Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Scones

At breakfast, bakeries and coffee shops, scones are kind of the underdog. Usually passed up for a muffin a or bagel, the lonely scone sits in that glass case rejected and under appreciated. Because I have never made scones before (and am also guilty of favoring the cliche muffin or bagel) I decided to give it a try. I had only had about two scones in my life, the first made fresh at an adorable little tea and sandwich shop by my old boarding school and the second before accounting class when they had run out of everything else (go figure). I've been trying to bake entirely new and different things for a change, so I thought scones would be a perfect place to start.They are actually pretty simple but do take a little time if you don't have fancy pastry-making equipment (like myself). I did my research and used a compilation of different recipes and techniques to come up with my own.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup of sugar, plus about 2 tablespoons 
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen and cubed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
about 2 tablespoons of milk (whole is best but 2% will suffice) 

Preheat the oven to 400°

You should have two bowls: one large and one small-ish/medium. The large bowl is for your dry ingredients and the smaller bowl is for your wet ingredients. 

In the large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients so they are all pretty well combined. Then add the frozen cubes of butter, making sure the butter does not stick to itself. With two knives (unless you have a pastry blender) "cut the butter" into the dry flour mixture. To do this, hold a knife in each hand and cut across the bowl so the knives form an "x". Continue to do this until the butter is well incorporated and looks like course crumbs. This actually takes a while so don't try and rush through it.

Add the chocolate chips to the dry mixture

In the smaller bowl, whisk together the sour cream and egg. Make a crater in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet sour cream mixture. Use a fork to mix the wet and dry together, then your hands to completely combine all of the ingredients. Don't over mix! 

Flour a dry surface and knead the dough 4 or 5 times. Then press the dough into about a 6 inch or so circle. It should look like a giant cookie. With a knife, cut the dough into 8 pizza looking slices.
Place the scone slices on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush milk on top of each scone and sprinkle (regular white!) sugar on top. Bake for 15-17 minutes (I baked for 16). 

When the scone are fresh out of the oven, sprinkle a liberal amount of sugar on top of each scone so the sugar sticks. If you wait too long the sugar will not stick to the top of the scones. Serve immediately!Store in an airtight container. If eaten the next day, microwave for about 25 seconds.

I wanted to try two different techniques on this one recipe because I thought the first ones I made didn't look golden enough. After I took the scones out of the oven, I took a couple of them and brushed more milk on top and sprinkled them with brown sugar (instead of regular white). I popped then back into the oven for about 3 or 4 minutes. I decided this was completely unnecessary. 16 minutes was perfect and the brown sugar didn't make them taste or look any better. They weren't terrible or burnt, but they just weren't as good as the first. 

this recipe was inspired by Joy of Baking and

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