Tag Archives: scones

A FRIVOLOUS SUNDAY BREAKFAST – CHOCOLATE SCONES (makes 12-18)

 This Sunday morning was blissfully lazy wherein the only pressure I placed on myself was to make something truly indulgent (and woefully chocolate-y) for breakfast.

My Frivolous Breakfast

My Frivolous Breakfast ( this plate was made by a wonderful potter, Randy Johnston (click on his name to see the wonders for yourself!

I can make scones with my eyes closed. It is one of those recipes that can be altered to suit any kind of dish, sweet or savory. When I was growing up scones were plain or, if you were feeling decadent, you could make them with dried currants. 

Lemon Curd for Selma

Here I had my plain scone with some Lemon Curd (which is really easy to make and here is the recipe)

I make small batches as they are best fresh out of the oven. I opt for plain scones for the most part because then I can have them with butter and jam or serve them with a runny fried egg.

Hot Paprika Chicken with Buttermilk Scone Crust

This is an instance where I made my scone crust savory by omitting sugar and adding black pepper and grated sharp cheddar to the recipe (Hot Paprika Chicken with Buttermilk Scone Crust)

When I came to the United States I found that scones had taken on a life of their own. They were enormous, (usually big triangular-shaped monstrosities) in countless flavor varieties, but I am sorry to say, overly sweet for me. I cannot say I have warmed to them after 20 years. What I do appreciate is that wonderful American trait of not being afraid to mess with tradition. Which is why when I saw a recipe the other day for Chocolate Scones I was intrigued and ready to give them a try.

For breakfast, or, Afternoon Tea

 A scone is also a wonderful vehicle for freshly whipped cream and raspberry jam – great for Afternoon tea

While the premise of this recipe was great (adding chocolate – and I have added chocolate chips to my humble mixture in the past) I found it too finicky (using a mixer for the dough and cutting the dough into 3 pieces and then cutting triangles, as well as greasing the baking pan – all very laborious for my Sunday morning anyway), and too ingredient specific.

This is my saturday breakfast

Chocolate Chip Scones hot out of the oven

However, the revelation was adding cocoa powder (I’d never done that before) and adding an egg which made the dough richer. This recipe also called for dried cherries and this is certainly something I would have done if I had dried cherries (and I suppose a little more elevated than my little currants), but I am never put off by a lack of an ingredient and decided that more chocolate would substitute just fine!

In Ireland, where this butter comes from, they do not measure in "sticks" but happily now the marketing department at the Kerrygold headquarters have realised if they package butter like this for the US: they will sell more of this glorious butter!

In Ireland, where this butter comes from, they do not measure in “sticks” but happily now the marketing department at the Kerrygold headquarters have realised if they package butter like this for the US: they will sell more glorious butter!

So I made the scone taking my usual unsophisticated route and they were quite spectacular. I want to thank the original recipe for inspiration however as I would never have put cocoa powder in my recipe. If you want to try the other recipe (which is probably worth the trouble), it is here!

My version of the Chocolate Scone (which will definitely be added to my long list of: how many ways can I make a scone)

My version of the Chocolate Scone (which will definitely be added to my long list of: how many ways can I elevate the lowly scone

When the scones came out of the oven and the blast of chocolate-y odor wafted up the stairs, within minutes I was not alone in the kitchen anymore. Ah the power of warm confections

☕️

You will need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup raw sugar (if you don’t have raw sugar, use white granulated sugar)

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

6 tbs unsalted good quality butter (high butterfat content)

1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao)

1 egg

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (whole or non-fat is fine)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400*

1.In a large bowl mix the together with a manual whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Mix all the dry ingredients together (excelpt the choc chips)

Mix all the dry ingredients together (except the choc chips)

2. Slice the cold butter into the dry ingredients and knead it into the flour with your fingertips until it feels dispersed and “rubble-like” Add the chocolate chips and mix into flour with wooden spoon or your hands.

3. Mix the egg with the buttermilk in a smaller bowl with a fork and add to the flour mixture. Mix together with a wooden spoon until it comes together. If it feel dry (floury bits in the bottom of the bowl) add a little more buttermilk until it comes together.

Cut or press out shapes of scone dough for baking

Cut or press out shapes of scone dough for baking

4. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat down to form a thick slab. Using a cookie cutter (I used a fluted round cutter 2 inches in diameter but a little bigger is fine too), punch out the dough and place scone on lightly floured baking sheet. Keep gathering the dough together and flattening until all the dough is used up. Do not overwork the dough and don’t get too hung up on getting perfect shapes etc.

