Friday, September 26, 2014

Cinnamon Chocolate Chunk Scones

I usually try to have some kind of interesting story to write about in every blog post, and for the most part, I'm typically able to come up with something that I hope is worth reading.  And then, I'll try to somehow connect that interesting little story to whatever recipe it is that I'm posting.  Sometimes the two flow together seamlessly, like when I'm sharing a favorite family recipe.  It's like the words just come out and I breathe a sigh of relief when I hit publish.  Other times I'll finish writing my post in a stream of consciousness kind of situation, get to the end, and think to myself, "well...I guess that kind of makes sense?"  When that happens I usually hope that the pretty photos in the post make up for the iffy written content in the post.  And then, there are also times like these. Times when I just really wanted a scone, so I made them, and here they are.

I hadn't made scones in a really long time, and over the weekend, I just had this inexplicable craving for them.  I hardly ever eat scones (shame on me), but last weekend, I couldn't let my craving for them just pass by.  I needed to remedy the situation, and it needed to be done in a manner that was simple and effortless.  Scones are simple on their own, but for the mix-ins, the rule was the same as always.  I was not going to the supermarket, and I could only use things already in my pantry.  I've gotten into the (good) habit of always having a big bar of dark chocolate on hand, and I was excited to see that I still had a decent amount of mini cinnamon chips from sister (previously used in these snickerdoodle cheesecake muffins).  Cinnamon chocolate chunk scones were happening!

I was really excited about these scones for two reasons.  One, because I was finally going to get over my craving. Two, I almost never make sweet scones.  I have a tendency of going for savory scones loaded with cheese or with bacon, or with jalapeƱos and herbs.  I think it has something to do with how well the rich buttery layers in the scones go with the savory flavors.  This time, though, I was almost forced to make a sweet scone, given my self-imposed rule that I would only use whatever was already in my kitchen.  Bacon, cheese jalapeƱos, and fresh herbs were out of the question, and once I settled on the chocolate chunk and cinnamon chip combination, I realized that I was looking forward to breaking out of my typical scone routine. 

The recipe for these scones is really quick to throw together, as are most scone recipes.  Dry ingredients are sifted together, and then cold cubes of butter are cut in with a pastry blender.  It's important to work quickly once you start adding in the butter, because you don't want it to get too warm.  Cold butter means flaky scones, and that's exactly what we want.  Coarse chunks of chocolate and cinnamon chips are stirred in and coated with flour. I really recommend chopping chunks of chocolate straight off a big bar or block; the irregularity of the hand-chopped chocolate adds a rustic element that chocolate chunks in a bag just won't deliver.  Also, when you chop chocolate by hand, you will always get countless little shards of chocolate that are great to throw into whatever batter or dough you're making, because they'll disperse evenly throughout and then melt into tiny hidden bites of chocolate.  Once the mix-ins have been incorporated, buttermilk is added to bind the dough together. The dough is turned out onto your cutting board, shaped into a round, and then cut into wedges. A little brushing of heavy cream is all you need to finish off the scones before baking them in the oven. 

As much as I love savory scones, I really loved the way these turned out.  This could be a turning point in my life! They were just sweet enough, and the cinnamon and chocolate complemented each other nicely.  The large chunks of slightly melted chocolate chunks and the chocolate shards worked nicely in combination with the cinnamon chips; whenever I got a bite without a chocolate chunk, the shards offered just enough chocolate flavor to remind me that they were there, but that the cinnamon chips were the main focus at that moment.  The scones are rich and buttery, and perfectly flaky.  Since it's practically the weekend, I think it's time that we all make a batch of scones to indulge on.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon and Chocolate Chunk Scones
recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon


1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
heaping 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/4 cup mini cinnamon chips
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons heavy cream


Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and positioning a rack in the middle of the oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold cubes of butter into the flour mixture until the butter is completely coated in flour and is about the size of small peas.  The mixture should resemble a coarse meal.  Add the chocolate chunks and cinnamon chips and stir together to coat.

Pour in the buttermilk and mix together until just combined and a dough has formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a circle that's about 3/4-inch thick.  Cut the circle into 8 wedges and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush the top of each scone with a little heavy cream.  Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes or until the tops have puffed and turned golden brown.  Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Makes 8 scones


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