21 December 2013

vanilla-espresso chip scones

I wasn't sure I was a fan of coffee flavor in baked goods until I made Sprouted Kitchen's lovely espresso chip muffins. It was then I realized the same flavors could be great in scones. Though these scones don't go into alternate flour territory, that only makes them more foolproof. I have made them over the past few weekends a few times and consider them a keeper. Though it took a little browsing to settle on the best ratios of dry to liquid, I think I like the one I came up with. 

Perhaps since I was working within the thought pattern of: espresso, chocolate chips, vanilla, scone, what could go wrong... I opted to be more ploppy and less foldy with the dough this time around, and that turned out to be a good thing as the dough is a tad sticky and delicate. Floured hands and a little flour on your surface, with just a turn or two of the dough is all you need here. I baked the scones almost in a pie-like round but with about an inch of space between themselves, so they would rise together. 

Then, when they are about to come out of the oven, you can separate them a little more on the baking sheet so they have some space to cool off on their own. Half and half was my choice here but you can cuse full heavy cream if you have that on hand. I quite like the balance of the half and half though. Lastly, I really like these with a little mascarpone and plum preserves. Think of it as the Italian version of clotted cream and jam. Now, go make them, pour yourself a cappuccino and enjoy xxoo.

Vanilla Espresso Chip Scones

4 scones

125 grams/1 c Unbleached all purpose flour 
2 lightly heaped Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine ground coffee
Scant 1/2 c dark chocolate chips, chopped a little
2 oz/ 4 T cold butter
1 tsp vanilla 
60 ml/ 1/4 c half and half, cold
27 g beaten egg (half a large)

Oven to 425. Line pan with parchment. Cut butter to small pieces and place in freezer. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and coffee grounds in a large bowl and whisk well. In a small bowl mix vanilla, egg and half and half. 

Rub butter into dry mix with fingers or pastry blender until pieces are not larger than peas. Work quickly. Stir in chocolate chips gently. Make a well and pour half and half mix in. Working from the outside gently stir to combine, moistening dough until it begins to hold together in clumps. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a 1 inch tall circle with lightly floured hands. Fold it over itself once, shape into circle again, and place on parchment sheet pan. Use a sharp knife with a scant dust of flour on it to slice into fourths. Leave an inch or so of space between wedges, brush top with any remaining half and half from the bowl, and sprinkle with a pinch turbinado. Place pan in freezer for a few minutes if desired. Bake 17-22 minutes. Tops should be lightly browning and the sides should feel slightly soft but not raw. Cool on pan on rack 5-10 mins then another 5-10 off pan on rack.

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