For our family, Valentine’s Day comes after a pretty busy season. My birthday and my father-in-law’s birthday are in December, along with Christmas. Girlfriend’s birthday is in January (along with getting back into the school routine after the holiday break). D’Ahub’s birthday is at the beginning of February (after the big push for Girlfriend’s birthday). And, we are generally overwhelmed with the busy-ness of life (how did we get so busy? I honestly don’t know).
As I thought about what to bake for Valentine’s, I kept in mind that d’Ahub likes scones–a lot–and he loves it when I make homemade scones. So this year, to honor our busy schedules and to still indulge in a bit of baked treat, I decided to develop a quick and easy recipe for chocolate chip scones that you can mix up and bake in less than 40 minutes from start to finish. In addition, the dough can be rolled and cut into cute heart shapes or you can just shape it into a disk and cut it into triangles. Finally, you can prepare the scones right up until the baking stage, place them on a baking sheet, cover well with a piece of plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator the night before you want to bake them. This means you can then pop them into the oven in the morning and have fresh scones for breakfast!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy with the sweeties in your life.
Chocolate Chip Scones, Gluten-Free
Yield: about 12 scones
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (55 grams; 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream, cold
1/2 cup (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
heavy cream for brushing (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees/190 C/Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold butter pieces and rub into the mixture. Work quickly–you don’t want the butter to get too warm.
Once the mixture looks like wet sand mixed with differing sized pebbles, add the cream and stir with a spoon until just combined–the mixture will be very thick and will look “shaggy.” Add the chocolate chips and stir until combined.
To roll out and cut scones in to hearts
With your hands, gather the dough into a ball. Place it between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thick (no thinner). With a 2 1/2 inch (6.35 cm) heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Gather together the dough and re-roll and cut until you have used up all of the dough. Work quickly–you don’t want the dough to get too warm.
To shape scones into a disk
With your hands, gather the dough into a ball. Place it on the lined baking sheet and cover with a piece of waxed paper. Roll into a into a disk that is roughly 1/2 inch thick (no thinner), using your hands to shape and tidy the edges. Remove the waxed paper. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 triangles (as you would a pie) but keep the triangles together in the circle shape. Work quickly–you don’t want the dough to get too warm.
At this stage, you can wrap the baking sheet with the cut scones with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight for baking the next morning.
When you are ready to bake the scones
If desired, brush scones with heavy cream. Disregard this step if you are dairy-sensitive.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the edges of the scones are a medium brown. If you are baking them straight from the refrigerator, add about 5-10 extra minutes. Remove from oven. If you used the disk method, re-cut the triangles to be sure they are separate pieces.
Serve warm, plain or with butter and jam.
(edited 2/14/13 to clarifying the rolling and shaping in the method)