Happy Heart Day! Cherry Scones and Strawberry Sandwiches

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(MARINA) Love is in the air, it’s Valentine’s Day! I (heart) these cherry scones! Every Valentine’s Day I wake up and a light bulb goes off in my head: ”I get to have the scones again!” I thought this same thing to myself as I got up this morning.

I ate one scone this morning. It’s filling because of the cream. They’re so easy to make: All you have to do is throw everything in the food processor.

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This special scone is so moist and crumbly, it just falls off itself. It can be shaped any way you want, but we shaped it like a heart. I think it looks really good in a heart shape.

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You can serve it with any kind of jam – we like raspberry. Everyone’s happy it’s Valentine’s Day!

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DID YOU SAY STRAWBERRY SANDWICHES??!!

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(KERI) Why, yes we did. Did we mention it’s Valentine’s Day?! But, listen, you don’t have to wait for once-a-year to roll around to enjoy the scones and these I’m-about-to-talk-about-them sandwiches. Both are perfect and easy weekend treats. And we all need a treat…and easy, now don’t we?

I’m in week three of a bread-baking intensive class. Last week, we learned the art of (and just how much fat goes into) the brioche. Oh, brioche. Seven eggs, 12 ounces of butter, whole milk. My brother (and bread-baking classmate) and I shook our head in our hands. It’s so bad, but it’s so good. And now we each had two loaves to take home. Hurry, get out the best French toast recipe. And this little number from our man Tyler Florence: Strawberry Sandwiches.

It’s just so simple: Butter two slices of good bread (did I mention we really, really like brioche?) on one side and sprinkle with a little sugar. On the other side, smear strawberry jam. On the jam side, place thin slices of brie cheese. Oh, don’t cock your head and say, ‘you had me until the brie.’ Trust me. Trust Tyler. On top of the brie, place thinly sliced strawberries. Top with a little more brie, then the second slice of bread, jam side in.

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Grill it like you know it in a hot skillet. Bam, you’re done. Cut in half and consider sharing. Or not. I don’t.

This could be dessert or breakfast. Or an afternoon treat with tea.

Hearts and flowers are abundant today. But for us, we prefer these two bites. You know you wanna.

Cherries and Cream Scones – from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Baking
2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar plus 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
2/3 cup dried sour cherries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Assorted jams for serving

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. In a food processor, combine 2 cups of flour, the 1/3 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt and whirl once. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms course meal. With processor on, slowly pour in the cream. Once the dough comes together (you may need to scrape it down a few times), add in the cherries and pulse a few times.

Remove the dough from processor onto a lightly floured board. Knead the cherries in to ensure they are evenly distributed. Form the dough into a round that is 1/2 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter of your choice (3-inch cutters are best), cut dough into shapes and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them 2-inches apart. Sprinkle each scone with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm with assorted jams.

Strawberry Sandwiches – by Tyler Florence
8 slices brioche or white bread
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons for browning the sandwiches
About 1/4 cup sugar
1 jar strawberry jam
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
6 ounces Brie cheese, sliced, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Butter 4 brioche slices on one side. Sprinkle the buttered side with sugar and turn the slices sugared sides down. Spread each slice with jam on the opposite side from the buttered side. Lay down a layer of brie slices, and then a layer of sliced strawberries, then brie once again. Butter the remaining 4 brioche slices on one side, sprinkle with sugar, and smear more jam on the opposite side. Lay the jammed side down on top of the brie/strawberry/brie slice you just built.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Put 2 of the sandwiches in the pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes until the sugar melts, the bread turns golden and the cheese begins to melt. Turn and cook until the second side is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Take the sandwiches out of the pan and repeat to cook the rest. Dust the sandwiches with confectioners’ sugar, cut them in half and serve warm.

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