Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. All ideas and opinions are my own.
Scones, you guys. Scones. The holiday season is here, my to-do list is a million miles long, and I’m over here making scones like they’re going out of style. They’re not, of course, because scones are delicious and will never be old news. But you know that feeling you get when your mountain of to-dos is battling that mountain of to-bakes? The to-bakes win every time. Because priorities.
These cherry scones came at the request of Beany, who wondered if “instead of blueberries, we can do cherries because cherries are super good.” That must be how great bakers start out, right? One must first be able to discern the good from the super good. Then the real magic happens.
Cherries are definitely not in season right now, but the good news is that fresh or frozen will work equally well for this recipe because you’ll end up freezing the fresh guys before you add them anyway. Add some cacao nibs, mini chocolate chips or vanilla bean, and they’ll feel even more Christmassy. A drizzle of dark chocolate on top couldn’t hurt either.
Scones are also great make-ahead treats during the holidays. I try to keep a few batches on hand in the freezer if I know we’ll have company. They can go straight from the freezer to the oven, which is super handy when your days are already packed. And fresh baked goods at Christmastime are pretty much the best.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on tops of scones
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 ¼ cups frozen cherries (you can buy fresh and pop them in the freezer for a bit)
- 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cacao nibs or ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Place the flour, sugar, baking power and salt in the large bowl of a food processer, fitted with the large chopping blade. Pulse a few times to get everything mixed together. Then add the butter, and pulse about 10 or 12 times. You want the butter to be cut into the flour mixture, but some small pieces of butter should remain, so don’t pulse the smithereens out of it.
- Transfer the flour and butter mixture to a large bowl, and gently fold in the frozen cherries.
- In a large measuring cup, mix together the heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Then slowly fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture (I like using a fork for this). Once the dough starts coming together, use your hands to gently kneed it into a ball shape. (If the mixture seems too dry, you can add a teaspoon or two more of heavy cream, and work the dough gently until it does a better job of holding together.) You’ll want to work quickly to keep things as cold as possible.
- Gently flatten the dough on a floured surface into a 6-inch circle. Use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 triangles (I usually score the top first before cutting to make sure they’re all fairly even).
- Place the scones on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze them until they’re solid. Once they’re frozen, you can go ahead and bake them, or put them in a plastic freezer bag for up to a month.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes (turning the pan halfway through), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If they start browning too quickly, you can gently drape a piece of foil over the top until the centers are done.
And now with a few more things checked off the baking list, I’m off to tackle those non-perishable to-dos. Next up, Christmas cards! We’ve used Shutterfly for lots of projects over the years, and they really do have some great stuff. Check out their holiday cards for a bunch of fun ideas. And they extended their Cyber Monday sale an extra day, so if you jump on it today, you get 50 percent off your order, plus an extra 25 percent off. Woo hoo!