Earlier in the week, I had thought about making biscuits so had stopped at Dean and Deluca on the way home and picked up some cream and buttermilk. I decided to go with making cream scones and biscuits, especially since the biscuits don't require cutting butter into flour, though the scones did. I usually cook with white whole wheat flour, which isn't quite white, but you can substitute unbleached all-purpose white flour if you prefer. Both recipes are totally open to whatever flavoring and seasoning you want to add.
Of course my scones and biscuits ended up getting a little too dark on the bottom (I carefully cut off the bottoms before bringing them into the office!), but they should turn out fine for most of you out there.
If you have a small electric stove where only the bottom heating element comes on and is supposedly cooking by convection, and often doesn't maintain an even temperature, I'd recommend only baking in the top third of your oven. For me, this means only really being able to bake on one rack at a time for things that go quick, and *maybe* using two racks if I'm diligent about rotating. You should also have your own oven thermometer so you can see what the real temperature is and adjust the heat as needed - I'm always opening the oven up to cool it down a bit.
Whole Wheat Cream Scones with Chocolate Chips
Makes about a dozen
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 granulated sugar (you can increase to 1/3 if you prefer them a little sweeter)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup cream, or you can use milk, plus a little extra to brush the tops of the scones
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips - I tend to use a little less chocolate but if you like your scones sweeter and more chocolate-y, you can increase the chocolate chips
- Raw turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top, or sugar crystals
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle, but if you have a small electric stove where only the bottom heating element comes on, like I do, you may want to back in the top third of your oven. Line your cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender until you have course crumbs.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl. Measure out the cream or milk and then add the vanilla and egg to the measuring cup. Add this into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Be careful to not over mix.
- You can also do this in a food processor - put all the dry ingredients in and pulse a few times to mix, then add your cut up butter pieces and pulse until you have course crumbs. Then add the wet ingredients and pulse a few times.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently until it comes together. It may seem very dry and crumbly at first but it will come together.
- Pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2 1/2" round cookie or biscuit cutter, or cut the circle into pie shaped wedges. Place them on the cookie sheet a few inches apart from each other.
- Brush the tops with a little cream and then sprinkle with turbinado or sugar crystals.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, maybe a little more - test with a toothpick until it comes out clean. They should be a little browned.
If you have a moody oven, you could end up with fairly blonde scones with dark bottoms so check them and take them out before the bottom burns.