I haven’t made scones in some time and when The Artist requested them, it was all I needed to get in the kitchen and create a chocolate version for today’s Chocolate Monday. Heavily studded with chocolate chips, this treat works equally well as part of a brunch, after school snack, or dessert.
When I was growing up I would occasionally buy scones because I had heard people raving about them. I didn’t get it. They were tough and so dry I had to have water just to choke them down. What did people see in these hunks of tasteless flour?
Then I did some research and learned that the mass produced versions I had been trying were almost impossible to make decently, but that if I wanted to give them a try, I would probably create something I would be proud of. So I gathered the ingredients and made my first batch. Hallelujah! The angels sang and I wept (just kidding), but man were they good! They weren’t perfect on my first try, but it didn’t take long until I could put them together quickly and have delightful treats whenever we wanted them.
And then I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance.
Scones were one of the things that got put aside until I could figure out what gluten-free flours were all about and how to get good results. I was able to make good versions, but none of them were as tender as I wanted them. Today I tried something different – buttermilk in the mix instead of straight cream and once again the angels sang. 🙂
The buttermilk is one of the tricks to tender baked goods. Sneak a little in whenever you can for a lovely slight tang that balances the sweetness and helps give you a tender crumb. I patted mine too thin – they were still wonderful, but they would be even better if they were a little thicker.
Following a standard formula and utilizing what I had in the refrigerator and pantry led to these delightful scones. Light and tender with a pleasing crunch from the sugar on the top, they were utterly delightful and The Artist had several – always the sign of a winning recipe.
When these beauties came out of the oven I knew they needed the perfect antique plates and cups to show them off. Something I would use at a ladies luncheon, These pieces belonged to my mother and she would have been proud to have them featured on the blog! She collected cups and saucers whenever she saw them in antique stores. They each tell a story about where she was living at the time and who she was with. I love having them as a reminder of her.
If you have someone coming for coffee or tea, you can whip these up in no time. You can get the dry ingredients assembled and cut the butter in then refrigerate, covered. About 45 minutes before your guests are due to arrive, whisk together the wet ingredients and mix into the dry mix. Add the chocolate chips and bake as directed. They house will smell wonderfully of freshly baked treats, the perfect welcome to any home.
Make sure you check out today’s Prize Package and enter ~ You don’t want to miss it! Details are below the recipe!
I tend to trust the weight of a gluten-free flour blend rather than measuring by volume. If you are baking regularly, especially if you are using gluten-free ingredients, do yourself a favor and buy a kitchen scale. They are worth every penny because my baked goods are consistent and always work when I weigh the ingredients!
- Having the ingredients very cold keeps the butter from warming during mixing, helping form a delicate crumb in the baked scones. The coarse sugar on top adds a nice crunch and a punch of caramel flavor from the extra molasses.
- 2 cups (240g) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour*
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) firm, cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup cold half and half
- 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
- 1 large cold egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Coarse or raw sugar (such as Muscovado ) for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 400°F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer , combine the flour, both sugars, baking powder, and salt. Using the paddle attachment beat on low until blended. Add the butter cubes and mix on low for about 2 minutes or until the butter has been cut into the dry ingredients, with some larger pieces still visible.
- In a bowl, whisk the half and half, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla together. Add to the dry mixture and beat until mostly incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Add the chocolate chips, and mix just until they are distributed. Take off the mixer and scrape the bowl again. If there are any dry ingredients still in the bottom of the bowl, mix and press into the dough with a flexible spatula.
- If you are working with gluten-free flours, the dough will be more like a heavy cookie dough than what you may be used to. Scoop half of it out of the mixing bowl and drop on one end of the prepared sheet. Scoop the rest of the dough onto the other end. Using wet hands, pat each section of the dough into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. Leave at least 2-inches between the two disks to allow for spreading. Use a sharp knife to score the disks into 8 triangles each. Sprinkle the tops with the coarse sugar.
