Monday, June 18, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Pistachio Scones

Saturday evening, I stopped by the Whole Foods on my way home from work and grabbed a little bit of this, a little bit of that. You know how you do when you're foolish enough to walk into Whole Foods without a list. Now, Monday morning -- the first morning of all three kids home from school and camp (plus it's raining, so no pool), I'm hit with "What's for breakfast?" Only nobody's in the mood for the typical school-day menu (read: cereal, cinnamon toast or fruit & yogurt). After all, it is after 9 am, and we are still in our PJ's! No, this is definitely not a cereal morning. Instead, something special, preferably made from the ingredients that are already out the counter, will have to suffice. Scones are certainly simple, however I think the fact that these have chocolate and cherries and pistachios in them may have set a dangerous precedent for summer breakfast fare. Oh well... At least I've got plenty of helpers!

3 c. all purpose flour
3 TB granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

10 TB cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 c. cold buttermilk

3/4 c. fresh, sweet cherries, chopped away from the pits
1/4 c. roasted, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate (I used 70%)

1 egg white
1 TB water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment, and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and, using fingertips or pastry cutter, work quickly into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add the buttermilk all at once and stir just until a sticky dough forms. Stir in chocolate and pistachios just until evenly incorporated.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle, about 11"x 6". Distribute the chopped cherries evenly over the top of the rectangle and gently press into the dough a bit. Fold the top and bottom of the rectangle in like a letter. Pat and press this new rectangle back out to about 11" x 6"  again. (Adding the fruit like this, instead of stirring it in, prevents the dough from changing color throughout, and makes for a prettier scone. A little trick I learned from America's Test Kitchen!)

Cherries pressed onto top of dough.

Dough folded like a letter, 

and patted into a rectangle again.
Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut scones into desired shape. I got 16 small triangles out of mine:

Make a lightly flavored egg wash by whisking together the last three ingredients. Brush over the tops of the scones. If desired, top with course, raw sugar. Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy! An share, if possible because these are good enough to eat the whole tray.

*Note: I used fresh cherries, but this recipe would work just fine with dried ones, too. Just mix them in with the nuts & chocolate.

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