Notes: To assemble scones quickly in the morning, mix the dry ingredients with the butter ahead of time (step 1); seal the mixture in a zip-lock plastic bag and chill for up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month. Pour chilled or frozen mixture into a bowl and proceed with step 2.
In a bowl or a food processor, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Cut in with a pastry blender or pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together half-and-half and egg. Reserve 2 tablespoons half-and-half mixture; add remaining to flour mixture along with chocolate, nuts, and cherries. Stir with a fork just until evenly moistened.
Scrape dough onto a floured surface and, with lightly floured hands, squeeze dough together into a ball. Pat dough out into a 7-inch round about 1 3/4 inches thick. Cut into eight equal wedges.
Place wedges 2 inches apart on a buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Brush tops of wedges lightly with reserved half-and-half mixture (discard any remaining).
Bake scones in a 350° regular or convection oven until tops are browned, about 25 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes on baking sheet, then serve warm or let cool completely.