Every once in a while, someone will do something thoughtful for me or be understanding when I’m down. Or maybe I’ll notice that they’ve just been a constant positive presence in my life, which is especially noteworthy, if subtle. Though I do say it, “thank you” doesn’t always seem enough. At times like this, I have to supplement language with baking to get my point across.
These scones are how I’m saying it this time. They have flax and oats to make them extra heart-healthy, and chocolate just because. Making scones is easy and it feels like an old-fashioned wholesome endeavor. I savor the progression of smells coming from the oven: first cinnamon, then chocolate, then toasty wheat and oat. Once they’re out of the oven and cool enough to touch, I might split one and spread it with raspberry jam or peanut butter, and eat with an afternoon cup of tea. Then I’ll pack up the rest and deliver them to my generous friends. Oh no, thank you.
Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Scones (makes 16)
- 3-1/2 oz cold butter (7 Tbs)
- 1-3/4c flour
- 1c rolled oats
- 2 Tbs flaxseed, ground
- 5 Tbs sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1c chocolate chips
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 c milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1/3 tsp cinnamon
- (2 Tbs milk, to brush on top)
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the butter into tiny cubes, put in the freezer while you get the other ingredients ready. Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, set aside.
Whisk eggs in a measuring cup until foamy, whisk in milk and vanilla.
In a food processor, stand mixer or plain old bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. (If using a food processor, leave out the oats.) Add the butter and pulse gently with the machines or break up with a fork or pastry blender until the butter pieces are about the size of oats. (Food processor users: now transfer your dry ingredients to another bowl and stir in the oats.) Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix in about half of the liquid with your hands. Mix in the rest of the liquid a little at a time, making sure to check the bottom of the bowl for dry patches. You may not need all the liquid, or you might need to add a little more milk a tablespoon at a time. Don’t knead the dough, just gently get all the dry stuff wet. Think light fluffy thoughts as you mix.
As soon as the scone dough comes together in a slightly sticky mass, turn it onto a floured surface and divide it into two blobs. Flatten each blob into a 6-inch round and cut into eighths. Place scones on parchment-lined (or just plain ungreased) baking sheet, brush with milk or remaining liquid mix. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and bake 15 – 20 minutes. The sides will be a little soft and the bottoms light brown. Do not overbake or the scones will dry out. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from sheet with a flat spatula, then cool on a wire rack. Serve warm if possible.
Scones travel and keep well for a few days, but they’re always best the day they’re baked. If you can’t use all of these at once, freeze some formed, unbaked scones on a baking sheet, then wrap them in plastic and foil and store in the freezer until needed. To bake frozen scones, do not thaw, but bake a little longer, maybe 20-25 minutes.