I had a period of time where I was quite obsessed with Downton Abby. Many of my friends know this and I am not ashamed to say so. However, I am all up to date with the episodes and the fascination has subsided until the next episodes come out.
Where am I getting with this? Scones. And what do scones have to do with Downton Abby? Well, scones are served at tea time, and they had tea time at Downton Abby. Even now in English High Tea houses they have cute platters serving scones, mini finger sandwiches, and mini cakes. I’ve always wanted to go to one but they are quite expensive to say the least. (I just said that sentence with a British accent. You should try it, it is quite fun.) And, I have never made scones before as they have a stereotype to become dry but I decided to try it out anyways.
A little more about the scone. Did you know that it’s actually pronounced as if it were to rhyme with “gone?” Not scone as in sc-own but scone as in sc-awn? Or is it just me that pronounced it as “sc-own?” As I was researching the different recipes that are out on the internet, I had a criteria for making the perfect scone. In the past I’ve had a bunch where it was incredibly dry, no flavor, or hard as a rock and didn’t even crumble if I threw it down (and no, I don’t usually throw my food down onto the table). This led me to the following criteria. In terms of density, the scone needed to be fluffy, light, and almost airy. I figured that no matter what recipe I used, it was all a matter of how much you handle the dough. The more you handle it, the denser and the heavier each bite will be as gluten was allowed to develop. I needed the dough to be flaky, and I knew this could be achieved through the butter and how well it was cut into the flour mixture. And last but not least, a little bit crumbly where it would fall apart into your mouth as soon as you took a bite.
After doing some recipe research, I found the one that seemed to match my criteria. While traditional scones are eaten without any fancy frills of fillings or fruits, this recipe uses chocolate chips and I am not sorry that it does.
First, I beat the milk, egg, and vanilla together so it would be ready to use. Then, I measured out and sifted the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and added the cubed up butter into the bowl. I set it in the refrigerator before I began to cut it in because the colder the dough is, the better the butter can be cut in.
Once it was all chilled, I cut the butter into the dry mixture until the butter bits were the size of peas. Do not over do it as it could make the batter dense. Add in the chocolate chips and toss with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed. Can you still see bits and little chunks of butter? All I hear is flaky flaky flaky.
Pour in the milk mixture and with the rubber spatula, fold the mixture into the milk until it is just combined. It is okay if there are flour bits left, you want to avoid over mixing.
Flour the countertop and form it into two disks. Flour a knife and cut the dough into six slices and place them on a nonstick baking mat.
Lightly brush with an egg wash and bake them until they are golden brown.
Once they are baked, allow them to slightly cool before drizzling on the chocolate and devouring.
As I was writing this post, I told myself to try to say “sc-awn” but kept forgetting and so I just settled for “sc-own.” Oh well. Either way, they are equally fluffy, flaky, crumbly, and delicious!
Chocolate Chip Scones
recipe adapted from Sugary Winzy
makes 12 mini scones
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold cubed butter
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk until well combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add in the cold butter and using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs and is the size of small peas.
Add chocolate chips and use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute. Pour in the milk mixture and fold into the flour until just combined.
Remove dough from bowl onto a floured surface and if the dough sticks, sprinkle flour over the dough and on the countertop. Form into two equal sized disks and cut six slices per disk. Flour the knife to prevent it from sticking to the knife. Transfer onto a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.
Lightly beat one egg and one tablespoon milk. Brush egg wash over each slice and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. While it is cooling, melt the chocolate over a double broiler until it is melted, the drizzle onto slightly cooled scones.