Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dark Chocolate-Cherry Almond Scones

I seemed to be on quite the scone kick lately.   These scones are my little shout out to the bakery I used to work at over the summer last year. I made I am sure a few hundred of these over the three short months I worked there. But man oh man they still remain my favorite. I just loved the combination of chocolate, cherry, and almond flavors in this scone. And an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast..count me in.

I used chocolate chunks, but feel free to use any dark chocolate bar and chop it up into pieces. For my sake, the bag of chocolate chunks was just easier. I also used dried cherries in this recipe. I just love the chewiness that they provide.

After they come out the oven (and if you can stand to wait) let them cool and ice them with an almond icing to really send that almond flavor home.

I usually wash it down with an iced coffee. I recommend you try my d.i.y. iced coffee recipe on this site. Coffee and chocolate? Now that's a good start to any day in my book.

Dark Chocolate-Cherry Almond Scones
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup heavy cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F.
2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.
3. If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in cherries and chocolate. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add cherries and chocolate and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.
4. Stir in heavy cream, vanilla, and almond extract with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
5. Transfer dough and all dry, floury bits to countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form scones by either a) pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turning the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, cutting the dough into 8 wedges with either a knife or bench scraper b) patting the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece and cutting until dough has been used up.
6. Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
7. Top with almond icing

Almond Icing

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 tsp. milk (or more to reach "drizzable" consistency)
1 tsp. almond extract

Place ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle over scones when cooled.

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