keep scones simple, cut them into small rounds, and be careful that the texture is a tender crumb. Eschew redefining British scone for my own pleasure.
This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour’s basic scone recipe. I reduced the sugar by about 1 tablespoon and added the dried cherries and chocolate chunks. I then opted to cut my scones in small circles; that is more traditional. I think it is also more respectful to both our British cousins and history.
It does not matter, you say? Yes. I think it does. I would not want someone redefining my beloved American pie traditions! Maybe I should not redefine British scone traditions.
In the meantime, try out this fun idea. It tastes good. The Kitchen will continue researching a proper scone. A simple affair, with a tender crumb that pairs nicely with clotted cream, fresh berries, and tea.
Hmmm…. I wonder if I might ought to rename them Cherry Chocolate Sweet Biscuits. But are they truly a biscuit?
Cherry Chocolate Scones
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar less 1 tablespoon
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ to ⅔ cup milk
½ cup diced dried cherries
½ cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate chunks (I used Hershey Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds Treasures; great choice!)
2 teaspoons milk
2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar
Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
Use a pastry blender to cut the butter cubes into the flour until the mixture is crumbly and most are the size of small peas with a few larger chunks remaining. Stir in the diced dried cherries and chocolate chunks until they are well coated in flour.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
Very lightly flour the countertop and scrape the dough onto the flour. Fold it once or twice just to bring it together but avoid overworking your scone dough to maintain a tender, flakey crumb.
Pat the dough to 1 inch thick. Use a 2 - 2½ cutter to cut circles, then place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be careful to not twist the cutter at all when cutting the circles. Push straight down, otherwise they will not rise as tall.
To allow the dough to chillax for better texture and rise place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 425°.
Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They're delicious as is, but add a dollop of clotted cream, if you would like.