It’s another cold, wet May day here in Edinburgh. I walked out my door to walk to church this morning (that’s a twenty minute walk, by the way) to discover slushy substance pelting me from above. Really, I think that Scotland is getting a bit vindictive about its weather habits. It’s May! What is this?
So by the time I got back to my flat, I was in need of baking therapy. Baking is the perfect retaliation when the weather is being particularly unkind. Working in the kitchen, playing with ingredients (especially sweet ones!), and curling up with a book while the warm oven begins to emanate decadent smells… I feel like standing in front of the window and saying, ‘Ha, foul weather! I have won, yet again!’
But I don’t. Because I don’t want to antagonize it further. We could end up with a blizzard. Or a tornado. Or maybe a plague of locusts. I am really beyond being surprised at this point.
I raided my cupboards to see what I had the ingredients for. Something simple, sweet, ideally with chocolate.
Something like scones!
I found a recipe that didn’t have anything unexpected in it and set to work. Chocolate chip scones are my favorite, so there was no contest there.
The plus side of being on this side of the Atlantic is your average bar of cheap baking chocolate is from somewhere like Switzerland or Belgium or France. The downside is that you have to chop the darn thing up yourself. A chopping expert, I am not.If I had to do it over, I would make them thicker. The recipe said 3/4 of an inch. I think mine were thinner than that. Hence, they baked up pretty thin too and who wants a thin scone?
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pats
- 1 cup to 2 cups mini chocolate chips, or finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or the flavoring of your choice
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 7 tablespoons milk, enough to make a thin glaze
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
1) Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
2) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s okay for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
3) Stir in the chips or finely chopped chocolate.
4) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and 1/2 cup half and half or milk.
5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together. Stir in additional milk or half and half if the dough seems dry, and doesn’t come together.
6) Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Pat/roll it into an 8″ square, a scant 3/4″ thick. Make sure the surface underneath the dough is very well floured. If necessary, use a giant spatula to lift the square, and sprinkle more flour underneath.
7) Cut into 9-16 squares and cut those squares in half diagonally to make triangles
8) Transfer the scones to a parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheet. They can be set fairly close together; you should be able to crowd them all onto an 18″ x 13″ half-sheet pan.
9) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
10) Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the scones to cool right on the pan.
11) Dip them in the glaze, one side at a time.
12) Decide carefully whether to hoard them for yourself or share them with friends.