Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dried Cherry~Hazelnut Scones...and a Review

As the weather is turning cooler and I've had to admit, autumn is indeed around the corner, my baking centers around the comfort foods of my past--scones.  My basic recipe has been handed down from my great-grandmother, whom I was told, after she baked scones, my great-grandfather would break them up in a bowl, pour fresh milk over them, and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Quite unusual, but what I surmised was that maybe her scones were a little dry or maybe she didn't add other ingredients to make him want to eat them slathered with homemade jam as I prefer them:-D

Two of my favorite "extras" are dried cherries and hazelnuts and I was anxious to make up a batch after I received my order from King Arthur Flour for a new flour they've added to their line--Self-rising.
I've used self-rising flour before and along with Bisquick, I can see the practically of not having to add leavening (and shortening for Bisquick) when making up a recipe.  Self-rising flour was invented by Henry Jones and patented in 1845.  A leavening agent (baking powder) and salt are evenly distributed into a high gluten flour that will give consistent rise in baked goods. The usual ratio is one teaspoon of baking powder and about 1/8 teaspoon of salt per one cup of flour. What I really wanted to test was how it baked because for me, that's what outweighs less steps and ingredients added.  Well, I'm very pleased with the results and this will be a welcome addition to my pantry!

Dried Cherry~Hazelnut Scones
4 cups King Arthur Self-Rising Flour
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T granulated sugar
1/3 cup of Hazelnut Flour

12 T cold unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups half-&-half
1 large egg
1 cup dried cherries
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F-degrees (218C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Pour boiling water over the cherries to soften; after 15 minutes, drain thoroughly.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the dry ingredients.  Grate the cold butter on a box grater using the coarse side.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix.  The dough should have small pea-size pieces of butter throughout.
Add the dried cherries and mix just until combined.  Whisk the egg and half-& half together--you will not use all the liquid in the dough, make sure you have at least a couple of tablespoons for brushing on the tops.  While the mixer is running on low, slowly add the cream/egg mixture.  Add just enough until the dough comes together. 
Stop the machine and sprinkle a dough board, lightly with flour.  Turn the dough out onto the board and knead carefully to form a smooth disk.  
Roll the dough to approximately 3/4 to 1-inch thick.  You could cut the round disk into "pie-shaped" or as I chose, cut out 3 1/2-inch rounds.

The trick with getting scones (and biscuits) to rise to their fullest--don't Twist the cutter, but rather push down and pull up! Place scones on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush the tops with the reserved cream/egg mixture and if desired, sprinkle the tops with the raw Tubinado Sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven about 15-17 minutes, until golden brown and risen.  I had mine with a spoonful of homemade Peach jam that I made on Monday.  The texture was soft and the scones were a great way to start the morning. Enjoy!



  1. Hello Susan
    Thanks for your lovely comments on my post.
    My mouth waters everytime I pop into your blog :-)
    Do you sell your goodies? They look so wonderful .

    Fancy that 44 years together!!! I thought I was doing well at 40 years together (Ruby anniversary). I love to hear this as it seems its becoming a rarity long-lasting marriages. I say to my husband you were meant for me and I was meant for you and we can do nothing about it as it was destiny!! LOL

    Keep well

    Amanda :-)

    1. I agree with you Amanda--they're stuck with us!! XOXO

  2. Susan your scones sound so good and easy to make. that's what important to me because I'm not a baker.
    I will be married for 31 years this September. I really feel we were meant to be together....believe it or not we still enjoy our company even if it's just sitting around doing nothing.
    stamping sue

  3. Hmmmmmm, another one of your little tricks---grating the butter!! I will try it next time. I have used your hint about not twising the cutter with very good results. The scones look really good and I will also try the KAF self-rising flour. Hugs

    1. I'm trying it on waffles later today for National Waffle Day! I have bags of tricks--tried and true:-) LOL!!

  4. Hi Susan,
    I typically don't buy self rising flour. Instead I usually make my own. If you recommend King Arthur self rising flour, I will have to try it. I did see it when I was at the KAF Education Center last month. I have a small kitchen and have always felt I don't need to add one more thing to my pantry! Your scones look wonderful and I also love the butter grating idea! Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

    1. Martha, I've usually made my own too and that's why I gave the ratio above if you wanted to make it. The ease of it being readily available (in bulk) and the leavening being evenly distributed is what sold me on buying their brand. I wish our stores would carry it instead of having to order it though.
      The grating was something I came up with so cold butter gets evenly distributed. I use to pop it in my food processor to do that part and then, hand mix the rest, but using the stand mixer makes it so much easier and one less bowl to wash! XOXO

  5. Will definately try this. My family loves scones with fresh raspberry jam and whipped cream -- a special breakfast!
    I love dried cherries (I have been know to just eat them from the bag -- did I just reveal that?) and hazelnuts.

    1. I'm with you Sister...I had to seal the bag and put them back in the pantry; I kept eating one, then another, then another:-D

  6. I love scones–these sound great! It's good to know the KA self-rising flour works well, too–I haven't used that kind of flour very much, but will try it out!

    1. I've used other self-rising flours, but not happy with the texture of the finished product--KAF flour is the best and these scones were melted-in-your mouth tender!

  7. Butter grating is something I never thought about. Will give it a try. I make scones often. Just did them this week--miniature ones for yet another tea party with my granddaughter--some with currants, some with cranberries & some with mini chocolate chips. Hadn't heard of hazelnut flour either--will look for it. I love both dried cherries and hazelnuts. Thanks for your wonderful ideas and recipes.

    1. I love miniature anything, but in scones that could be deadly how many I pop into my mouth:-D

  8. Hello Susan....your recipes always leave me wanting a taste. What I'm wondering you have help cleaning up the kitchen when the baking is done? Do you find that question amusing?

  9. Oh Meggie, no...I'm a one woman baking team!! But, you did make me laugh because my mother's rule was, "you cook, you clean up!" Since she was German and Irish, when she spoke you listened:-D XOXO

  10. I'm sure these scones would have been a winner at our village show. Susan, find the most interesting ingredients! I have tracked down a source for the lemon juice powder which you mentioned, I can think of so many uses for that.x

  11. Lemon juice powder is a great, natural way to flavor your baked goods. I'm anxious to try the orange, lime and pineapple that KAF offers. XOXO