Sunday, March 1, 2015

English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones

First day of March and we're surrounded by snow and ice.

Church was cancelled due to hazardous driving conditions, and the children spend the morning doing one of two things: the older three were sledding on the ice-covered snow in our yard, while the little two were "swimming" in my bathtub. Ha!

We were supposed to have a fellowship meal after church today, with the theme being "Breakfast/Brunch". I was planning on trying a new scone recipe, one for which my sister Anna has received many rave reviews and frequent requests from her friends.

Well, since I had been thinking about these scones all week and quite anxious to try them, I decided a trial run must be necessary. After all, I might need a little practice to get them perfect before next week. (Read: I'll use any excuse I can think of to make scones.)

While most scones use cream or milk as the liquid binder, these scones are particularly unique with the use of orange juice instead. I'm sure fresh squeezed OJ would be absolutely fabulous, but I just used regular and they were still wonderful. You could even use a little orange zest for an extra burst of flavor if you wanted.

We absolutely adored these scones. Sweet, tender, almost melt-in-your mouth texture. Nothing like the dry, crumbly kind you often get with purchased scones. The hint of orange was delightful with the little chunks of chocolate scattered throughout each bite.

While oftentimes I make a glaze for scones, and I did contemplate making a simple one of powdered sugar and OJ for these, I ultimately decided to leave them plain (and save a few calories) and we didn't miss the glaze at all.

Note: I fully realize most people have no need for 24 scones. This recipe can be easily halved if you desire. However, you might be surprised at just how quickly these disappear. And you could always freeze the leftovers to pull out and warm for a quick breakfast treat. 

English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones
from Rebekah's Family, Food, and Fun

Yield: 24 scones (recipe can easily be halved)

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used half white whole wheat)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, miniature chips, or chunks - or combination
1 1/2 cups orange juice

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender or large fork to cut in the butter. I recommend using a large grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture , which makes cutting it in much faster and easier.)

Remove from food processor bowl and pour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and mix in orange juice to form a dough.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Divide into 3 sections and pat each one into a large circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 wedges and transfer onto the baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes

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