Monday, May 3, 2010

Cherry-almond scones with chocolate

Last June I canned and froze a whole bunch of cherries.  This year I think I'll dry some instead of canning because they'd be great in granola.  Besides, canned cherries are kind of ugly and we never knew what to do with them.

There are still 2 baggies of frozen cherry halves in the freezer.  With cherry season rapidly approaching those cherries need to get used. 

I awoke this morning with an idea for cherry-almond scones with chocolate.  I decided to adapt someone else's recipe to fit my needs.  Mine are quite different, however, and marginally healthier.

I thought there might be some almonds squirreled away somewhere.  This was all that was left.  That changed my plan to have almonds in the scones. 

I chopped them up anyway and then I did something completely crazy: measured.  I don't measure too carefully when it comes to cooking, but baking is another matter. 


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped chocolate bits
2/3 to 3/4 cup chopped fresh, frozen, or canned cherries
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 drops almond extract
Mere dribbles of milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Put the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and mix until blended.  This should take about 30 seconds or so.  The bowl of my processor was too small to handle all this, so I just did the flours and butter, then mixed in the rest by hand.

Chop up the frozen cherries.  Do not thaw.  If you're using fresh or canned cherries, be sure to drain them well before adding to the mix.

Mix the cherries and the chopped chocolate into the flour mixture.  Doing this before mixing in the wet ingredients coats the cherries with flour so that they won't clump together.

Mix the cream, yogurt, egg, and almond extra together.  If you're wondering why I used part yogurt and part cream, it's just because I had cream leftover from making creme fraiche.  Any other day I probably would make this only with yogurt.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry...

... mix quickly but thoroughly.  You are not trying to create gluten like you would in a bread.

Dump the whole kit-n-caboodle onto a a floured surface.

Gently pat it into a disk.  You can roll it afterwards with a rolling pin but I don't think it's really necessary.

Using a large, sharp knife, cut the disk into 8 or more wedges.  I made some big ones and some small ones.  I've got this ancient, super thin spatula that a former roommate left in my old apartment.  It's perfect for sliding underneath delicate things like scones.  She thought it was junk but it's my favorite spatula.

Transfer the scones to a baking sheet lined with a silicone pad, parchment paper, or one that's been sprayed liberally.  I baked half of my scones and froze the other half.  I'll pull them out of the oven in a few weeks and have homemade scones with tea or coffee in less time than I could run to Starbucks.

If you do freeze yours, freeze them on a silpat or parchment paper, then put them into a baggie once they're solid.

Put the scones into the pre-heated oven and cook for 25 minutes if you used frozen cherries.  My small scones needed the full amount of time and my larger scones needed another 5 minutes.  If you're using canned or fresh cherries, I'd start checking the scones around 22 minutes.

While the scones are cooking, make the glaze.  Put the powdered sugar into a bowl, add a couple of drops of almond extract, then add about a half a teaspoon of milk.  It will look like this, and you'll be tempted to add a lot more milk.

Don't do it.  Add milk just a few drops at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Go slowly here!  It's really surprising how little liquid it takes to melt powdered sugar.  Keep going until it looks like this:

Cool the scones completely on a rack over waxed paper.  This is the hardest part because they smell so good!  But if you try to ice them before they're cool, the glaze will just run off in a hot mess.

Dribble the glaze onto the cooled scones.  Depending upon how thick you made the glaze, it may need some coaxing like mine did.  Before the glaze dries and sets, sprinkle on the chopped almonds.

Now make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and go enjoy a peaceful breakfast.

1 comment: