Scones. Glorious scones! Way better than muffins and not much more work. In some ways I think they’re actually easier than muffins, I never liked cleaning muffin tins. Scones are also easily adaptable. These scones are full of goodies, but a simple scone with nothing in it is amazing when spread with a little jam or truly and simply plain. If you’ve never tried to make scones, please do yourself a favor and make a batch of these! You’ll be amazed at how easy they are and how amazing they taste. This is yet another recipe courtesy of my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I took the basic recipe and added in dried cherries, sliced almonds and white chocolate chips. I also brushed the tops with a little cream and sprinkled them with a little sugar. I would’ve liked to have used coarse sugar but couldn’t seem to find mine, probably a sign I need to do some pantry organizing. In the recipe they recommend forming the circle in a cake pan, then turning it out before slicing into wedges. What a wonderful idea! It keeps it perfectly shaped and makes for beautiful scones. But you can achieve equally tasty and lovely scones by free forming your disc. I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the scones, but a bench scraper or large knife will do just fine. Like I said before, make these with what you like or have on hand to make them your own and experiment to find a combination that you really love. Replace the cherries with your favorite dried fruit, the almonds with pecans, or walnuts, and leave out the chocolate altogether or use dark or milk chocolate chips. Be careful not to load too much into these, though. I used a total of 1 cup of additional ingredients and I wouldn’t go much heavier on the mix-ins than that. As with biscuits, don’t over mix or over work the dough. Mix and knead just until it holds together. Overworking will yield a dense scone that doesn’t rise as well. I do have to warn you about these. I photographed them while they were still warm and had a few bites of this one. A few bites turned into me eating the entire thing. And I loved every minute of it. So make sure to exercise some self control and don’t eat all of them yourself! Or do. Just call it “research” or “quality control”.
Dried Cherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cream Scones
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Ingredients
Makes 8 scones
- 2 cups flour, plus more for the counter
- 3 tablespoons sugar. plus a little for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for brushing
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture is coarse like sand with some larger pieces of butter.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips, then add the cream and the almond extract. Mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together. Press into 9-inch cake pan or free form the dough into a 9-inch disk.
- Turn dough out again (if you used a cake pan) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- With a pizza cutter or other cutting tool, cut the disk into 8 triangles, separating them from each other a little.
- Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar (or coarse sugar if you have some).
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are light brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.