When Alanna of A Veggie Venture invited me to participate in this month’s Sugar High Friday, my mind immediately went to scones. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a peanut butter version for a while, but after all the time I’d spent perfecting my own scone, I didn’t feel like experimenting with new recipes when I already had one. So I pondered. Peanut butter is dense but neither a solid nor a liquid. Discuss. Peanut butter is also almost entirely fat. Why do I need both peanut butter and butter in the recipe? Not only is that redundant, it’s irresponsible. Reckless, even.
So I eliminated the butter and froze the peanut butter to make it workable like butter. The scones turned out tender and rich, and despite being butterless tasted just as terrifically bad for you as ever. I used peanut butter in place of butter! I’m a genius! Um well no . . . Nic at bakingsheet used peanut butter like butter in her scones using a food processor, and there are countless scone and biscuit recipes using cream cheese as a fat in similar manner. It just goes to show that little is new in the kitchen, especially when you have Google searches around to deflate your ego.
[Pictured: 100% whole wheat version.]
This month’s SHF theme is Surprise Inside, and my surprise isn’t that all that surprising: chocolate. (Making the title of this post “Chocolate-filled peanut butter scones” probably gave away the surprise too.) But layering the chocolate inside the scones keeps it hidden until you bite into it, making it a pleasant surprise for your eater. The layering takes a little work, but feel free to simply toss the chocolate in with the flour instead. I won’t condemn you for laziness, especially if it’s first thing in the morning, you still have eye boogers, and you can barely see the markings on your teaspoons. By the way, you can make these the night before and refrigerate them on the pan to pop in a preheated oven the next morning.
CHOCOLATE-FILLED PEANUT BUTTER SCONES
Makes 4 scones
This is a small recipe because these scones are best warm when the chocolate is melty. You can double the recipe but it becomes more difficult to do the layering, so just toss the chips in with the flour if you do that. I made my scones using a sweetened no-stir natural peanut butter with palm oil, but regular peanut butter should be fine. If you use an unsweetened natural peanut butter, stir it well before using and note that you may need more sugar to taste. Half whole wheat flour works well in this recipe because its nutty flavor doesn’t clash with the peanut butter. However, I found 100% whole wheat flour somewhat bitter. Half spelt flour works nicely too.
· 5 tablespoons peanut butter
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
OR 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
OR 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
· 1/4 cup sugar
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1 egg
· 2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
· 40 semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
OR 4 small chocolate triangles
OR 1/4 cup regular or mini chocolate chips (for non-layered version)
1) Smear the peanut butter about 1/2 inch thick inside a medium freezer-safe bowl. Freeze about 15 minutes.
2) Whisk together the flour(s), sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl. If you don’t care to layer the chocolate chips in the middle of the scones, stir the 1/4 cup chocolate chips into the flour now. Place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer.
3) Preheat oven to 450ºF. Lightly grease a small baking sheet.
4) Crack the egg into a small measuring cup. Beat egg lightly with a fork, then add enough milk or cream to equal 3 fluid ounces. Place cup in refrigerator. As you wait for your ingredients to chill, drink some tea, wipe your eyes, grab the paper, feed the cats/dog/fish, etc.
5) Remove the peanut butter from the freezer. Use a spoon or spatula to scrape the hardened peanut butter from the bowl. Add the cold flour mixture and quickly work the peanut butter into the flour with your fingers until the flour resembles coarse meal with some small lumps. Pour the cold egg/dairy mixture into the flour and mix just enough to form a cohesive dough. Add more milk or cream if necessary, but keep the dough stiff. Knead once or twice and remove dough from bowl.
6) Divide the dough in half and, on a lightly floured surface, press the each half into two 5-inch disks without flouring the top of the disks, if you can help it. On one disk, make 4 triangles of 10 chocolate chips each into a sort of 4-leaf clover pattern that will let you cut the scone into 4 quarters without cutting into any chocolate (or use 4 chocolate triangles). Leave a border around each triangle so that the dough will seal well. In other words, you want a 1/2 inch border all around the dough and then a clear path from 12 o’clock down to 6 o’clock and from 9 o’clock over to 3 o’clock. (If all this sounds unnecessarily complicated, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips to the flour mixture before adding the liquid. You happen to get more chocolate this way.)
7) Flip over the dough disk without chips on it and gently place it down on top of the chip-covered disk. Press firmly all over to make a single 6-inch disk. Cut the dough between the chips (you remember where they are, right?) into 4 quarters and place them on the prepared baking sheet with at least an inch of space separating them. Bake scones until the top and edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on rack. Serve warm.
Note: You can also cut the two 5-inch dough disks into triangles then fill each scone individually, but the shaping you’ll need to do to each scone may blunt the edges. I like how the bench scraper cuts sharply between the scones in the above version and lets them rise fully.
- Link du jour
- The founder of Sugar High Friday runs the gorgeous blog, The Domestic Goddess. She had a son recently so her posts are less frequent but always well worth waiting for.