Here’s how I made them:
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup very hot water
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup mini-morsel semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Extra butter and sugar for the tops
Preheat your oven to 425F. Place the dried cherries in a bowl; add the hot water and almond extract and set aside to soak while you mix up the scones. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in cold butter pieces until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal with small butter chunks mixed in. Drain your cherries and press them into paper towels to remove all the liquid. Roughly chop and throw them into the flour mixture along with the chocolate chips. Stir just until combined. Add the heavy whipping cream and stir until mixture starts to clump into a large ball. It’s important not to over mix here.
Scones are like biscuits…if you over mix them, they’ll turn out rubbery. Once most of the dough starts to clump together, place it onto a lightly floured surface. Pour the remaining crumbs onto the top of the ball and gently press it all together. I don’t knead the dough; I just press it all together with my hands. Form into a circle about 1” thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet (I like to use a silicone mat on a baking sheet). It should make 6-8 scones, depending on the size of your biscuit cutter. Before baking, place a thin pat of butter on the top of each scone.
Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 5 minutes, allowing the butter on top to melt. Remove the pan from the oven and quickly sprinkle the tops generously with sugar. Put them back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes, or until scones are lightly browned around the edges and the sugar on top crackles. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving. Scones are always best served warm from the oven with real butter (that’s my opinion, anyway). This recipe is incredibly versatile. I’ve made them with dried blueberries, diced apples tossed in cinnamon sugar, etc. Be adventurous!
Here’s a quick tip – if you don’t have a biscuit cutter, save a small tomato sauce or tomato paste can from another recipe. Just use your can opener to open both ends (making sure there are no sharp edges) and wash thoroughly, removing the label. I keep a few different sizes in my kitchen, just in case.