Chocolate Chip Scones with cinnamon, orange, and cherries 

This week I will be posting a recipe a day for the next four days. I wanted you to know in advance as to not spam you like crazy!

As you know, I’ve been diligently watching the final season of Downton Abbey. I’ve watched several of season 6 episodes at least 4-5 times. I have no shame when it comes to Downton Abbey and all of its glory.  Just a friendly reminder, this is a Downton Abbey spoiler free zone.

Last week, I invited my mum over to watch episodes 2 and 3, but some how we fell into the binge watching syndrome. We wound up watching all the way to episode 5 (mind you, I’ve seen all the episodes to 7, which aired a week ago Sunday). By the time you read this, I will have already consumed episode 8 and be anxiously awaiting the Christmas episode.

In the morning before she arrived, I decided that fresh scones were in order for this special watch party.  The below scone recipe is best served right out of the oven or warmed. They are buttery and have the warmth of cinnamon with the orange peel complimenting both the chocolate and the cherries. This recipe makes 8 scones. I also served the delicious Valentine’s Blend tea from Harney & Sons. It has chocolate notes and rosebuds in it which worked exceptionally well with the chocolate in the scones.

Tea and scones for two. Had to improvise since we were watching at my computer. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.
Tea and scones for two. Had to improvise since we were watching at my computer. You gotta do, what you gotta do, sometimes.

Try these for your next brekkie or Downton Abbey watch party. They are very simple to put together, only take a few minutes, and some elbow grease. I highly recommend a pastry blender for the combination of the butter and dry ingredients.

Chocolate Chip Scones with Cinnamon, Orange, and Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (250g) leveled all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, frozen (approximately 15 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup (180g) chocolate chips
  • ½ cup of dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon of dried orange peel
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

First, put the stick of butter into the freezer. It’s only going to be in there while you prepare the other ingredients for mixing, about 15 minutes maximum. Cold butter equals delicious scones.

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust the rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, orange peel, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the semi-frozen butter (here’s where your elbow grease will come in handy) into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the chocolate chips and dried cherries. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. The dough will be a little wet. Form the dough into a ball with floured hands as best you can, flour your work surface and turn out the dough onto the floured surface. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into equal wedges with a very sharp knife (I used my bench cutter). Use your bench cutter (or a turner) to lift the scones to the prepared baking sheet.  Spacing them at least two inches apart. Remember the less you touch the dough, the better.

Chocolate Chip Scone in the round
Chocolate Chip Scone in the round See the pieces of butter – you want it like that!
Spaced properly and ready for the oven (except that large on the right)...
Spaced properly and ready for the oven (except that large one there on the right)…

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Warm out of the oven and ready for Downton Abbey watch party
Warm out of the oven and ready for Downton Abbey watch party

Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 extra days.

Note: Scones freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat before serving. Also, you can substitute dried currants for the cherries.

Enjoy these, I think these belong in everyone’s repertoire. They are great for the holiday season.

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