Saturday, January 13, 2024

Winter Warmers: Cherry Almond Scones

Cherry Almond Scones are bursting with dried cherries and almond flavor and make the perfect coffee-break treat!

 Cherry Almond Scones

You may think that bakery goods such as scones are intimidating to make but I'm here to tell you that they really are easy.  It's a similar method to making biscuits.  Once you try it and get the hang of being very gentle with the dough you won't look back and will baking up scones on a regular basis!

For this variation of scone I've used my Basic Scone Recipe and added some plump dried cherries and a little almond extract to the mix to create a scone that is comforting and perfect for a coffee break.  With only 9 pantry ingredients and a little time you can have the scones of your dreams.


What Ingredients do I need?

  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • butter - unsalted please
  • whole milk
  • egg
  • dried cherries
  • almond extract - Watkins pure almond extract is a good one to use.

Substitutions and Variations

  • I use dried fruit in these scones.  You could substitute for any other dried fruit you like such as cranberries, blueberries, apricots.  
  • Milk - I use regular whole milk in my scone recipe.  You could substitute heavy cream for a richer flavor if you would like. 
  • Cherries - You can use fresh, frozen, or canned cherries if you like.  Make sure they are pitted and you will need to pat them dry so they don't bleed too much in the dough.
  • Almonds - adding some sliced or slivered almonds to the dough, and on the tops of the scones will add some crunch and extra almond flavor.   

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Butter: The secret to the scone’s success is using cold, grated unsalted butter. Use the fine side of the grater and grate on a cutting board. You will want to spray the grater with non-stick spray before grating. Work fast so the butter stays cold. If you are working in a heated kitchen then you may want to transfer the butter to the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. Cold butter will keep the scones from spreading and losing their flaky & moist texture.
  • Forming scones 3 ways:
1. Dump the dough from the bowl straight on to a parchment lined baking pan. Using your hands form the dough in to a 5-6 inch circle. Cut dough in to 6 triangle wedges, pulling apart about 1/2" so there is space when baking.

2. Scoop dough using a 1/3 measuring cup and drop on to a parchment lined baking sheet.

3. Place dough on a floured board and roll dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut out scones using a round or decorative biscuit/cookie cutter.

  • Grating butter into the flour mixture is an easy way to start out with small bits of butter to work in to the flour, and less work in the end! Once you've grated the butter, you can cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry cutter.
  • Handling the dough: You don't want to handle the dough too much. Don't knead it, just gently pat out the dough in to a 1" thick circle with your hands.
  • Use parchment paper on your baking sheet, which gives the bottoms a nice brown crust. Sprinkle sanding or sparkling sugar on the tops for an extra crunch and sweet bite.
  • How to Store Scones:  Scones are best stored at room temperature and covered for 2-3 days. If you place them in a sealed plastic bag make sure to leave an opening otherwise your scones will become soggy.  To reheat cover with aluminum foil, and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes.  Scones can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Cherry Almond Scones 

Yield: 12 scones

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter (cold), unsalted
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine.

Using a pastry cutter cut cold butter into flour mixture until there are pea-sized pieces of butter throughout.  Add in the dried cherries and stir to distribute.  Add the milk, egg, and almond extract and mix just until combined. 

Remove the dough to a generously floured work surface and knead just until it comes together. Pat the dough out to 3/4 - 1 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter.  

Place the biscuits on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar if using.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for several minutes.  Serve warm.

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