- Place the scones in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Spin the tray so the side that was in the front is now facing the back of the oven. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut along the scoring lines. Keep the triangles fairly close to each other and return to the oven and bake until the centers are cooked through, another 5 minutes or as needed. *
- Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the scones onto a wire rack to cool.
- Scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days tightly wrapped in plastic. For longer storage, wrap well twice in plastic and then in foil. Freeze up to 3 months.
- If you are using regular wheat flour, mix as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten in the dough, which creates a tough scone. Also, a wheat dough will need less baking time because the dough can be cut into triangles easily while raw and spread slightly apart. Having the exposed edges on the scones helps them bake more quickly.
Now, for today’s Prize Package …
I Heart France. The theme of today’s giveaway and a statement of fact about me. Last fall was my first time there and just as everyone said would happen, I fell in love. Today’s giveaway is a wonderful opportunity to discover the beauty of the French people, their incredible country, and the food that binds them together. The books and recipes in them will transport you to the City of Lights and the pastoral landscape of one of the world’s greatest countries.
If I could only have one pot to cook in, it would be enamel-coated cast iron. You can use it for an extremely wide variety of dishes, each enhanced by the heat containment and Anolon’s Vesta spiked lid that helps keep the liquid in the pot even during hours of roasting. Many of France’s most beloved recipes are cooked for hours, creating tremendous flavor and the most succulent meats imaginable. For the most realistic experience, you need to cook with cast iron pots. I am thrilled to be able to offer an Anolon Vesta Cast Iron 5-quart Covered Braiser to one of my readers.
There are also two cookbooks, one dedicated to cooking in Paris and the other cooking seasonally in an old rural farmhouse. While these two seem light-years apart from one another, they are woven together with the common thread of a passion for all things French. On one hand you have the experience of an ex-pat American living in Paris with the excitement and influence of many cultures in the most cosmopolitan city in the country. And on the other side, a Parisienne who moved to a small town in Medoc, discovering the simplicity and beauty of country living. Between the two of them you have a wonderful picture of what life is like in France today and perhaps convince you that you too need to live there!
Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below. The more Facebook pages you like, tweets you send, and Pinterest pages you follow, the more chances you have to win. Good luck!
Prized for its timeless design and durability, cast iron cookware offers even heating and exceptional heat retention. Anolon Vesta Cast Iron is ideal for preparing and keeping warm many types of slow-cooked foods, such as hearty stews and casseroles, savory braises, soups, risotto, and other one-pot meals. The collection’s attractive styling and rich color encourages serving dishes straight from the stovetop or oven to the table for effortless entertaining. Each item in the collection is compatible with all ranges, including energy-saving induction cooktops, and is oven safe to 500°F degrees.
Meticulously crafted for discerning cooks, new Anolon Vesta Cast Iron features solid cast iron construction with an elegant Paprika Red glossy enamel porcelain exterior. Smartly designed for optimum convenience and superior cooking results, the interior is non-reactive black enamel porcelain, which resists stains and does not require seasoning. The cookware’s handles are sturdily designed in enamel cast iron, and side handles on various items are styled with a wide flare to make them easier to hold as well as aesthetically pleasing. Lid handles in stainless steel are generously proportioned to make lifting easier. Moisture re-circulating nubs, located on the underside of the porcelain enamel lids, redistribute flavorful cooking liquid back into the pot for continuous self-basting.
My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz:
In My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf pound cake with orange glaze, French cheesecake … and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.
For a behind the scenes look at how David created My Paris Kitchen, read this article on his blog.
A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson:
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.
This contest has ended. Congratulations to the Winner Emily M.!
After each drawing, the non-winning entries will be added to the next prize set so that each entry makes you a candidate for all the giveaways! Apologies to my wonderful international friends, but these giveaways are limited to USA and Canadian readers. Each entry period will last 10 days. Winners will be randomly picked and notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to contact me with their shipping information. If I do not hear from them, another winner will be picked and contacted. Prizes will be shipped out about 10 days after we receive your address. All cookbooks provided by The Heritage Cook.
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