I have a great love for good scones. During college I had the opportunity to visit Ireland, and the hospitality of the Irish people made my heart melt. At nearly every stop, the families I met wanted to give us a traditional Irish breakfast and snack: tea with cream in it (why had I never thought to put cream in my tea before??) and the most fantastic homemade scones I had ever tasted, served with whipped cream. My culinary experience in college was minimal, so the fact that they made the scones themselves impressed me to no end! Amused by my admiration, they told me the key to good scones: cold cream.
Some scone recipes might have you use milk instead of cream. No good. Some scones call for cold (sometimes even frozen) butter. Good taste, but cutting in frozen butter? Not my favorite task. In this recipe, it uses all cream, and by refrigerating the formed scones before baking, it assures that the fat stays cold. Why is that important? Because then you get wonderfully flaky tender scones that are an indulgence to eat.
What you need:
- 5 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 T. plus 2 t. baking powder (store-bought or homemade)
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 3/4 c. dried cherries
- 3/4 c. dark chocolate chips (or dark chocolate bar cut into chunks)
- 3 c. heavy cream, divided
- 2 T. coarse sanding sugar
- large mixing bowl
- 2 baking sheets, cooling rack
- parchment paper
- microplane zester
- circle cutters (2 3/4″ and/or 2 1/4″)
- measuring cups and spoons, spatula
- basting brush
- ruler, optional
- flour duster, optional
Time: About 2 hours total (15 minutes prep, 1 hour refrigeration, 25-30 minutes baking, cooling time)
Freezeable: Yes! Place in freezer safe container or freezer bag.
Serves: Makes 18-20 large scones (2 3/4″), or about 24 medium scones (2 1/4″).
Multiplying the recipe: I would mix batches individually to make sure ingredients are distributed evenly.
Dark Chocolate-Cherry Scones:
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Zest 1/2 orange.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Stir in dried cherries and dark chocolate. Add 2 1/4 c. cream and fold with spatula. If needed, add additional cream 1/4 c. at a time until dough comes together. It can be helpful to use your hands to bring the dough together with no dry patches.
Lightly flour your counter and your hands, and gently press the dough into a 1 inch thick round. Using a circle cutter dipped in flour (2 3/4″ for large or 2 1/4″ for medium), cut as many scones as possible. Re-pat the scraps and continue to cut. Place scones 1-2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375F. Brush the top of the scones with 1/4 c. cream. Sprinkle generously with the coarse sanding sugar. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Scones are done when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.