Friday, April 19, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Cherry Scones

From Betty Crocker

We are currently in Washington, DC, to attend an awards ceremony.  Since my husband is on the executive committee, the private foundation pays all of his expenses as well as mine (spouses are expected to accompany committee members).  They provide nothing but the best -- first class airline seats, and a posh suite at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel, just a short distance from the White House!  I am not used to such fancy accommodations and activities.  We live in a small rural town, where I spend most of my time in jeans and T-shirts, caring for our animals and small acreage and trail riding on my horse.  Most of what we are doing makes me rather uncomfortable, but I was looking forward to having afternoon tea at the hotel.  Unfortunately, they only serve afternoon tea on the weekends and we will be leaving before then.  And we just missed the Cherry Blossom Tea, which was being served daily but ended on the 14th.  Almost everything on the menu was made with cherries in some form, including the tea!

Peacock Alley Afternoon Tea menu at the Willard InterContinental Hotel

One item on the menu is cherry scones, and it just so happens that I found a great recipe for these in the same mystery novel that gave me the Porcupines recipe from last week.  Since I couldn't have tea and cherry scones at the Willard, I think I will make my own to enjoy at home instead.  It may not be as grand, but when it comes to comfort, nothing beats home sweet home!

Cherry Scones

1/2 C. dried cherries
4 T. butter, softened
2/3 C. milk
2 T. orange juice
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Powdered sugar
Whipped butter

Pre-soak dried cherries in 1/2 C. hot water for 10 minutes.  Drain and discard the water.

Combine the butter, milk, juice, sugar, and egg.  Add the flour and baking powder.  Stir together just to moisten the dry ingredients (do not overbeat).  Stir in the cherries.

Drop large dollops of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool the scones on a wire rack.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped butter.  Makes 6-8 scones.

Update:  I made six large scones and baked them for 16 minutes.  They were cooked through and tasted moist and delicious with the tart cherries, but they did not turn golden brown -- the tops were a pale, uniformly tan color.  They were golden brown on the bottom, however, and I have decided this is preferable to browned tops and overly dark bottoms.  I also don't want to risk drying them out, so I see no point in trying to get them any darker.

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