CHOCOLATE TOFFEE SCONES
Art and Soul of Baking
by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
For those who like their breakfast, tea, or snack time treats to be outrageously over the top, these decadent scones, filled with miniature chocolate and toffee chips, are just the ticket. They are especially moist due to the inclusion of eggs in the dough rather than the usual cream or buttermilk. You could dress them up with the grated zest of an orange or a handful of toasted and finely chopped walnuts or almonds, but the extra sprinkling of toffee chips already gilds these lilies. The toffee melts, then cools into a crunchy, golden brown topping. Oh yeah.
Makes 8 Scones
Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper or a Thin Silicone Mat, Food Processor Fitted with a Metal Blade, Small Bowl, Whisk, Silicone or Rubber Spatula, Chef's Knife, Cooling Rack
• 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup (1 ounces) sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/2 cup (3½ ounces) mini chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup (2½ ounces) plus 1/3 cup (1¾ ounces) toffee baking bits
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend well. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 5 times at 1-second intervals, or until the butter is cut into medium pieces. Add the mini chocolate chips and the 1/2 cup toffee baking bits but do not blend them in. In the small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse another 25 times, or until the dough holds together in large, thick clumps.
2. Use a spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently squeeze or knead the clumps together until they form a cohesive dough—it may seem a bit dry at first, but will come together with a few kneads. Pat the dough into a circle 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Use a chef's knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
3. Lightly press the remaining 1/3 cup toffee chips onto the tops of the scones, dividing evenly. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, until fully risen and golden brown, especially around the bottom edges. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.
STORING: Once baked, serve the scones within 6 hours, when they are at their freshest and most appealing. Store uncovered at room temperature until serving time.
GETTING AHEAD: Once the dough is prepared and cut (through Step 2), the wedges can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
The scone dough can also be cut and frozen for up to 1 month. Place the wedges on the baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking. Or, thaw at room temperature on the prepared baking sheet for about 20 minutes before baking.