Chocolate-lemon scones

I never thought I'd come to admire scones as much as I do.  But now, I usually make a small batch when I have buttermilk in the fridge.  I'll bake half right away for breakfast and freeze the remainder for another day.  It's so nice to get acquainted with the freezer and to realize all the things, such as scones, that freeze so well for a quick meal when the time comes.  
While I've dabbled in almond scones, I usually default to this buttermilk scone recipe that makes six.  I use a little whole wheat pastry flour with the all-purpose, and usually flavor it with orange zest and dark chocolate chips (I've tried using mini chocolate chips but we prefer the bigger pockets of chocolate).  I didn't do anything earth-shattering here...I simply decided to substitute lemon zest for the orange.  I always default to orange zest when baking and if chocolate is involved (for good reason, I think), and I've been neglecting lemon.
When I tasted these chocolate chip-lemon scones, I realized I should have been more heavy-handed with the lemon zest (here might have been a good way to use lemon extract) and I missed that strong flavor we've gotten so accustomed to from the orange zest.  I decided we needed to splurge on a glaze so I made a simple lemon glaze with confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  
A glaze makes any baked good a little more luxurious, don't you think?  And it is an added richness that's called for and even necessary once in while.  The extra pop of sweetness, the lemonade-like flavor and richness rounded these simple chocolate chip-lemon buttermilk scones out nicely.
Some mornings deserve a cup of tea and a scone.

So I've been using the same small-batch scone recipe I started out with back in 2013. I really like it because it uses buttermilk (instead of cream), not an extreme amount of butter (6 tablespoons for six scones), and I mix in a little whole wheat pastry flour. I also flavor it with big rounds of 60% Ghirardelli chocolate chips so that helps us love them all the more!  I make these scones pretty often - whenever I have buttermilk to use up - but I have to say that each time, I am just a little leery of the shaping process.
You see...the dough is fairly dry and crumbly.  I know scone dough should be crumbly but this one is really crumbly!  I think my substituting some of the regular flour with whole wheat pastry flour doesn't help so I usually add an extra tablespoon or so of buttermilk to the original recipe to help the dough come together a little bit easier. You don't want to add too much liquid and lose the flaky texture that bakes up so I practice restraint.  I find that the trick to combining the dough together into a round is to set it over a big sheet of wax paper and then fold/press/knead it together a few times using the wax paper rather than your hands.  That's what I do and end up with the above.  Use a bench scraper to carefully separate the cut dough and transfer it to the baking sheet.  Needless to say, these scones are rather rustic.
Before baking, I brush the tops of the scones with a little buttermilk.  In this case, we had the lemony glaze to drizzle over top, too.  I have to admit, glazing baked goods is fun. 
Sitting down to eat baked goods is fun, too.  One of these relatively small scones is quite filling and will keep you going for a while.
I think we're all so thankful for citrus during the dark winter months.  Now, the sun is shinning, the days are longer, and we're finally shedding our heavy coats and walking leisurely to the market to check out the seasonal produce.  But regardless of the time of year, I'll always keep a few trusty lemons and oranges in my fridge to brighten up our meals with.

Recipe:

Chocolate-Lemon Scones
Based this recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

- Makes 6 (smallish) scones - 

For scones:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute with more all-purpose)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Zest of one large lemon
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cold buttermilk
1/2 cup (3 oz.) dark chocolate chips  
Optional: Additional buttermilk, for brushing tops

For lemon glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons (or so) fresh lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place an oven rack on the upper third of the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Zest the lemon directly on top.  Whisk together thoroughly.  Cut the cold butter pieces into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingers (I start with a pastry cutter then finish with my fingers).  Continue until mixture resembles coarse meal.  

In another bowl or measuring cup, beat egg yolk and vanilla into the buttermilk.  Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir together (using a fork) until it starts to come together into a dough (it will be crumbly).  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of wax paper.  Use the wax paper to gather and gently press/knead the dough together.  Pat into a round, about 1-inch thick.  Cut into 6 triangles and place onto the baking sheet, spaced a few inches apart.  If desired, lightly brush the tops with buttermilk.

Bake scones for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden brown.

While scones cool slightly, make lemon glaze.  Whisk the confectioners' sugar with lemon juice in a small bowl.  Add more lemon juice (or confectioners' sugar), if necessary, to get a thick pouring consistency.  Add lemon zest and spoon glaze over the warm scones and serve immediately.

To freeze unbaked scones, place individual scones (without glaze) onto a wax or parchment lined baking sheet or plate.  Freeze until solid, then wrap in plastic wrap, foil, and place in a freezer bag or container.  Bake scones straight from the freezer (glazing the tops with buttermilk, if desired), adding a couple of minutes to the baking time, as necessary.  Make and apply lemon glaze after baking.






