Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scones with white chocolate & dried cherries

(Thanks for being patient with me this morning, you know, if you are an early reader.  The office move went well and these scones were devoured rather quickly -- even in the midst of a box of Dunkin' Donuts, quite the opposition.  I am very proud of this victory, regardless of the fact that I, too, enjoyed a doughnut.  What can I say?  I'm an equal opportunity pastry lover.)

[changing the world, one scone at a time]

Oh, scones.  Unfortunately you've earned a bit a bit of a bad reputation in the world of pastries and are usually passed up for your neighbors, muffins and danishes.  It's true that, at times, you may be a little too dense and floury, bland, and even too crumbly for on-the-go eating.  It's not you, scone, it's the baker.  You just haven't been given the attention and makeover you deserve.  This is your moment -- embrace it!  For now, the world will know of your greatness, one miniature at a time.

These scones are light and delicious.  So refreshingly delicious.  The sweetness of the white chocolate is perfectly complimented by the sour of the cherries.  And the pastry is so fluffy, not dry or heavy.  I could eat ten of them, but I managed to restrain myself a little... probably because I was half asleep still.  Everyone who had them took a bite, said how good they were.  Another bite immediately followed and then they all looked at me and said, rather incredulously, "These are so light!"  As if I were trying to trick them into eating some cement-like scone.  [shakes head]  You should know better by now, colleagues.  Oh, and these scones are a cinch to throw together.  For proof, here is a picture and my morning timeline:

6:00 - Wake up to the classical radio station, wishing I'd had more sleep
6:05 - Preheat oven, shower, continue to wake up
6:20 - Make bed, dress... YES, jeans today!  Oooh, jeans because it's moving day.  Right.
6:31 - Prep ingredients and tools, begin baking
6:45 - Scones into oven.
7:00 - Remove scones from oven (no joke -- almost forgot the oven mitt)
7:05 - Eat a piece of spinach quiche, banana and warm scone for breakfast
7:20 - Hear on ESPN that Washington and Boston both won, and Ben Roethlisberger is a giant ...
7:45 - Wrap up scones, brush my teeth and head out the door to work

I really planned on taking a picture of the fluffy colorful (and flavorful) interior of these scones.  I broke one in half and, well, after that, it's all a blur.  I must've eaten devoured it.  This is all that was left.  And I didn't want to "sacrifice" another one since I was taking these to work.  So, well, it's the thought that counts, right?

Cream Scones with Cherries and White Chocolate
(adapted from a recipe in America's Test Kitchen Cookbook)
-makes 15 mini (2 1/2-inch) scones or 8 regular size scones

Note: Feel free to replace the dried cherries and white chocolate chips with something more up your alley.  Fresh blueberries, diced up apple, another dried fruit, cinnamon chips... you name it.  Or maybe something savory -- cheddar, dill, etc.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried cherries, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup heavy cream

With rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 425F.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  With a pastry blender (or fork, if you don't have one), quickly cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles big crumbs with a few larger butter clumps (the size of peas).  Stir in chopped cherries and white chocolate.

Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula until dough begins to come together, about 30 seconds.  Transfer dough (even the dry pieces) to a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough by hand just until it comes together to form a sticky ball, five to ten seconds.  [Note: If you don't have or want to use a biscuit cutter, pat dough into square or circle and cut scones into even squares or triangle shapes.]  Form scones by patting the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle, cutting scones with a floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece.  Repeat until dough has been used up.

Place scone shapes on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with little granulated sugar, if desired.  Bake until the tops of the scones are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  These are best the day they're baked, but can be kept in an airtight container, if necessary, for a day.  As always, butter is a welcome addition, but even I skipped the butter.  Yep, they were that good.


  1. It's sad (for me) that you were up, dressed, ready for work, AND baked scones, all before I was even out of bed.

    On another note, these scones were incredible. The flavors went really well together.

  2. Oh to be young and have such energy at the dawn's early light! Kudos, my dear.

  3. oh. my. god. these are unbelievable. I used only chocolate chips and I am the happiest girl in the world right now. Dan LOVES the study break snack too :)