Love Those Cherry Almond Scones

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I absolutely love Valentine’s Day, but not really for the obvious reasons.

Yes, I adore the heart-shaped red velvet boxes full of decadent chocolates, gorgeous flowers waiting in all of their aromatic glory to make someone feel like the most special person on earth, and of course the darling heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting that make children, even the most jaded boys, smile with glee.

I just love sharing Valentine’s Day with my family and favorite friends by marking the day with goodies filled with love. We usually start the day with a baked treat. School lunches will be filled with heart-shaped sandwiches, and all the pink and red food I can conjure up, like red peppers, radishes, pink meringues, and a nice array of pink and red jelly bellies.

As the day progresses, I plan an intimate dinner for four with the best guys I know: West, Dexter and Felex. I prepare the family favorite, a gigantic amount of heart shaped macaroni and cheese, and end the evening with a chocolate soufflé, toasted with the finest sparkling cider.

Not to make this day sound so perfect, I will let you all know that there is plenty of eye-rolling and “MOM!…. We don’t need all this pink heart-shaped fluff fluff!”

But I have it on good authority that the guys will appreciate my antics later on in life.

Printer-friendly recipe.

A great way to start Valentine’s Day:

Cherry Almond Scones

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and chopped in small bits
Orange zest; approximately 2 teaspoons
1 cup dried cherries
½ cup chopped almonds
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and orange peel; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms.

Mix in almonds and dried cherries. In a separate bowl add buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla extract and almond extract.

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, mixing until dough comes together in moist clumps. (I use my fingers, but a spatula or fork will work as well). Gather dough into ball and form into a rectangle of about ¾-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface.

If you would like, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out scones. Or cut into small squares. If there is any remaining dough, go ahead and gather any scraps and cut out additional scones. Transfer to baking sheet. If you are making these the night before, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the freezer. You do not need to bring the scones to room temperature prior to baking. Just place in the preheated oven when you are ready to bake.

Brush scones lightly with buttermilk. Sprinkle with sugar if you like that look. Bake until scones are golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes

Enjoy!

Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding nine years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.

Copyright 2008 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit my blog at bakerslove.typepad.com

Andrea Charroin
Andrea Charroin is a trained baker and pastry chef. She worked in San Francisco before she, her husband, Westley, and their two sons moved to Redding. They fell in love with Redding’s downtown and opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie.
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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Mom says:

    I can see Dexter rolling those eyes at pink….the recipe sounds great and if they are half as good as the ones from the bakery they will be a hit at this house. May your house be filled with love on this special day.

  2. Avatar Scalder says:

    Yum. Do we get to eat these after our valentine's run?

  3. Avatar Brandon says:

    I will always remember the perfect scones at Rene Joule, a crispy outer layer with a wonderful flakey and light inside. I seriously used to think about them at work to the point of distraction. Especially the ham and cheese ones! Now I am going to give Andrea's recipe a try on my own…. maybe with a bit of luck and a whole lot of love I can get somewhere close to the perfect scone…

  4. Avatar Erinfriedman says:

    Your kids are SO lucky — let them roll their eyes. You're teaching them all about love and generosity on this special day.

    Dried cherries are my favorite – I'll be picking some up tomorrow. Thanks.

  5. Oh, I am going to make these for my Hubby on Valentines morning! Thanks, Andrea!

  6. They have the most wonderful dried cherries at Costco – All their dried fruit is fabulous and a bargain too!

  7. Avatar Aunt Linda says:

    Sounds so good..what a great Mom you are! And I would say West is a lucky lucky guy!

  8. Avatar Larry says:

    Mmmm…..Scones….