Guest Post- Cherry Chocolate Scones
I was thrilled when Mollie, The Frugal Hausfrau agreed to do a guest post. I am a big fan, she is a wonderfully talented cook, take a look at her creations on her blog, you will see why I am so in love with her recipes. Down home and elegant, budget conscience, approachable, ok I’ll stop now, thank you Mollie for sharing these incredible scones they look so delicious! Take it away Mollie….
When Suzanne said she might like a guest post or two, I was all over it – and knew exactly what I wanted to make. I just had it in my head that Scones with Dried Cherries & Dark Chocolate might cheer her up a bit. They’d be great with coffee or black tea and such a fun treat for a weekend breakfast.
I started out with one recipe and I don’t know if it was the recipe or me, but it was pretty mediocre. Then I tried another and it was too cakey. A scone is a scone is a scone, and cake? That’s just not a scone. A scone should be good, but have a certain sensibility about it.
I remembered that King Arthur had a scone recipe I have been meaning to try. (They mentioned a scone pan, too, that I ordered and I love it and used it – that’s how long it took me to make these scones!) So on to the King Arthur recipe.
The first time I forgot the baking powder. It was like a Shortbread Scone. A Shrone? There might be some possibilities in that idea, lol!
So finally, the final rendition. And I learned a few things along my journey! I used two chocolates because I ran out of the chocolate I was initially using and it the scones were so much better.
You can stick with one kind of chocolate if you’d like, but I’d highly recommend chopping some good chocolate and combining it with Nestle’s Chocolate Chunks or at least with their dark chocolate chips. I was thinking of striping these scones with a little glaze, but they’re just so good as is!
The two chocolates melted and acted differently and it was like a perfect alchemy with the soft and chewy dried cherries. So at long last, here’s the recipe as I made it. Check with King Arthur for all their suggested variations and many tips. This recipe is excellent and Suzanne, I hope you love these!
King Arthur’s Scones
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup Nestle’s chocolate chunks
3 to 4 ounces good dark chocolate, roughly chunked
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half (see note)
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
Stir in the dried cherries and chocolate.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and half and half.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until mixture starts to hold together. Dump out and carefully pinch and pull the dough until all is incorporated.
Sprinkle a bit of flour atop a baking sheet.
Divide dough in half and place each half on the baking sheet. Form each into a five to six-inch circle about 3/4’s of an inch high. If using a scone pan, see note, below.
Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.
For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.
When the scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Since the scones I baked were baked in January, when the humidity is low and flour is dry, these scones used the full amount of liquid.
If using a scone pan, the full amount of dough will fit into the pan. I found 1/2 cup scoop worked well to distribute the dough in the eight slots. There’s no need to freeze the dough. For these particular scones, I did not brush with butter or sprinkle with sugar.