Double Chocolate Scones
Yield: 16 scones
Scones are really quick breads. These are quickly put together
in a food processor, then baked in two roughly round "loaves"
that are sliced into pie-shaped sections for serving. They're
perfect for a leisurely breakfast, a brunch, or tea. If you
like things on the less-sweet side, you can reduce the amount
of sugar in the recipe to 1/2 cup. You can vary the nuts called
for, too; pecans, almonds, or skinned hazelnuts would be good
choices. Just be certain to chop the nuts medium-fine; if they
are left in too-large pieces, cutting the scones after baking
will be difficult.
Scones don't keep well at room temperature, but they freeze perfectly.
To reheat, thaw at room temperature (still in wrappings), then microwave
at 50% (medium) power for 10 to 15 seconds for one scone, until
warm. Serve the scones with unsalted or flavored butter, good preserves,
clotted cream, or lightly sweetened whipped cream. These tend to
be a trifle on the dry side, which makes them good for dunking into
coffee, tea, or milk. Never serve a cold scone!
cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into thin pats
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
cup medium-fine chopped walnuts
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg, graded "large"
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a baking sheet (including the sides) at least 15-1/2
by 10-1/2 inches. Trace two circles, each 6 inches in diameter,
in opposite corners of the baking sheet, taking care to leave
at least 1 inch between the edge of the baking sheet and any
part of a circle.
In food processor fitted with steel blade, combine flour, sugar,
cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. At high speed, process
until well-mixed, about 15 to 20 seconds. Add butter pats; process
until mixture forms fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. Turn mixture
into large bowl. Stir in chips and nuts until evenly distributed.
Gradually beat 2/3 cup heavy cream into the egg, beating well
with fork to combine. All at once, add to dry ingredients. With
large spoon, stir to mix. All of the dry ingredients will not
be incorporated. Lightly flour your hand; with the mixture still
in the bowl, knead it gently, just until it is all gathered
into one mass. You may have to make a judgement call here, as
sometimes this dough requires another tablespoon or two of cream
before it will hold together. The dough should be slightly sticky,
but stiff enough to hold its shape. (If you wish, you can turn
the mixture out onto a lightly floured board, and knead it on
that.) Do not handle the dough more than necessary.
Divide dough into two equal portions; flatten each portion into
a rough circle, then place inside one of the circles traced
on the baking sheet. With lightly floured hands, pat each portion
out until it fills the traced circle. The edges may be a bit
rough in shape, but the thickness of the dough should be as
even as possible. With a lightly floured finger, poke a hole
in the center of each circle, and widen the hole to about 3/4
Lightly flour a sharp knife. Score each circle into eight wedges,
re-flouring the knife lightly as necessary.
Bake the scone circles 15 to 20 minutes, turning the sheet back-to-front
once about halfway through baking time. The hole in the middle
of each circle will partially fill in during baking. When done,
a toothpick inserted about an inch from the center of a circle
will emerge with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it. Do
not overbake! Remove baking sheet to cooling rack.
Allow baked scones to stand 2 minutes before cutting. To cut,
use a small, sharp, serrated knife to saw gently through the
score marks in each circle (I find it best to cut from the outer
edge inward). You'll have to rinse and dry the knife blade frequently
to keep the cuts neat. Remove scones to cooling rack with broad-bladed
metal spatula to cool slightly. Serve warm, or cool completely
before storing or freezing.
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