Place scone dough on lightly floured baking sheet

Place scone dough on lightly floured baking sheet

5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes (leave in longer if you check and feel they need a minute or two more. All ovens vary in temperature). Remove to a wire rack the moment you take them from the oven.

Hot out of oven

Hot out of oven

Wait about 3 minutes before splitting and serving with butter or butter and raspberry jam (the jam addition is sublime)

Weekend Breakfast: Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Scones With Butter (makes 9 to 10)

I am writing this while eating this gorgeous breakfast treat fresh from the oven 3 minutes ago! There is nothing quite like a freshly baked scone and coffee to start off my Saturday.

This is my saturday breakfast

This is my Saturday breakfast

If you want to have the same glorious morning as I, I suggest you run into the kitchen this minute and whip these up. They take about 5 minutes to put together and they are so worth it.

These are especially good if you have a few people staying for the weekend. It is an easy way to give everyone breakfast without making a total mess in the kitchen (like when you decide to make omelets or fry bacon and eggs etc!) and your guests will think you are amazing forever!

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You will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 tsp salt

3 tbs raw brown sugar OR 2 tbs fine granulated white sugar

4 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)

3/4 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or broken chocolate pieces)

Method:

Preheat oven 375*

1 – Put flour, baking soda, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix together with a manual whisk to incorporate the ingredients fully.

2 – Slice the butter into the flour and work into the flour using fingertips until you have a fine rubble. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands.

mix dry ingredients

Mix dry ingredients

3 – Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until you have one dough ball.

cut out scones

Cut out scones

4 – Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times before making a thick disk (about 1″ inch or slightly thicker). Use a cookie or biscuit cutter  2″ in diameter, cut out 9 to 10 scones. You should get about 6 to 7 in the first round, then pat the dough out to finish.

place on floured baking sheet

Place on floured baking sheet

5 – Place on lightly floured cookie or baking sheet and brush a little buttermilk on top of each scone before  placing in oven for between 17 to 20 minutes. Check after the first time and remove when golden brown.

cool for a minute on wire rack

Cool for a minute on wire rack

Serve right from the oven, split with butter or butter and jam.

serve with butter or butter adn jam (or plain)

Serve with butter or butter and jam (or plain)

Warm Scones with freshly Whipped Cream & Raspberry Jam (serves 9)

I went out to dinner with friends last night (I know, it’s a miracle!) and this morning I felt like having a real weekend breakfast; that meant something which is more of a treat that something that would keep me going all day!  I was even debating on having a piece of the chocolate cake I made a couple of days ago with my daughter, (type  Chocolate Cake in my search box to the right for recipe).  It wasn’t the guilt that stopped me, it was spotting the raspberry jam sitting side by side with a carton of heavy cream which diverted me!

For breakfast, or, Afternoon Tea

I love scones. In fact, when I started this blog, it was my very first post. It reminds me of so many great things from my past; my lovely mother, who could throw a batch of scones, or a loaf of soda bread together with one arm tied behind her back and her eyes closed. She never measured a thing, just dumped the flour onto the table and added whatever else on her whim. She made the most incredible soda bread dotted with little currants. We had dinner at 1pm every day, and tea at about 6 o’ clock in the evening. Tea could be anything from a ham sandwich to bread and jam. The best day was when we would pile in for tea (all 6 kids!) and on the middle of the table would be a plate, piled high with her currant bread, butter still melting from the warmth of the dough – absolute Yum! We couldn’t eat it fast enough, all washed down with big strong cups of milky tea.

Try as I might, I am incapable of replicating it. I should stop measuring, close my eyes and think of her deft floury hands.

It is because of the years of watching her bake bread and scones in this fashion that I make scones to this day without using a recipe. I make countless subtle variations depending on what I am using them for, and what ingredients I have on hand. If I don’t have buttermilk, I use milk and baking powder (instead of baking soda with the buttermilk). I’ve even resorted to diluted sour cream if I don’t have enough milk. I’ve made them with butter, with butter and eggs, cheese, bacon bits, lots of black pepper, on and on.

