Tart Cherry + Dark Chocolate Scones

pretty things on cake plates

pretty things on a pretty cake plate

For the first six weeks of the year — deep the doldrums of winter — I spend a substantial amount of time wondering why I ever traded endless summer in LA for grey day after grey day, snowstorm after seemingly perpetual snowstorm.

It has gotten more difficult to tear myself from my cozy flannel sheets every morning. Sleep at night is fitful at best, I hit my snooze button no fewer than six times instead of my normal (and appropriate) two or three. I feel like a skeletal, pencil cartoon of myself walking around with a giant thundercloud over my head. I don’t like myself all that much and I can’t imagine I’m all that fun to be around.

Then, one day, brilliant sunshine breaks through the clouds and everything pivots. The snow starts to puddle and the frozen block in which my heart has been contained for the last few months starts melting, making room for the newness that comes with spring. I feel the light seeping back in, frenetic energy dissipating. My parent’s black lab showers me the only way he knows how – with unconditional love. I find the energy to turn that love into my favorite pastry, filling the house and my heart with happy aromas of my favorite bakery in my favorite place on earth. `

Tart Cherry + Dark Chocolate Scones (inspiration drawn from the Nantucket Bake Shop; recipe adapted from Epicurious)

2 cups flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled + diced

2/3 cup buttermilk, chilled

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

2-3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients — flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and mix together until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Whisk together buttermilk, egg yolk, and vanilla extract; add wet ingredients to dry ingredient and bring ingredients together with a fork to form a loose dough. Add chocolate chips and cherries, kneading to incorporate.

Gather dough into a ball and press out into a flat round on a lightly floured countertop. Using a biscuit cutter or upside-down drinking glass, cut out scones. Repeat with excess dough until everything is used. Place scones on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Best served piping hot out of the oven, no accoutrements needed.

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