We’re not really a household that does much for Valentine’s Day, but for those who like to get all shmoopy with hearts, cupids, flowers, and the whole nine yards, here’s the way to start your day. How thrilled would your loved one be to wake up to breakfast in bed? A hot cup of coffee (with foamed milk, naturally) or a mimosa, if that’s more your style, and the heart-shaped dried cherry and chocolate chip scones found here on Epicurious. Yes, I realize that Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, giving most of us little time to frolic around baking in the morning and yes, I realize that the scones in the picture above are not, in fact, heart shaped.
I made this batch with entirely non-romantic intentions, bringing them to a baby shower last weekend, but it dawned on me that they’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day as well. The recipe was actually written with instructions for making the scones in a heart shape, rather than the traditional wedge (as I did). Instead of cutting the round of scone dough into triangles, just press the dough out a bit thinner and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make hearts for your sweetie. Pretty cute idea, no? As for the taste, the scones were the perfect medium between light and dense and were positively bursting with the tart dried cherries and rich chocolate chips. Of course I’m partial, but of the four types of scones at the baby shower, I thought these ones turned out the best by far and they’ve garnered rave reviews on Epicurious. So try them for V-day if you’re in the mood to spoil your loved one, or better yet, just spoil yourself on a lazy weekend morning.
Dried cherry and chocolate chip scones (makes 12)
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange peel (optional)
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries
2/3 cup chilled buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Milk (for glaze, optional)
Sugar (to sprinkle on top, optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter and flour baking sheet (or use Silpat). Whisk 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add butter and grated orange peel; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
2. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and almond extract in small bowl to blend. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients; stir with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps.
3. Gather dough into ball. If cutting into triangle, press dough out on lightly floured surface to 1-1/2 inch thickness. Cut circle into 12 slices. If cutting into heart shapes, press out dough on lightly floured surface to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps, press out dough and cut out additional scones.
4. Transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush scones lightly with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until scones are crusty on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes (or up to 20 minutes if refrigerated). Serve warm or at room temperature.