Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chocolate Cherry Scones with a side of Downton Abbey Drama

Last week's episode of Downton Abbey was perfection.  It definitely had its highs and lows.  My stomach dropped to rock bottom when Cora yelled at the ladies from downstairs for trying on her coats.  Don't you know they wanted to DIE when she did?!  With the way her mood was going, I am surprised Cora didn't fire them on the spot.  I was soo glad when she went down to apologize for her poor behavior.  Classy move.

While the story line was riveting, my favorite moments included:

1.  When Edith took charge of her magazine.  She fired her jerk editor and took on the role herself.  I love that she decided to truly embrace the modern woman she had only previously pretended to be.  I also thoroughly enjoyed her smile at her pride in a REAL job well done.
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2.  The announcement of Mr. & Mrs. Carson!  From the moment they held hands at the shore, this was the scene every Downton fan anticipated. Oh, they looked beautiful in their smart clothes.  Cora's coat made our bride shine on HER day... in the church and then at the reception.  Did you get a glimpse of the food tables?  Whoa!  I saw some beautiful things I have yet to try... and will probably wait until someone else makes them for me.  They looked elaborate.
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3.  The ULTIMATE moment of episode three had to be the beautiful reunion of Branson and the Crawleys.  When he walked in the door with little Sybie, well, I am quite sure there were cheers of joy across America as everyone drank in the moment.  I don't like that he upstaged the bride and groom but I love how he has come to appreciate his new identity as a member of one of Britain's leading families.  Way to go, Tom!
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Because I have been caring for a sick kiddo all weekend, my desire to prepare an involved dessert for Downton Night was just not there.  I chose instead, to prepare a decadent scone to enjoy with episode four.  So, sit back and check out these amazing Chocolate Cherry Scones!


2 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Heavy cream or milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Cut the very cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter.

Chop the chocolate and cherries.
I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I had wanted to use the mini chips I had purchased on my last trip to their chocolate store but it appears my husband has eaten them all.  He is really good about consuming my baking chips on his late night snacking adventures.  Regularly sized chips or bars work as well, they just need to be chopped coarsely to ensure they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Using a fork, stir the chopped chocolate and cherries until well combined.

In a wet measuring cup, combine the milk, egg yolk and extracts.  With a fork, slowly stir in the wet ingredients into the dry until the dough forms wet clumps.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball.  Press dough into a disk, 3/4" high.

Use either a cutter to cut the dough into shapes or use a very sharp knife to cut into evenly shaped wedges.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, spaced one inch apart.

Brush scones with heavy cream or milk and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.  Bake until scones are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee... morning, noon or night!  In fact, these scones would be a delicious addition to a tea party, a Mother's Day brunch, a Valentine's Day breakfast, or maybe even while viewing another favorite show... When Calls the Heart.  Hearties, are you out there?  You have GOT to give these a try when season three begins in February.

Now, let's bring on tonight's installment of Downton Abbey!  Will we get a glimpse of Lady Mary in this dazzling frock?  Oh, how I wish I could wear this one.  GORGEOUS!
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