34 comments:

  1. Haha - we are still working from the same play book! I've got a scone recipe coming soon - but this one really appeals to me. Yes on the big pockets of chocolate - and the lemon glaze - it's just perfect! So pretty - your shots are great!! Love that nail polish :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get out, Tricia! This is starting to freak me out, how similar we are thinking! haha
      Honestly, these scones are nothing earth-shattering but I couldn't resist posting these little bright lemon pics. I like looking at it. And my nails! haha...I like to paint my little non-existent nails sometimes - it cheers me up looking at the splash of color. : )

      Delete
  2. I am also a scone lover. I just love that rustic little heaviness of the scone. For sure that little lemon drizzle makes this recipe even more delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You always describe food perfectly. : ) That "rustic little heaviness" is definitely what I've come to appreciate.

      Delete
  3. I am such a big fan of scones too but have't had one in way too long for some reason. Lemon desserts are my favorite so I love this lemon and chocolate chip version. It looks delicious and I am drooling over that lemon glaze! Your small batch is perfect for us too and would go so nicely with a cup of tea right now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love all things lemon too! Just no time to make/eat enough of that when chocolate always wins out for me when faced with a choice. Sigh.... : )

      Delete
  4. Scones are SO much better the day they are baked so it is genius to freeze a portion of them so you can have freshly made scones whenever you want! I am really into the chocolate lemon flavor combo. These sound great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to shy away from scones not only thinking we don't like them but also thinking "what do I do with a dozen scones"...I never realized you could freeze them. All kinds of possibilities opened up when I realized what a gem I had in the freezer! :)

      Delete
  5. I'm right there with you - I pretty much always freeze half of the scone dough so I can just pull it out when I need a little pick me up! These sound so good with the lemon / chocolate combo - one that I'm not sure I've ever used before! Hope you're having a great week Monica!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am seriously craving lemon and was wishing I could have some lemon curd on the side with these scones for "dipping"! haha. The freezer has been such a revelation, Ashley!

      Delete
  6. They look incredible Monica! I'm glad that I've brushed my teeth and gotten half ready for bed or I'd be itching to make a batch (and it's almost midnight :P).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very sweet, Lorraine! I do find that brushing my teeth is very effective against after dinner snacking, which I am very inclined to do. ; )

      Delete
  7. o yes, the glaze is definitely a must. They look so beautiful and melt-in-mouth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Angie! Lemony things always brighten up the day a little. : )

      Delete
  8. looks delicious, Monica! golden and perfect, and that glaze! And i love the chocolate/lemon combo: chocolate and citrus are just what i want this time of year. Small batch scones are so nice because they really don't have a long shelf life, and you don't have to waste any (which i HATE doing).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really craving lemon for whatever reasons, obvious and not. I also hate to waste and I'm happy to say I used up all my buttermilk recently and even had to make an extra 1/4 cup to finish a recipe. Such a great feeling to throw out an empty carton...

      Delete
  9. Your scones look so cute and delicious! Love a good scone with a nice cup of tea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are kinda cute, aren't they. : ) They're on the small side but quite filling. A cup of tea is the perfect thing to wash it down with.

      Delete
  10. I haven't made scones in way too long, but these look so good! Love the chocolate and lemon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, make some, stash them in your freezer...you can bake some off when you are too busy working on your thesis but need something hearty to perk up your day. : )

      Delete
  11. Of all the flavor combinations in the world, one of my top favorites is chocolate and lemon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always think I love chocolate and orange but there's this one truffle I love to eat that has lemon zest and it is so good...every time I have one, I remember to think lemon and chocolate more often!

      Delete
  12. OMG! Awesome idea! I love scones so much! Your recipe sounds perfect!
    Have a lovely day, dear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marcela - have a wonderful weekend!

      Delete
  13. Scones hold a special place in my heart. Love them! yours look delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ashley. I'm glad to be a member of the scone fan club now. : )

      Delete
  14. Monica, they are perfect. I never was a big fan of scones too but I do love them when baked at home. This combo sounds really good. I really like that you make small batches...I was craving the amaretti cookies, now I want to make these.
    Have a great weekend my dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's pretty much what my husband says. He is still convinced most scones are bad but it's a big matter of freshness sometimes. Hope you have a sweet weekend1

      Delete
  15. Monica, I love this recipe - the flavour combination, your so called 'rustic' look (which I would call wholesome!), the ease of shaping and quite literally, to top it off, the lemon glaze!!! Delicious. I could so enjoy one of those right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will now be using the word 'wholesome' to describe many of my bakes! ; ) Thank you, Jo! Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

      Delete
  16. Wow! These are fantastic! I love glazing baked goods too. These are a great way of using up buttermilk which is my problem forever. But most of all I love the chocolate and lemon combination:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my friend. I feel such a triumph when I finish up that container of buttermilk! : ) And I know you love chocolate and lemon - you helped remind me to put those two together more often. : )

      Delete
  17. I have no idea you can freeze scones! That will make breakfast so easy. That lemon glaze is totally a must. Give a last punch of sweetness and lemony flavor. These scones are so pretty. I am excited to try this lemon and chocolate combo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no notion about freezing either but you totally just prep it and put them on a lined baking sheet to freeze. Once frozen, wrap them up and when you want to bake them, put them straight in from the freezer and add a few minutes to the baking time. Fresh scones! : ) If you make these, be generous with the lemon zest in the scones. Throw in lemon extract if you have it even.

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...