I admit it. I love Valentine’s Day. I have a soft spot for the hearts, stuffed animals, boxes of chocolates and everything this artificially sweetened Hallmark holiday means. To me, it’s another chance to show my family and friends how much they mean to me. And in these economically challenging times, a box of Godiva chocolates or a dozen long stemmed roses delivered on Valentine’s Day just doesn’t make sense.
That’s why I’ve been getting together with my friends to make homemade treats and why I’ll be hosting a Valentine’s Day treat exchange this coming Thursday. As I mentioned last week (and even shared photos), Jenn and I had a blast decorating colorful hearts, cupids and other festive sugar cookies.
A few days ago, when Suzy and I got together, we spontaneously created heart-shaped scones. She suggested a scone baking date, and I, with my not-so-hidden sentimental side, added a Valentine’s Day twist. In Suzy’s house, where Valentine’s Day isn’t quite the spectacle it is in my house, I imagine the heart shaped scones will leave quite an impression with her husband and two kids. (Suzy intends to bring them with her on the family ski trip to serve Valentine’s Day morning.)
So, for this Valentine’s Day, think of getting together with a friend or two and make your own edible gifts — there are still a few days left. These simple and delicious scones are an ideal choice. In the hope that I’ve convinced you, here’s our recipe.
These heart shaped scones are the perfect way to greet your loved ones on Valentine’s Day morning. They can be made and frozen well ahead of Valentine’s Day and simply defrosted and warmed that morning.
2 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¾ cups white sugar
2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling the tops
5 Tbs. chilled butter, cut into small chunks
½ tsp. orange extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional)
½ cup half and half
1/3 cup dried cherries
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. With a pastry cutter (or food processor fitted with a steel blade), blend butter into the flour mixture until the dough is crumbly. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, half and half and orange extract in another bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the egg mixture to brush on top of the scones. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the flour mixture and combine with the food processor or your hands. Dump the dough out onto a floured pastry mat and fold in the dried cherries and orange zest.
Gather the dough into a ball and press the dough until it is an even ¾ to an inch thick (it will be about 8 inches in diameter.) Using a small heart cookie cutter (about 2 1/2 inches in the widest part) with a defined “v” in the heart, cut the scones into 16 heart shaped pieces.
Place on a parchment sheet lined baking sheet, brush egg mixture, sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake until golden for approximately 12 minutes.
If you would like to make a glaze for the scones, mix together ¾ cup powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoons zest and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk until smooth. Transfer to a small bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle onto the scones in desired pattern.
Serve in a basket with whipped butter and strawberry jam.