This morning I wanted sweet and creamy scones, so I added an egg and some sugar to make it richer. I had it with cream and raspberry jam, and, you certainly could serve it for dessert like this. My kids had it with bacon. It is also good topped with a fried egg. It is such a simple thing to make, however, the accolades your receive are enormous if you present fresh warm scones to the people you love, first thing in the morning!

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You will need: 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur brand), 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbs sugar (I use Raw Brown sugar), 4 tbs (4oz) cold unsalted butter,  1 egg,  3/4 cup buttermilk. raspberry jam, freshly whipped cream.

Preheat oven 375*

Dry ingredients.

1 – In big bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

add butter..

2 – Add the butter in thin slices and work it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a fine meal.

Combine dry and wet ingredients.

3 – Combine the egg and buttermilk with a fork. Make a well in the flour and add. Mix together until it binds into a solid piece with a wooden spoon. Don’t over-mix.

make scones!

4 – Turn dough out onto a floured surface and flatten gently into a 1″ disk with the palm of your hand. Press out scones with a 2″ cookie or biscuit cutter. Place on lightly floured baking tray and brush the tops with a little of the dregs of the egg-buttermilk mixture. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes (until golden brown)

cool slightly..

5 – Cool on a wire rack until warm (about 5 minutes) Whip some fresh cream until nice and thick, split scone and lavishly spread some jam on bottom half and top with lots of cream. Put top on and it’s ready to eat!

Nothing better than a warm scone with a decadent filling!

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Here is a fun pictorial of what we had for dinner while out last night!

House Special Rice Noodles with Chicken, Shrimp & Pork in Spicy Brown Sauce

Sliced Beef & Vegetables with Black Bean Sauce

Pork Lo Mein

Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic, Onions and French Butter

Sautéed Shrimp with Baby Bok Choy in Special Sauce with Rice

Lavender Ice cream - this was completely amazing. It reeked of lovely, perfumy lavender flowers. I have to make this!

Equally delectable Green Tea Ice cream

Mango Sorbet - a lovely ending to an evening with friends.

Great Jam (Jelly)

When I visited the  Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan last summer we stopped at a remote Abbey that was famous for its jams and breads. I bought a pot of Thimbleberry jam and, it was well worth the splurge. It seems that this berry (kind of like a raspberry) is delicate and does not travel well so is not found much outside the region it grows.

slather of sweetness 🙂

Of course I only found this out when I tried to buy more! You can mail order it if you are a lover of freshly baked scones heaped with sweet berry jams.

Scones

Had to start with this recipe. It takes about 10 minutes or less to get exactly nine scones in the oven. I do this about twice a week, so we can have a scone every morning if we like. So much better than some instant breakfast cake or tart thingy!

Preheat 400*

Put 2 cups of flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached, all-purpose) in a biggish bowl and add 1 tsp baking soda (Rumford is my brand of choice), 1 tsp salt (I don’t recommend table salt, I use Course Kosher Salt), 2 tbs sugar. Next take your egg whisk and mix everything together quickly (to incorporate air for fluffier scones!). Slice 4 tbs of cold unsalted butter into the flour and knead with fingertips until the flour mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Make a little well in the center of your flour and add about 1 cup of buttermilk (It has a long fridge-life so it never seems to go to waste in my house). Mix in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon. If it is dry and there is some loose flour in the bowl, add more buttermilk until you have one solid ball of dough. This shouldn’t take longer than a minute. Sprinkle some flour onto your counter or board and turn out dough. Give it a very quick kneading (30 seconds) and pat down until the dough is about an inch or so thick. Using a round cutter (mine is 2″ in diameter with a wavy edge) press out scones (pat out again as needed until all the dough is used up) and place on floured cookie sheet. Add a little buttermilk to the dough bowl and brush the tops of the scones with the buttermilk (if you forget to do this, don’t worry. It just gives them a little extra shine). At this point you can also sprinkle some raw sugar on top  (I do sometimes, but generally not) Place in center of preheated oven for 17 minutes. OK – so I have worked out that it takes exactly 17 minutes for the scones to bake in my oven. I like the scones to be nicely golden brown as then there is a nice crunch to the outside with a contrasting fluffiness on the inside. Your oven may be a little different so maybe start off timing for 16 minutes, doing a quick check to see the appearance and go from there. After a couple of tries you should get it down. Place on wire rack and are ready to be devoured after about 1 minute (if you can wait that long) *I reheat in the oven or split and warm in toaster the next day.

Yummy with butter and jam/jelly OR a slice or two of warm bacon!