I made these last Christmas, sans the cherries and buttermilk. Alan has been hankering for them ever since and this was his special request for Christmas Even brunch. Like a lot of scones, they're a little shaggy and homely, but very tasty, especially right out of the oven. I did one batch with an egg wash to hold the lovely large sugar crystals on top (shown in picture) and another batch with buttermilk on top. Same taste, just obviously yellower with the egg. They're tasty plain, but marvelous with fruit jams and lemon curd.
Cherry Christmas Scones
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
zest of one orange
1 stick of cold butter
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (preferably ones not processed with sulfur)
1+ cups buttermilk (you may need a tablespoon or two more than one cup in order to adequately moisten the dough)
Knead lightly about 10 times until the dough forms a ball. Pat into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Cut into 12 even wedges and separate them out at least a 1/2 inch. Brush the tops with either a little more buttermilk or else a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden and cooked through.