Thursday, March 5, 2009
Back to those scones. Until I started going to some of the bakeries a few years ago, scones were to me what I guess is considered fry bread to others. We still call those scones too, but I had never had these sweet, biscuit-like scones. I was hooked and my favorite was, no surprise here, the Chocolate Chunk Scones. Now that I work from home and don't venture to many bakeries anymore, it was time to find a recipe to make my chocolate scones myself.
Imagine my delight when flipping through my copy of Carole Walter's book, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More (which, by the way, pretty much about categorizes 9/10 of all my cravings) to find a variation for sconese with chocolate chips in them. It didn't take me too long to make them. The recipe makes 12 fairly good sized scones but is difficult to cut in half, so make sure you stash a few in the freezer in an airtight wrap to enjoy later. At room temperature, kept airtight, they keep for about 3 days. These scones were better than a dead ringer for the bakery variety - they were better. Good chocolate and a nice sprinkling of crunchy sugar on top really make this a knock out recipe to have in your arsenal.
(Adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More, by Carole Walter: original recipe found under Sedona Cream Scones)
2 cups sifted cake flour, spooned in and leveled
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled, plus 1/4 cup additional for kneading and rolling
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk (reserve white for egg wash)
1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water, for egg wash
1 tablespoon raw turbinado or sparkling sugar
1/2 cup good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Have ready a large, ungreased baking sheet. For ease of cleanup, I lined mine with a piece of parchment.
Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the mixture forms pea-size bits. Gently add and mix the chocolate chunks into the flour/butter mixture, just to distribute them.
Whisk together the cream, egg, and yolk. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook. With the machine off, add the cream/egg mixture to the flour mixture, then blen on low speed just until the dough starts to form a ball of big clumps - don't overmix.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with about 2 tablespoons of flour to start and turn the dough out onto the work surface, scraping out the bowl with a bowl scraper or rubber spatula. Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough five or six time til it comes together nicely then press it into a square about 8 inches big.
Move the dough aside and clean the work surface, then flour it again with about 2 tablespoons more flour. Using a well floured rolling pin, replace the dough in the center of your work surface and roll it into a 9x12-inch rectangle, with the 9 inch side parallel to the edge of the counter. Fold the dough like a business letter, folding one-third down from the top, then the bottom third up over the top, pressing the edges gently to align them the best you can. You should end up with three layers of dough. Press the top gently with your hands, then roll into a 17x4 inch strip. Using a sharp knife or bench cutter, cut the rectangle into 12 pieces. When placing on the baking sheet, invert each scone and space them 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake the scones for 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Remove them from the oven and cool them on the sheet for about 5 minutes before serving them warm.