Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cream Scones

I had a serious chocolate craving this morning.  As in, the sort of craving that I just can't get beyond or concentrate on anything else until I do something about it- STAT.  But what do you do about a chocolate craving at 8:30 in the morning?  It didn't quite seem justifiable to simply start snacking on a chocolate bar.  Not at that early of an hour.  So my solution was to throw together my quickest go-to scone recipe and throw in some chopped chocolate.  That's sort of breakfast-y, right?  At least that's what I told myself.
The scones hit the spot, no doubt about it.  Maybe even a little too much.  Three mini-scones later and I knew I had created a monster.  I had hoped to pawn the rest off on my husband's co-workers, but he breezed out the door before I could shove them into his hands.  So I sent out an emergency text to my two favorite neighbors- "Please rescue me from my chocolate craving and take some of these scones off my hands!".  I have the best neighbors.  They saw my plight and saved me from eating the other dozen scones sitting on my counter.  Okay, so maybe they were having chocolate cravings too.  Regardless, I got my fix and then passed on the rest to some very thankful friends.  I'm like a baked goods and chocolate happiness ambassador around here.
Dark Chocolate Chunk Cream Scones
Makes 16 mini scones.
For the printable recipe, click here.

These scones do not fall in the "diet food" category.  They're definitely a treat to (attempt to) eat in restraint.  That's also why I made them mini-sized.  If you want to try to reduce the guilt of the scones, you could replace the sour cream and heavy cream with plain Greek yogurt.  They won't be as rich, but I suppose that would be the goal, right?  You can mix the dough quickly in a food processor or do the whole thing by hand.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbs cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp water
2 tsp turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

If using a  food processor:
Place the dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor.  Pulse a few times to incorporate.  Add the butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas.  Add the sour cream, heavy cream and pieces of chocolate.  Blend until the ingredients just come together.

If mixing by hand:
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Add the pieces of butter and with the tips of your fingers, two knives or a pastry blender, crumble the butter into the dry ingredients.  Stop when the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas.  Chop the chocolate into pieces somewhere between fine and coarsely sized.  Stir the chocolate, sour cream and heavy cream into the mixture in the bowl until they just come together to form a ball.

For both methods:
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Gently gather the dough into a ball then press into an 8 inch square.  Cut the dough into 4 large squares and then cut each large square into 4 equal sized small ones.   Place the squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the beaten egg whites and then sprinkle them with the turbinado sugar.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges turn golden and the tops of the scones spring back when lightly pressed.  Serve warm or keep wrapped tightly for up to one day.  You could also freeze the unbaked scones on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a freezer safe bag.  Simply remove the scones from the freezer and place them right into a hot oven on a prepared baking sheet.  No need to thaw them, just add a few minutes to the baking time.

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