Morning After Cherry Scones

There are some nights that we know are going to precipitate tough mornings, and New Year’s Eve is one of them.  But there is no reason that the next morning, and, um, you trying to get rid of that post-one-too-many feeling, has to start with a cold bowl of cereal, or whatever you can find in your fridge.

These scones are the answer to a morning-after anything … they are the perfect blend between a sweet American scone, and a traditional British scone.  Best of all, they can be made the day before, placed in the freezer and baked off while you stumble through making your coffee the next morning.  Here is a step-by-step look at making them, the recipe follows below.

The ingredients include all the scone basics – flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, very cold butter an egg, pure vanilla extract and heavy cream – with the addition of my favorite, dried cherries.

First, whisk together your dry ingredients in your mixing bowl.  Then cut up your butter into cubes and drop it on top of the dry ingredients.

Next, put your whisk attachment on the mixer, and mix up the butter and dry ingredients very quickly at a high speed to create a crumbly consistency. (Purists will tell you to do this by hand, which you can.  But when you are in a hurry, mixing them together in a good mixer quickly will work).

Then drop in your cherries and mix again for a few seconds.  (Putting the cherries in now allows them to be coated with flour and better distribute through your dough.  No one likes their scones with a bottom full of cherries).

Now mix up your cream, egg and vanilla in a separate bowl.

And dump it into the mixing bowl with your scone mixture and mix everything together with your paddle attachment very quickly, for about 5-10 seconds until it looks like this.

Then dump the mixture onto a floured surface on your counter top, knead 2-3 times and shape it into a rectangle.  Don’t work it too much because you’ll end up with a hard and dense scone instead of a light and cakey one.

Now, cut the rectangle into twelve triangles.  Make one cut down the middle horizontily, two cuts vertically and then cut those resulting six squares into triangles.

Place each triangle on a parchment coated pan and stick the pan in the freezer until you are ready to bake. (If they are going to be in the freezer longer than 24-hours, place them in a plastic bag or container once they are frozen).

When you are ready to bake, crank the oven to 375 degrees.  Place each scone about an inch apart on a parchment covered pan.  Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until they begin to brown and you are all done.  Sit back and enjoy with a morning cup of tea or coffee (and contemplate what you did the night before, or not).

Morning After Cherry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar, plus 2-3 tablespoons for sprinkling on for baking
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
I stick cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup dried cherries
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (don’t skimp, use the real stuff)
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 2-3 tablespoons for glazing

If baking scones immediately, first turn the oven on to 375 degrees.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking power and salt in your mixing bowl.
Cut up the butter into cubes and place into the dry mixture.  Work the mixture by hand with a pastry blender, or in your mixer with the whisk attachment for about 30 seconds until it is crumbly. Mix in the cherries.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract and heavy cream. Pour into your dry mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon, or with your mixer using the paddle attachment.  Mix just until everything comes together.

Knead the dough 2-3 times on a floured surface, then gently flatten out to a rectangle.  Cut the rectangle horizontally into two pieces, then vertically three times into six squares, cut those squares into two triangles each, resulting in 12 triangular scones.

If freezing, place all scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in the freezer. (If they are going to be in the freezer longer than 24 hours, place them in a plastic bag or container once they are frozen).

When ready to bake, turn the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 12-15 minutes until they begin to brown.  Enjoy!

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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