Most, if not all of my friends know that I am a tea-drinker. I love hot tea, ice tea, black tea, herbal tea . . . well, you get the idea. There is of course tea, and then there is 'Tea'. The difference? One is a beverage, enjoyable, but simply liquid refreshment. The other is much more, a moment snatched from the grind of every day, full of niceties and quiet reflection. It is magic, this conversation between tea leaf and water, and it is so much a part of me.
Fresh baked goods, like these scones (based on a King Arthur Flour recipe), help to make Tea an event. At various times I have added orange zest and used dried cranberries instead of chocolate chips, and on this occasion added dried cherries and reduced the chocolate chips (use 1-1½ cups of chocolate chips if omitting the cherries). Change them to suit the season, or the tea that you will be drinking.
If you have never had a scone, they are like a sweet biscuit, or puffy, less-sweet cookie. Scones can be eaten as is, buttered, or with a spread.
• 2½ cups flour
• rounded ½ tsp salt
• ½ cups sugar
• 2¼ tsp baking powder
• 6 Tbsp butter
• ¾ cup cream half & half, heavy, or whipping, or you can use whole milk (optional: add 1-2 Tbsp dried whole milk to the dry ingredients)
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla
• ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ¾ cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 400°F (app. 205°C*) ~you will reduce the temperature when the scones go in to bake.
Line baking sheets or pie dishes with parchment.
Whisk together flour, salt, sugar & baking powder.
Cut butter in to the dry ingredients.
Add cherries and chips to the flour mixture.
Whisk eggs, cream and vanilla. Reserve 2 Tbsp of this liquid, and add the rest to the dry ingredients to form a moist dough. Mix only as much as needed to incorporate all the dry ingredients. ♥ If the dough seems dry, add a Tbsp or two more of cream to the dough
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and pat into a circle app. the size of a pie pan. Brush with the remaining egg mixture and sprinkle with coarse sugar. At this point you can either use a 2" cutter ‡ or cut the dough into wedges* and space them evenly on a prepared baking sheet or dish. Reduce temperature to 375° (app. 190°C*) and bake the scones app. 20 minutes or until golden brown.
These are good warm or cold, reheat nicely if wrapped in parchment or foil, and should be stored in an airtight container.
*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.
‡ if using a smaller size cutter, shorten time; if cutting into wedges, increase time.