Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mini Chocolate Chip Scone Nibbles...

Jeff was off work yesterday and we decided to take advantage of the downtime by bumming around and doing nothing but catch up on movies we've been meaning to see. Not even realizing what yesterday was, it hit me when I sat down to write out the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day post that it also happened to be our five year anniversary of the blog! 5 whole years? I definitely did not imagine I would stick it out this long when we started our adventure, but I'm happy that we didn't give up.

I know we haven't been posting every. single. day. like we used to, but that's mainly because I haven't be able to carve out the time needed to write the posts. We are still making new recipes at least once a day, however, and my to-write-about-pile is getting larger by the day. I may have to change formats for a few weeks to get caught up, but I'll do my best to get them all up on the site! Now, let's get back on schedule and get to this week's treat - Mini Chocolate Chip Scone Nibbles!

I haven't made scones in ages and treat day is a great excuse to make a giant batch - a few saved for us, with the rest going into the office to make room to make another sweet later in the week! Flour, vanilla sugar (my jar had been stewing for awhile and calling to be used, but regular granulated is fine), baking powder, salt and eight cold tablespoon pats of butter are worked together until the firm butter has been coated in flour and broken down into uneven pea-sized nuggets. You can work the butter in a few ways - a pastry blender, two knives, a food processor (which works great, but I didn't feel like cleaning the bowl) or take the minimalist route and simply squeeze the ingredients together with your fingers.

Miniature chips are then stirred into the bowl to allow for a very even distribution of the chocolate (they also keep their shape well) - however, if you're after a darker bite, feel free to break down a block of bittersweet into small pieces and toss that in instead. To bring the dough together, a combination of eggs, vanilla and half-and-half are whisked together and poured in to combine. There is a range on the half-and-half because you may need more liquid - if the dough feels dry or won't come together, drizzle in enough to make the dough moist and tacky. You could use milk (not as rich) or cream (definitely indulgent) if you like, but half-and-half is an excellent compromise between the two.

Patted out into a large square (don't be shy on dusting your work surface with flour - sticking would not be pretty!), we divvied it up into sixteen smaller squares, then divided each in half on the diagonal, making a mess of small triangles. Even though you start out with cold butter, all that working of the dough manages to soften the butter quite a bit - we can fix that though with a brief stint in the freezer while the oven preheats. The cold will firm the butter back up, allowing the nuggets to take longer to melt when it hits the hot oven, giving the scones the best rise possible.

Even though they are semi-frozen, the scones won't take very long at all to bake - they are ready to come out as soon as their shell turns golden brown. Since the scones have a bare amount of sugar added into the dough, to give them a little extra note without killing them with sweetness, we bathed each in thin concoction of confectioners' sugar and water, doused with an extra splash of vanilla. This also has the benefit of sealing the crust, helping them to stay fresh and not dry out.

Thankfully I had an errand to run right after I glazed them as I don't think I could have waited for the glaze to set to give one (or three.. they are small!) a try if they were resting anywhere near me. You can be sure it was the first thing I did when I got home though! Biting through the set sugar shell and crusty exterior of the scone led me to a tender, soft interior, with just enough chocolate in every single bite. Jeff tasted one right when he got home and could tell by the look on his face he was pleased. Before I knew it, he distracted me by asking for a pen and as soon as I left the kitchen, I heard him run up the stairs - when I looked at the cooling rack with the scones, two more scones had vanished! That alone gave me the review I was waiting for.

11 comments:

  1. Oh these look delicious!! I may have to run out to the store to get some mini chocolate chips before they close...

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  2. Ooh, I love scones! These look wonderful. Happy 5 year anniversary on your blog. I'm so happy that you are still at it.

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  3. Happy 5th Anniversary!!!! And many more!

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  4. Congrats on the 5 years--your blog is such a wonderful resource. Thank you SO much for all of your posts and recipes!

    I love scones and make them quite often (when it is not in the 90s with ridiculously high humidity...and I don't have AC), so I will have to add yours to my must make list for next time!

    Courtney

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  5. PHDBakergirl - They are worth a run to the store!

    Vanessa - Thanks!

    Donna - Thank you!

    Courtney - Ugh, I know what you mean. It was 100 degrees today!

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  6. Wow 5 years that's amazing! You are still posting new and delicious yummy recipes. Here's to another 5 years!!

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  7. Wow, 5 years! Keep it up. Love your blog.
    The scones sound and look delicious!

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  8. Wow, congrats on your anniversary! Five years is a long time to blog. I appreciate all your efforts, as I think we must have similiar tests. I've never made a recipe that you liked that I didn't like!

    I've actually made this KA recipe before and thought they were very nice little scones. They made a TON, which makes them perfect for taking to something like a potluck or meeting.

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  9. We just returned from a few days out of town and my daughter had her chocolate chip scones from Starbucks as breakfast every day! These will be quick on our list of things to try... thanks for the post!

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  10. Katie - We'll have to see if we can make it that long again!

    Katrina - Thanks!

    Jennifer - Did you divvy them down to 64? I kept them at 32 and they seemed to be a good size.

    Avanika - Thanks!

    Kim - I hope you like them as much as we did!

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