I fully admit that I went a little overboard with these Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones. I mean, a full cup of chocolate AND a full cup of dried cherries?!?! Wow. One could argue that they are more like a dessert scone than a breakfast biscuit, but I say there that is no better excuse than Valentine’s Day serve up this indulgence.
Scones can get a bum rap for being dense and/or flavorless. Not these beauties. I snuck a little almond extract into these scones because I love cherry and almond flavors together, but you can surely use pure vanilla extract if that floats your boat. A quick pit stop in the freezer before baking makes all the difference in the scones’ texture. No dense hockey pucks here. You can get all fancy with form on these babies, too. In lieu of the traditional triangles, I opted for a smaller, squarish version because they are on the rich side – but that didn’t stop me from eating more than one.
Bake the entire batch at once if you’re feeding a crowd as these scones are best served the day they are made. Fortunately they will also stay frozen (unbaked) in your freezer for 3-4 weeks, so you can pull them out a few at a time to bake and enjoy whenever a chocolate-cherry craving strikes (which strangely happens more frequently than you think. Oh, wait. Maybe that’s just me.).
Need a few more scone ideas? Check out these lovelies from some of the best of the web:
2 tablespoons raw sugar or coarse sugar crystals (optional)
Whisk together eggs, extract and half and half in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Gently pulse to combine. Add butter to bowl and gently pulse until butter is incorporated and mixture looks crumbly. Place dough into a bowl and gently stir in chocolate and cherries. Add liquid ingredients to dough and stir until combined and the dough holds together.
Place a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle silpat or parchment lightly with flour. Scoop dough onto baking sheet and gently form into a 10-inch square, adding a bit more flour to the pan if necessary to keep it from sticking. Use a bench scraper or knife run under warm water to evenly cut dough into 16 squares. Gently pull them apart from one another so there is a little space between the scones as they will expand as they bake. Place the pan uncovered in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
When ready to bake, gently brush tops of scones with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until they just start to brown but are cooked through. Watch them carefully as the cherries burn quickly. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then remove to a wire rack.
Chilling the dough in the freezer allows the butter to get cold again, which gives the scone a better texture, and lets the gluten in the flour relax, giving these scones a better rise.
You can also freeze these unbaked scones completely and bake them individually as needed. Simply add an extra few minutes to the baking time.