Tag Archives: cherries

A Box of Love from the Cherry Republic

Cherry goodness from Comfortably Domestic Blog and http://www.cherryrepublic.com

Michigan is the Cherry Republic. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know cherries were grown in Michigan. Don’t boo and hiss, Michiganders (Michiganians?). I’m deeply rooted in southern Texas. We grow tropical fruits and pecans down here. That’s puh-CAHNS. I love cherries, I just wasn’t really aware of where they’re grown. I once saw a cherry tree in northern Montana, and I was awe-struck. But then my blogging friend Kirsten over at Comfortably Domestic mentioned Michigan cherries and I was intrigued. When she held a giveaway contest featuring a box of goodies from The Cherry Republic, I took my chances and entered. When I actually won and received a box of organic cherry chipotle salsa, a bag of dried cherries with mixed nuts, and a bag of dark chocolate covered dried cherries, my mind was totally blown. Not only am I now aware of Michigan’s glorious cherries, but I am a fan. A big fan. Huge. Fan. These are by far the best chocolate covered cherries I’ve ever eaten, and you guys know how I love dark chocolate. I can’t stop eating them, and I can’t thank Kirsten and the good folks at Cherry Republic enough for this fabulous gift box, but I can share their websites and encourage you to visit. I’m not sure about Mother’s Day shipping, but you can certainly check it out. What mom wouldn’t love a gift of Michigan cherries? And then there’s Memorial Day. And the Fourth of July. And Labor Day. And Halloween. Or Thanksgiving. Cherries at Christmas would be divine. Are cherries considered “lucky” on New Year’s? Don’t forget birthdays! I’m pretty sure the gift for a 29th wedding anniversary is Michigan cherries. Honey? Did you hear me?

You can buy fabulous cherry products at: http://www.cherryrepublic.com/

You can visit the lovely Kirsten’s blog at: http://comfortablydomestic.com/

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Cheery Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones

Cheery Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones - Warm From the Oven

If you love yummy scones, these will definitely make you smile. This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks – The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (Boston Common Press). It’s from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and the America’s Test Kitchen television program on PBS. The original recipe is for cream scones, and it’s a perfect base for scone experimentation. Using heavy whipping cream for this recipe helps create a wonderfully flaky, dreamy scone.

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.

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