We're having a stubbornly prolonged winter on the northern pacific coast. January is persistently encroaching on June. I think summer has may have officially been beaten into submission.
I succeeded in spending my entire Saturday in pyjamas. When the rain is pelting down relentlessly, what better place to be than on a fat, squashy sofa in your jammies with a cup of tea and a book? Add a tender little chocolatey scone filled with fresh berries and whipped cream. Now we're making the best of a bad situation.
Fellow Canadians, I happened upon a lucky accident with this one. These little scone babies taste almost exactly like chocolate Timbits. But better. Americans, come visit us up here and go straight to the nearest Tim Hortons to find out what I'm talking about.
When making any type of scone, you want to work with cold butter. I recommend cutting it in cubes and then popping it in the freezer until you get to that step in the recipe. You want the butter to remain in distinct pieces in the dough. When the scones hit the heat of the oven, the fat melts, generating steam - this gives rise to flakey layers and height.
You don't need a special biscuit cutter to make these - I used a shot glass.
My beach towel smells like moth balls and my legs are a blinding shade of snow white, so needless to say, the raspberries I used to make these shortcakes are most certainly not local. They come from a magical place called California, where the sun shines most of the year, and I imagine people accessorize their golden hair and sunkissed skin with big, happy smiles...
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) cold butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, salt and baking powder. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to quickly work the butter into the dry mixture.
Stir together the milk and vanilla, and add to the butter-flour mixture, stirring until a shaggy dough starts to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, until it comes together in a workable dough.
Roll out dough to a 1" thickness. Use a small (about 1 1/2") circle cutter to make mini scone shapes. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimless baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake 6-9 minutes, until crackled a bit on top and springy to touch.