Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Scones

I think these are perfect for breakfast or dessert!

Years ago when Starbuck's and all the other coffee shops first emerged, there was a plethora of scones available. My favorite was at The Coffee Beanery and it was this slightly dry (well it's all relative if it's good at the local coffee shop when compared to other treats) and dense scone loaded with chocolate chips and a good sprinkling of sugar on top of it.

I would always discover little chunks of butter that somehow did not get mixed in thoroughly which seemed like little treasures. Fast forward to current times. . . scones are still available but I haven't found a chocolate chip one in a long time. I love Starbuck's for coffee but I am less than thrilled with their baked goods so I typically refrain. When you have a daily latte habit, abstaining from the baked goods is maybe not exactly a frugal move but a necessity for the budget anyways.

Tomorrow I have a long drive for work and I will be stopping for a coffee for the road, but packing some of these scones for our breakfast (I'm carpooling).

This recipe is based on one I have tried before at King Arthur Flour's website. They have some chocolate chip scones that are pretty darn good, and not the least bit dry. Looking at their website today, they actually have a total of 52 scone recipes, ranging from savory to sweet available.

I am going to admit right now that I did NOT use King Arthur Flour today. I do recommend it - it's really very very good but I did not have any on hand today, with the exception of bread flour and I wasn't sure how bread flour would compare to the pastry flour they recommended in the original recipe. The recipe did say all purpose flour was okay and I had some Gold Medal in the house - a new fresh package of unbleached - so I used that. I keep all my open flours in the freezer to stay fresh, rolling the package and sealing in a large Ziploc bag. Flour can go bad and it's not the cheapest thing (especially when you are using King Arthur. FYI I have a sneaking suspicion (reckless conjecture) that Trader Joe's flour is King Arthur with their private label. . . just saying!

I also added a little almond extract instead of just vanilla (it's something I seem to do a lot) and dried cranberries.  Dried Cranberries are my "Poor Man's (ahem Woman's) Sundried Cherries". Oh, and it's not a typo, I did not put extra sugar in the actual dough, just a sprinkling on top!

Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Scones Recipe


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup Half and Half
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup of dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.

In the stand mixer combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add the butter on a low speed, until distributed and the mixture is crumbly.

In a separate bowl, whisk by hand the cream, eggs, and extracts. Reserve two tablespoons of the mixture for later, and pour the rest into the mixer.

Mix together to form a dough. Add chips and cranberries. The dough will be very soft and moist.

Transfer the dough on to a heavily floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, shape into approximately an 8 inch circle. Brush the dough with the reserved cream mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Dip a cookie cutter (I had a glass) into flour and use to cut out circles. I think mine were about 3 inches in diameter.  Place the cut outs on the sheet and then form the leftover dough into a circle again, cutting out more. Repeat until you have as many scones as you can. The second and third batch were brushed and sprinkled on the cookie sheet.  I had 16 scones total.

Place the scones in the oven for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.

They taste delicious straight out of the oven but if you are going to eat them later put them in an airtight container when they have cooled down. You can reheat them in foil in the oven. I like them cold with some good butter!

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