Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
I just love scones. There is something comforting yet elegant about a warm, tender, melt-in-your-mouth scone, fresh from the oven. I find that many scones sold in bakery departments of stores to be somehow lacking in taste and tenderness, so I prefer making my own. Do try this one at home.
Note: OK, I confess: while I normally recommend using almond milk as a healthier alternative to dairy, scones actually do turn out more tender when made with buttermilk. Both are delicious, though, so take your pick!
Chocolate Lover’s Scones
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2-1/2 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 oz chopped (not grated) bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk or almond milk
1) Mix the dry ingredients, then add the chocolate pieces. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If you prefer, you can add the butter to the flour in a Cuisinart or other processor; just put the mixture into a bowl before adding the liquid by hand. This will prevent the dough from becoming too tough.
2) Stir in the buttermilk until just blended. You may need a bit extra. Be sure not to over-mix!
Turn the dough onto a floured surface or directly onto a cookie sheet, and pat the dough into a 1-inch high round. Cut it into eight wedges, arrange these on a baking sheet, and bake at 375º F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Another pretty way to shape the scones is to pat the dough into a round about ½” high, then cut the scones out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden.
Serve scones warm with lavender butter and a nice pot of tea or hot chocolate. Or for a more British tradition, serve the scones with clotted cream and your favorite jam. Another unusual twist for breakfast: split a warm scone, spread it with butter, then top each half with a fried egg. Yum, yum, yum!
1 stick butter, softened
1-2 tsp. lavender buds, or to taste
Beat the butter in a bowl until soft and fluffy. Blend in the lavender, one teaspoon at a time, until it tastes just right. You can form it into balls, or pack the butter into small pretty molds, and chill until firm before unmolding. Or pat the butter into a square pan, chill, then cut it out with cookie cutters when cold but not completely stiff. Serve the butter at room temperature.