My record with many doughs sucks. There's no nice way to say it. I often fail to make the doughs for pie crusts and biscuits. My guess is that I've either been too slow and let the butter warm up, or I have over-worked the dough. So I set out this time to be quick and to keep everything and chilled as possible. From what I understand, keeping the butter cold prevents it from fully melding with the other ingredients. That way the butter bits can release steam during the baking process and make the product tender and flaky.
I used a recipe from Gourmet Magazine for cherry scones. I did use my food processor to cut the butter into the flour since 10 seconds of blending vs. 5 minutes of blending by hand would mean less heating. The dough in the end was still a little dry and could have used a bit more cream, but in the end it did not really matter. The scones came out tender and flavorful, especially when studded with the tart cherries. They ended up making the perfect breakfast treat for my lab. I'm hoping this represents a turning point in my ability do deal with doughs, but we'll just have to wait and see.