Perfectly flaky chocolate chip scones with crispy edges and soft middles. Butter is browned for these chocolate chip scones to enhance the dough’s flavor, giving it a nutty taste and rounding out the dark chocolate.
That might seem like a bold statement but hear me out on the why: because a chocolate chip scone is essentially for one who craves a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. It’s for those who love the way butter melts on their tongue, the snap of a chocolate chip stumbling between their chew, and revels in the wonderful flavor resulting from the Maillard reaction (when proteins and sugars transform under heat – the very thing that makes cookies, even without the chocolate, so good).
And scones have a bit of that flavor, it’s in the tops and the bottoms where the buttery scone dough turns golden brown. But to get it into every layer of a flaky scone isn’t possible… unless you brown the butter.
So imagine everything you love about a scone and a chocolate chip cookie, and merge those together. There’s some crisp to the tops and bottoms of these and inside is a softer side of the scone, stumbling bits of chocolate sure, but also a nutty, wonderful almost caramel flavor in every bit around those chunks.
All purpose flour: For scones especially, a very light all purpose is perfect. I like White Lily, but any lower protein flour will do. Higher ones will yield a bit of a drier scone.
Sugar: Fine granulated. You can reduce or even omit if you like but the scones will be a bit more dry and have no sweetener in the dough.
Butter: Any butterfat percentage will do. Temperature only matters here right before the butter goes into the dough, after browning it needs to be fully chilled.
Heavy Cream: This is more or less the same as heavy whipping cream so either will do. If you want to make a lighter scone use Light Cream.
Egg: Just one, temperature doesn’t matter. Someone may wonder how to make these egg-free and I’d venture that a flax egg could do as a substitute here.
Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet, use a good quality! I used trader joe’s 72% chips (in the golden bag).
While it may seem that replacing butter from one state to another is an easy swap, other adjustments need to be made to accommodate butter in its browned stage. I brown butter often and on occasion have measured the before and after, I usually lose about 20g in the browning process. So the next logical step is to consider that if you are replacing the butter in a recipe with browned butter, you can measure it after browning to see you have the same amount.
Accounting for the moisture lost by weighing after browning works in many cases but not all because the product itself you now have as a whole has less water, and less creaminess to it. I often make up for this by adding yogurt, sour cream, labneh and in these scones I just add more heavy cream.
The scone dough needs to be frozen before baked anyway and can be kept frozen for months so, yes!
It’ll depend on how you slice and shape them. Standard sized you’ll get about 6-8 but if you mini them (as pictured) you’ll get 12.
They may have been too thick when they went into the oven. I try to keep my dough just under an inch tall; you want them thick but still able to cook thoroughly before they brown too much on top and bottom.
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