Sunday, February 14, 2016

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

Platter of Scones
Eight Perfect and Easy Scones

Recipe Adapted from the Savoy Hotel

The Savoy Hotel high tea has been a tradition in London since 1904, and their delicate scones are at the heart of the menu. Although Savoy scones are round, and this recipe makes wedges, Allrecipes members claim that the recipe is altered only slightly from the Savoy’s. Who knows, since the Savoy isn’t about to publish its famous recipe. Certainly, one would not see chocolate chips and orange instead of the traditional currants at the Savoy. Those are my substitutions in honor of Valentine’s Day. These light and tender scones take only about 35 minutes to make. And they’re vastly less pricey than a trip to the Savoy.

Single scone on plate with flower
To Share with Loved Ones
If you don’t have chocolate chips on hand, you can use only orange zest, or substitute lemon zest. Currants are traditional in place of the chocolate, and are good with a bit of zest too. Or try raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries. Finely chopped almonds or walnuts are other possibilities. In a pinch, you can make these scones with no additions except perhaps a teaspoon of vanilla, and serve with a favorite jam and/or the traditional lemon curd. A stainless steel dough scraper, also known as a bench knife, will help enormously in handling the dough without it sticking to surfaces. It’s also the most effective tool for cutting the scones apart and placing the individual scones on the baking sheet.

I wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the day and share the love!

Closeup of broken-open scone
Delicious, Tender, and Flaky
Orange Chocolate Chip Scones
makes 8 scones

1¾ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup half and half
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp. orange zest (medium orange)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. large grain raw sugar 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Grate frozen butter into dry ingredients. Cut in with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in chocolate chips and set aside.

In a small bowl, blend together ½ cup milk and yogurt. Stir in orange zest. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients to well in dry ingredients. Stir mixture together with a fork until just moistened and holding together.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a square with floured hands.
Use a stainless steel dough scraper to handle the dough to prevent it from sticking and from using too much flour, which will make the dough heavy.  Fold the square over twice, lifting it from the surface with the dough scraper. Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and re-flour the surface below lightly. Flatten dough back into a square. Fold twice again, re-flour lightly as needed, and flatten into a circle, ½ - ¾ inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter. Cut into eight wedges with dough scraper. Place scones on parchment-lined baking sheet.

Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon milk together in a small bowl. Brush mixture on top of each scone. Sprinkle each scone lightly with raw sugar.

Bake scones till risen and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and serve promptly, ideally while still warm.

Grated Butter and Flour mixtue
Best Practice: Freeze and Grate Butter for Tender, Flaky Scones
Mixed Dough Barely holds together
Best Practice: Mix Only till Just Blended For Flaky Scones

Dough Scraper and Twice-Folded Dough
Best Practice: Use Dough Scraper and Very Little Flour for Tender Scones
Dough Spread out in Final Circle
Best Practice: User Round Template for Equal Size Scones

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