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Heart-Shaped White Chocolate Cherry Scones

Saturday mornings – particularly those days on which a series of hockey games are scheduled on the community rink up the hill – call for warm coffee-shop-style scones for breakfast. On the Saturday morning before Valentine’s day, white chocolate and cherry scones are in order, cut into heart shapes – which are really as easy as any other shape, they just seem a little more special. I may start using my heart shaped cookie cutter to make scones more often. What’s wrong with warm heart scones on an average weekday morning?

If I can find my cookie cutters, that is – I seem to have lost my enormous box of them, and so I cut out heart shapes using a small knife. It worked just fine, actually – so if you don’t own a heart shaped cutter, it’s no big deal. I like to sprinkle coarse sugar on top of my scones before baking – you can often find it in gourmet shops, but I’ve found very coarse sugar at many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets for a fraction of the cost.

My dried cherries are big, dark and juicy – my friend picked and dried them herself last summer in the BC interior, and brought me a bag. I’ve kept them in the freezer and have been rationing them. If you can’t find dried cherries, cranberries are a fine substitute.

White Chocolate Cherry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
1/2-1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ËšF. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and blend it with a fork, whisk, pastry blender or your fingers (or do it all in the food processor, if you have one), leaving some lumps no bigger than a pea. Add the white chocolate and cherries and toss to combine.

Stir the buttermilk, egg and vanilla together with a fork. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Pat the dough out about an inch thick and cut into hearts, circles or wedges; bake on a parchment-lined sheet for about 20 minutes, or less if you made small scones, until golden. Makes 6 large or more smaller scones.

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