For years it’s been a dream of mine to do a baking photoshoot—to show the real Sweet Melissa behind-the-scenes, making something delicious. What a fun day I had with Erika Mattingly Photography! And what a gorgeous backdrop—none other than DL Loft in Chicago, IL.
My inspiration is my grandmother, Carolyn Sue Southard, who I affectionately call “Memaw”. It’s a nickname often used in the South, similar to “Nana” or “Granny”. Originally from Arkansas, Memaw moved to the Midwest after marrying my grandpa in 1954.
Her recipe box, weathered and lovingly-used utensils surround her 1953 photo. I remember watching her make biscuits, using the tin cup to measure out buttermilk. This is how I learned to bake—sitting at her kitchen counter, wide-eyed as she whipped up biscuits and gravy, banana pudding, or chicken and dumplings.
These scones are so incredibly easy to make—and have the most tender crumb. Cherry-almond is my favorite flavor combination. The dried cherries add a wonderful chewy texture inside while a drippy glaze on top with toasted sliced almonds ties it all together.
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
3/4 cup dried cherries
2 capfuls almond extract
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly then cut in cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in the dried cherries, 1 capful of extract, and heavy cream with fork until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough onto counter and knead by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball (5-10 seconds). Half dough and press each into a circle (approx. 6″) and cut into quarters. Then cut each quarter in half, creating triangles. Place triangles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in 425° oven for 12-15 min until light brown. Cool on wire rack. When cooled drizzle with icing and sprinkle the top with toasted almonds. Makes 16 scones.