First off I want to say I developed this recipe from several sources including from The Big Red Cookbook from Betty Crocker (9th edition, only 10th is now available) and a very old Joy of Cooking. I’ve had good luck with everything I’ve made from both, but the Betty Crocker is a bit less intimidating if you are just starting out, or want “simple” recipes. I recommend picking up a copy if you see it. I have modified the recipe significantly so I’m posting it and don’t believe this is copying either of their recipes. In any case, a basic scone recipe is a basic scone recipe. Just about every cook book agrees on the basics: flower, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg, butter and milk cut together… The differences are in the details and even then they are all basically the same.
This recipe is quick and easy. It makes a great breakfast hot out of the oven but also keeps well for later use the next day or even longer. It can be made very rich (use cream) or relatively healthy (use 1% or skim milk). To make this “right” you should have a food processor. It can be done by hand, but I’m never that happy with the results and it is to much work.
- 1.75 cups all purpose flower
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar plus extra for later
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- .5 tsp salt
- .3 (1/3) cup butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- ~6 tbsp half and half, milk or cream
- 3 x 100g Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate and Whole Hazelnut bars or equivalent amount from another brand, about 10 oz total. Trader Joe‘s variety are also tasty.
The choice between half and half (what I usually use), cream and milk is about how moist and rich the resulting scone will be. The fat content of your ingredients and not the water content, controls the moistness of the finished item. That is why using cream will result in the most moist and richest result. It will also have the highest fat content. You can use skim milk, which adds no fat and you will only have the fat in the butter and chocolate. This is ok, but the results will not be as good as something with more fat. I use half and half and am usually thrilled with the results. They are plenty moist and rich and it doesn’t have as much fat as cream. I like them just as much as those made with cream, possibly better.
You could also substitute margarine for the butter, but really, these are chocolate hazelnut scones. If you are worried about calories and fat that much, you shouldn’t be eating these at all! So, go for butter. It really does taste better.
If this is your first time doing this, read all of this first. After you have done it once or twice, you won’t need to look at anything. It is that easy.
This recipe is one that rewards people that do less. If you think “should I add/do more of X” you probably shouldn’t. Less mixing, less kneading and less moister are almost always the right answer.
- Place the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Preheat the your oven to 400F.
- Do this before starting as putting these together doesn’t take long.
- Place the dry ingredients (1.75 cups flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 2.5 tsp baking powder, .5 tsp salt) in the food processor bowl with the normal cutting blade and pulse once to mix.
- Cut .3 cups butter into small cubes or chunks and disperse around the mixer bowl.
- Pulse mixer 5 to 10 times until no large pellets of butter remain but do NOT over do it.
- Add one beaten egg and 2 of the 100g bars (200g total) broken into pieces but do NOT pulse yet.
- Controlling the mixer with one hand, SLOWLY pour in the half and half, cream or milk with the mixer running.
- Do this VERY slowly.
- STOP as soon as the mixture starts to hold together at all.
- Adding to much liquid will make the scones not very good so err on the side of to little.
- If you add to much you can save them by needing in more flower in the needing step at the expense of the texture and crumb.
- This step is done when you can press some of the dough together and it will hold its shape and not fall apart due to lack of liquid.
- Lightly flower a surface and then turn the dough out of the mixer onto it.
- With flowered hands, need the dough 4 to 10 times.
- It should be sticky and damp but not so sticky and wet that you can’t easily handle it.
- Do NOT over need!
- Needing causes the formation of gluten, which is what gives bread its chew and toughness and we do NOT want that in a scone!
- We are only needing to make sure the moister is distributed evenly.
- If they are too wet you can add flower at this stage.
- Form a ball and place it in the center of a baking or cookie sheet and then flatten it into an 8 or 10 inch disk.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut it into eights but do not separate the wedges.
- Brush the top with some additional half and half, cream or milk and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.
- This aides in browning and gives the scone a nice crust.
- Bake for 9 minutes at 400F.
- Add one square of the remaining chocolate on each wedge.
- Eat the left over chocolate while waiting for the scones to finish.
- Put the baking sheet back into the oven, but rotated 180 degrees for another 5 to 12 minutes.
- Exact time depends on the moister content.
- Check the center of the scones. If they still look wet and doughy, they are not done and they will be raw.
- The rotation makes sure they brown evenly.
- When the center is set, remove them from the oven and allow to sit on the cookie sheet for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Using a large spatula or other thin implement gently separate the scone from the cookie sheet by working around it.
- Do NOT pick it up!
- Slide the scone from the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack.
- Torture your family/friends by not letting them eat the scones hot, or show them you like them by serving them immediately. It is good either way.
You can easily change the type of the scone and end up with something totally different. Simply substitute something else for the chocolate. A scone is just a type of sweet biscuit and isn’t all that complicated. Just about any dried fruit works well. Just cut it into small pieces if it isn’t naturally that way. I generally use between .75 and 1 cups of dried fruit when I make those varieties. It all depends on how strong the flavor of the fruit is.
If you use fresh fruit you are on your own. I haven’t tried that and I suspect the moisture content of the fruit would causes issues.