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January 2004 Issue
Cherry Buttermilk Scones
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Recently, my home was bombarded by what seemed like tons of that cold, white stuff. Those living in warmer climates might not be familiar with it and those from colder climates wish they weren't! I'm talking about a snow storm ... complete with howling winds and temperatures that seem to freeze everything. When you awaken to that sort of day, what can you do?

Make scones!

And I'm not talking about any old scones -- I'm talking about thick, crumbly ones that are brimming with dried cherries and topped with crunchy bits of coarse sugar. And these scones hold a secret that brings both flavor and moisture to the party: buttermilk. In the same way that it enhances biscuits, buttermilk offers a pleasant tang to these scones and helps retain moisture in them even a day after baking -- though I doubt they'll last that long!

So, armed with a warm batch of Cherry Buttermilk Scones and a hot cup of tea, I can curl up by the window and watch it turn white outside. After all, I've got my scones so ... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!


Cherry Buttermilk Scones

  • 2/3 c. light buttermilk, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling
In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup of the buttermilk, the egg, the brown sugar, and the vanilla until the mixture is combined well. In another bowl, stir together the flour, the baking powder, and the baking soda and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cherries and the buttermilk mixture with a fork until the mixture just forms a dough.

Lightly knead the dough for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface, pat it into a 3/4-inch-thick round, and cut it into 8 wedges.

On an ungreased baking sheet, brush the wedges with the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and sprinkle them with the coarse sugar. Bake the scones in the middle of a preheated 400°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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