Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cream Scones with Chocolate Chunks & Pecans

             As you might already know, I am a creature of habit. For me, everyday starts with coffee, newspaper, either a run/walk/yoga, then breakfast: English muffin w/ peanut butter and fruit, 2 hours later: yogurt, 1 ½ hrs after that, lunch: turkey sandwich and fruit, followed by the 4 o’clock snack: granola bar, and finally 6:30/7:00: dinner. During the school year, I obviously teach throughout the day and during the summer, I either go to friend’s pool, local waterfront park or take a drive to the beach. I know this sounds kind of funny, and for me slightly embarrassing, but I truly enjoy my structured day. Dinner is where I get creative and as this blog details, adventurous.
                But every now and then, one needs to shake things up a bit. No, I’m not going to train for a marathon or start eating Dairy Queen for lunch people! What I felt like doing last week though was make something that would jive up my day prior to noon. Enter scones, exit English muffin…
                Wowza! What a treat! I used the chocolate and nuts since I had them lingering in cabinet but the recipe recommends all types of variation. The base ‘scone’ recipe is the keeper here and will continue to be my go-to scone base in the future. The cream really made for a delicate texture while the generous amount of butter made them just flaky enough to be a contender in the pastry department.  All in all, they jazzed up my day and even had me contemplating ditching the granola bar at 4! Living on the edge, I know! Wwwellll, let’s just say there’s a wrapper somewhere;) Enjoy…..

Cream Scones with Pecans & Chocolate Chunks

Adapted from: Martha Stewart
Makes: 6 large scones

OBJ: TCW be able to branch out from her usual breakfast selection

¾ C plus 1 TBS cold heavy cream
1 large egg
2 C all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
¼ C granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
6 TBS (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ C chopped semi-sweet chocolate
¼ C chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Whisk together ¾ C cream and egg
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
4. With a pastry blender, 2 knives, or a fork, cut butter into flour mixture until it looks like course meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining
5. Stir in chocolate and pecans
6. With a fork, stir in cream mixture until just combined (The dough should be crumbly-do not overwork)
7. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead it just a bit to get it fully combined. Then, pat dough into a 6 inch circle
8. Cut into 6 wedges and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet (FYI-I used a silicone mat rather than parchment)
9. Brush tops with 1 TBS cream and sprinkle with additional sugar
10. Bake until golden, about 19-21 minutes, rotating sheet ½ way through baking (odd timing I know, mine took 21 minutes!)
11. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely

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