Orange Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones
Flour, sugar, a leavening agent, a hint of salt, and butter dance around in a stainless steel bowl. A waltz begins to play as a white paddle conducts a symphony of taste and flavor that is known only to certain breads. The rhythmic swaying of the steady movements, are all planned out. Each beat is the same and with every passing second the sound intensifies. The cold unsalted butter breaks down to small, pea-sized clumps creating a coarse, crumbly mixture. The smell of citrus bounces through the air, as orange zest falls through a grater and into the cacophony of sweetened flour and butter. Flavorings that seem like they were made for each other are added in unison. All part of a greater plan for a treat that melts in your mouth. One you can’t help but love and savor to the bitter end.
Tart and chewy dried cherries are added to the mix, not only to bring in another layer of unprecedented flavor, but also to counter balance the citrusy orange and the sweetness from the chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate chips, in all their glory, cascade down into the crumb mixture, and douses it with jewels of sweetness. The harmony emitting from the mixer makes you smile and your heart jump with joy. Just before the aroma becomes too much to bear, the slow and steady downrush of chilled heavy cream brings the symphony to a crescendo as the dry mixture becomes a sticky dough right before your eyes. A quick mix, and a sudden halt, you form the dough into a shape resembling a square and you make precise even cuts. With each gliding movement of the blade a scone takes shape.
A skating brush paints on a thin layer of cream over each triangle of dough. Quickly they are placed in a hot oven. With the door closed, heat flies around, rotating through the confined, closed space. Baking, the scones go from pale white to golden brown, flaky and delicate. And in no time the pan is removed from the hot box and placed on a rack to cool. This precious time, allowing the wonderment to cool and come to an end in a decrescendo, the soft music starts to slowly fade. Now a faint whisper, you pick up a scone and break off a piece. As it enters your mouth and you begin to chew, you taste the layers upon layers of flavor. You’re first hit with that familiar twang of orange, and as your taste buds familiarize themselves with the citrus, suddenly a tartness enters the picture. The sharp poignant sweetness of the dried cherries, now takes center stage, and last but not least, in a final bow, the warm sweet chocolate melts into the perfectly balanced bread. The curtains fall and all around, you hear applause. Suddenly you open your eyes, as you’ve now realized they were tightly shut this entire time. The clapping, which you attributed to hundreds of fans, was really just coming from your own two hands. Slightly embarrassed, you turn to see if anyone has witnessed your display of emotion, relieved you pick up another scone and enjoy it even more so than the first time. Content with your orchestral abilities, you enter an euphoric state of bliss with nothing but orange cherry chocolate chip scones on your mind.
So what’s the first thing we need?
That’s right, a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
This is one of the easiest recipes ever, and you can definitely do it by hand if you’d like!
But you all know me….my mixer makes it even easier.
Well not mine, in particular. Any mixer will make it easier.
We’re going to start by mixing together the dry ingredients.
You pro bakers will call it sifting the dry ingredients.
I don’t like to sift, so I just mix.
Add the flour.
And baking powder.
And of course some salt.
Pour in the sugar.
So those are all the dry ingredients.
Start the mixer, or if you feel like being crazy and doing it by hand, give it a good whisk together.
Once the dry ingredients are all mixed, it’s time for the butter.
So, a couple of things about the butter.
Make sure it’s unsalted!
Make sure it’s super cold!
And make sure…….it’s super cold.
Okay, so I repeated myself. But that’s an important one.
Unwrap the butter and dice it.
Once the butter has been diced, throw it into the dry ingredients.
Cut in the butter.
You can use a pastry blender if you’d like. I just use my mixer.
Mix until the butter resembles course crumbs, the size of peas.
The course crumb stage will look like this.
The next step is to grate in the orange zest.
That’s the “orange” part, in our orange cherry chocolate chip scones.
Zest the entire orange.
And make sure to only zest the peel, do not go into the pith of the fruit, because the white/light yellow part is bitter.
Trust me, you don’t want bitter scones.
So again, zest the entire orange.
And now its time for the other flavorings.
Whole dried cherries.
Give them a rough chop chop.
Add them to the dry ingredients.
Next up, chocolate chips.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Turn the mixer on low, and mix everything together.
While the mixer is running, slowly stream in the heavy cream.
Make sure that the heavy cream is cold. Cold butter and cream are really important in this recipe.
It is very crucial that, at this time, you do not over beat the scone dough.
You want to mix until just combined.
The dough will be slightly sticky and wet to the touch, but it should come together rather rapidly.
To finish preparing the scones, we need to form the dough into a square.
Dumb the dough onto a lightly floured surface….so begin by lightly flouring a surface.
Okay, dump the dough on the flour and form it into a ball.
Using your hands or a rolling pin, carefully, and working quickly, press it into a square.
Don’t handle the dough too much as the warmth from your hands will soften the cold butter bits.
So work fast, at this stage.
So here’s our square.
Time to cut these bad boys up.
We’re going to make the scones triangular in shape.
I know what you must be thinking…..”but starbucks has round scones. I’m used to round scones.”
Well sorry to disappoint, my scones are triangles. And why are they triangles? No special reason other than you have an excuse to eat more as triangles are bigger.
Cut the square in half.
Cut each half in half.
So you get four equal pieces. Quarters.
Cut each quarter piece in half, on a diagonal. So you end up with eight triangular scones.
At this point, you can cut them each in half once more, and get 16 mini scones.
I’m not going to do that because I want jumbo scones.
Place the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Space them out on the sheet, giving each about an inch of space in between.
They tend to grow as they bake.
Before you pop the pan in the oven and bake the scones, you’ll need to glaze them with a bit of heavy cream.
This will give them a nice golden brown color.
Brush each top evenly with the heavy cream.
Bake in a 350° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
Rotate pan, half-way through cooking, to ensure even baking.
Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
After about ten minutes, transfer the scones onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
This cooling stage is very essential.
At first, the sones will be soft and un-moveable. As they cool, the scones firm up.
Once completely cooled they are ready to eat.
You can even put them on a nice platter.
Sure, why not? Make them look presentable.
And there you have it, easy Orange Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones.
Serve yourself up a few.
These soft, flaky, flavorful scones, will change your world.
Make them as soon as possible.
This recipe is a basic one that you can use to make any flavor scone you’d like.
Don’t like orange, cherries and chocolate? No worries, try it with lemon zest and blueberries. Or cranberries and dates.
Either way, make them soon. Enjoy!
Orange Cherry Chocolate Chip Scones
An original recipe by The Candid Appetite.
Substitute these flavors for any you’d like. Also try them with lemon zest and blueberries. Or dried cranberries and dates or currants.
Yield: Makes 8 large scones or 16 miniature.
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 stick of butter, extremely cold and cut into cubes
- 1 Orange, zested
- 1/2 cup Dried Cherries, chopped
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream, plus more for brushing
Preheat oven to 350° Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix on low speed for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed just until the mixture forms large, course crumbs the size of peas.
Add the orange zest, dried cherries, and chocolate chips to the mixture. While the mixer is on, stream in the heavy cream and mix for a few seconds just until moistened. Make sure not to over mix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press together gently until the dough clings together in a ball. Pat out into a square about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut the square in half, and then in half again so you end up with four even pieces. Cut each quarter in half, on a diagonal, so you end up with 8 triangular pieces. Place the wedges 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.
Brush the scones with heavy cream.
Bake until golden brown for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!