Filed under: Brown butter / Quick Breads
May 5, 2022

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

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.

5 from 11 votes
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Want really good chocolate chip scones? Make the scones with brown butter. 

That might seem like a bold statement but hear me out: 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.

Recipe Ingredients

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. Sometimes I use brown sugar (for a more ccc flavor). 

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). 

 

brown butter chocolate chip scones

How to make brown butter scones 

First we’re going to brown one and a half sticks of butter. Set the heat to medium and keep a watchful eye on it, at first it will melt then sputter and spit (this is when the milk solids are separating) and then those solids will begin to toast and turn brown. Once you see all the milk solids have turned brown, immediately transfer to a small heatproof bowl.  Make sure to scrape up all the ‘bits’ of brown butter! 

Once it’s done browning, pour it into a bowl and let it chill until it’s firm, about 1-2 hours in the fridge. I like to stir mine halfway through the chilling period so that the browned milk solid bits will be scattered everywhere (rather than only on the bottom). 

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and whisk together 

Then add the brown butter to the mix, it can be in a soft stage but it should absolutely not be melted or even ‘melty’. 

Stir it into the flour to coat it then work it in with your fingers by pressing the butter between your thumbs and fingers. Keep doing this until you only have bits of brown butter that are bean sized

Separately, whisk together the heavy cream, egg and vanilla 

Pour that into the bigger bowl with the flour and butter mixture. Start by stirring it then switch to using your hands, folding it over itself and gently squeezing until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball 

Flour your surface and then press the ball into a 7 inch wide circle. If you want lot’s of layers, slice the circle into quarters, stack them and then press them into a 6-7 inch circle. Then slice the circle into wedges so you have eight scones 

Set them on a small parchment lined cookie sheet (when they are close together they rise higher) and freeze until solid. 

If you plan to glaze the scones bake them as is. If not, brush them with heavy cream and sprinkle a coarse sugar on top (like organic or raw sugar). 

Bake until the middles of the scones are dry and they have nicely golden edges. 

FAQ 

Can I always replace butter with browned butter? 

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. 

Can I make these ahead of time and store them before baking? 

The scone dough needs to be frozen before baked anyway and can be kept frozen for months so, yes! 

How many scones does this make? 

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. 

My scones overcooked on the sides and were doughy in the center, help! 

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. 

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe 



Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Perfectly flaky chocolate chip scones with crispy edges and soft middles. Butter is browned for these to enhance the dough’s flavor, giving it a nutty taste and rounding out the dark chocolate.
brown butter chocolate chip scones
5 from 11 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour 335g
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 45g
  • 10 tablespoons butter browned , 130g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons 145g
  • 1 large egg
  • 100 g chocolate chips

Method

  • Do ahead! Brown 1 ½ sticks of butter (6oz or 170g). In a skillet, add the butter and cook on medium low until the butter stops sputtering and goes almost silent and you can see brown bits at the bottom. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set in the fridge to chill until totally firm, at least an hour. For the scones you’ll need to weight out 130g,
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry knife, cut in the cooled brown butter until the butter bits are kidney bean sized. Use your fingers to press the larger bits into a flat piece. Add the chocolate chips.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, cream and egg. Pour it into the scone mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Then, using your hands, grab the dough and fold it over itself in the bowl, several times, until you can mostly form a ball. It will still be very dry and crumbly when you stop and it's ok if there are dry bits that don’t want to stick, press them in.
  • On a floured countertop, press the ball into a rectangular shape, then fold it over itself. If it’s resisting, use a rolling pin. Do this up to 3 times total, it will create lovely layers in the scone.
  • Press out the dough until it's just under 1 inch thick and use a bench scraper to slice rows and then triangles, they can be big or little but make sure they aren’t too thick or they’ll struggle to bake in the center.
  • Set the scones on a parchment lined cookie tray or, if baking more than 3 hours later, set them in an airtight container, in the freezer. Freeze until solid.
  • When you’re ready to bake (and eat!) preheat the oven to 400 F. Set the scones on a parchment lined cookie tray (it can be the same one used to freeze them). Keep them relatively close together, scones don’t spread as much as they rise and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle with sugar if you like.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (smaller scones bake quicker).
  • If you’d like to glaze them, wait until they are cool. Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, a splash of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk until you have your desired consistency. Cream cheese tastes wonderful here (just 2 tablespoons will do, make sure it’s softened).

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Recipe Reviews




  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Not a super sweet scone, but super soft and tender, and the layers are gorgeous. As always, the brown butter is fantastic, and I used dark chocolate chunks which was super gooey and delicious. I did top some with the glaze, which was a super nice touch and added a bit more sweeteness for those who desired it. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent and easy scone! The flavor was spectacular – and the texture perfect. Freezing to bake the next AM or whenever you were ready for them was hugely convenient.

  3. 5 stars
    I follow this recipe step by step but added walnuts in place of the cc chips. These scones are so tasty. They are they perfect scone recipe. I can’t wait to make them again.

  4. 5 stars
    Inspired by her tik tok that I looked up her recipes. Found d that I had all the ingredients for this recipe so I made them! Delicious! I did try them w/o the glaze first so I made the glaze for the ones for my friends. Added a little almond extrat to the glaze and shaved chocolate! Hope my friends like them as much as I do!

  5. 5 stars
    OMG! These are delicious! I did exactly what you said to do and rolled them out less than an inch. The one in the photo doesn’t show as many layers as the one that my secretary took! ?. I’m so glad I got to make them last night and bake them here at work this morning! They’re a big hit! Thank you!

    • Laura, that’s amazing you got that many layers 😀 😀 it’s a bit of a labor but worth it! Thank you for making these and the review, the first is always so special to me

  6. These scones look delishious. I love making/serving scones for breakfast. I always make them the day before and refridgerate overnigt. The butter firms up nand the scones rise noce and high. The plus is that I have no work in the morning…cleanup is done and I can just bake and enjoy.I am going to try the folding trick. Anything that allows flakey layers to deleop is worth the work.. Thanks for sharing this and all of your amazing creations.