Chocolate Scones with Cherry & Orange

Cherry-chocolate scones or orange-chocolate scones? I waffled for quite a while, before the solution to my dilemma presented itself — why not both? A perfect pairing for Valentine’s Day!

Cherry for its sensuous lusciousness, orange for a bit of spring brightness (because spring is coming, even if it doesn’t feel like it yet). Surrounded by buttery chocolate scone goodness, with a little jaggery lending depth of flavor. Yum.

2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup jaggery (or dark brown sugar)
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 c. chopped candied orange

3/4 c. dried sour cherries

2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

optional: 1/2 c. chocolate chips for drizzling (white, milk or dark — your choice!)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray mini scone pan with Baker’s Joy (or butter and flour pan, which will be kind of a pain).

(If you don’t have a mini scone pan, you can cut and shape these by hand, and bake on a regular baking sheet, placing them quite close together. If you pop them in the freezer for 30 minute before baking, they’ll hold shape better.)

2. Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Chop butter in small pieces and cut into flour with a pastry cutter (or with your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse meal. (It’s fine to have small lumps.) Stir in orange and cherries.

3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 3 wet ingredients, beating eggs lightly. Pour into dry mixture and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Cut into 16 equal pieces and press into the cavities of the pan.

5. Bake 20-25 or until medium brown. Let cool 20 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely. Serve warm, with coffee or tea.

Optional: Chocolate drizzle. Melt chocolate in double boiler on stovetop or on low power in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Drizzle chocolate (spooning it into a pastry bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off makes it easier) over the top, and let dry until set.

Recommendation: Serve warm for breakfast or tea, split and spread with salted butter.

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