Raspberry Chocolate Tea Scones
During high school and on my trips home during college, my Mom and I would often visit a cafe in town for coffee and scones. They had great sandwiches and other food, but we always gravitated to the scones — I actually think it was probably my first exposure to scones, and from then on I’ve been hooked. Their blueberry and raspberry scones were really amazing; light and biscuit-like, using fresh fruit instead of dried, they are still the scone that I aspire to when I bake them for us (we’re currently doing “Sunday Scones” to satisfy our cravings.)
But scones with fresh fruit are a tricky goal: the fruit’s juiciness can increase the moisture content enough to render any plump scone to which you aspire into a spreading, flat pancake. (I’m speaking from experience here; can you tell?) Drier fruits like apples and pears seem to do well, but the few times I’ve experimented with fresh blueberries, the results have looked and tasted more like squashed muffins than the flaky, biscuit-y scones I imagined.
So as I was brainstorming recipes to make for Valentine’s Day breakfast, I kept thinking about doing a scone with splashes of red or pink. I’ve already done a scone with dried cherries, but what I really wanted was a raspberry scone. And I started thinking — what if I chopped up frozen raspberries? The smaller bits of fruit might not give the big pockets of wetness that were my nemesis in prior versions. I had a bag of plump ruby fruits from my friend Emily’s raspberry patch, picked this fall, waiting to be put to good use in our chest freezer. Because raspberries and chocolate go so well together, I couldn’t resist throwing in some mini chocolate chips (though I think I might have liked them even more with chunks chopped from a bittersweet bar.)
As they baked, I held my breath and stared into the oven window, waiting for the inevitable meltdown and squish. But no! These were just as I had imagined! So tender, flaky, with little pops of raspberry and smooth melted chocolate. Don’t you love getting a kitchen “win?”
I call them “tea scones” because they’re a bit smaller than the large wedges you see in some coffeeshops – more dainty, delicate, and perfect alongside a cup of tea (or coffee.) The recipe makes 12 smaller scones, and you can easily freeze them on a sheet pan after cutting into wedges, for baking at a future date — like, Valentine’s Day morning!
And that’s just what I did — we have a batch ready and waiting in the freezer to bake on Monday morning, and another batch ready to bake the next time my Mom visits, for a trip down memory lane.
Raspberry Chocolate Tea Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and chopped into small pieces
1 cup miniature chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
1 cup frozen raspberries, chopped (keep frozen until you’re ready to add them to the dough)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add the chopped cold butter and rub with your fingers into the flour until the bits of butter are roughly the size of peas. Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks.
Separate the egg; reserve the white for later use (you’ll use it to brush on the tops of the scones before baking.) In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cream, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
Add the chopped frozen raspberries to the flour mixture. Pour in the cream, and using light, quick strokes, stir with a fork until just moistened (there may still be some flour on the bottom of the bowl.) Use your hands to gather the dough into a ball and knead it lightly a few times, just to gather it together. Don’t worry if there’s still a little flour remaining on the bottom of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into two balls. Gently flatten each ball into a 1-inch high disk, and cut each disk into 6 wedges (for 12 scones total.) Place on baking sheet and brush the tops with the reserved egg white; sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and scones are cooked through.