Happy Independence Day to my American friends! I hope you all had safe and happy weekends filled with fun, food, and merriment. And I hope that whatever you have planned for today will be filled with the same!
We have very, very low key, laid back plans in my house today. It’s just the Hubster and I right now (and Loki too, of course), because the kiddo flew to the mainland a week ago and doesn’t return for another three weeks. He’s been fortunate enough to get to spend time with family, and a lot of time with his best friend in the Northeast.
Since we’re childless for the next few weeks, hubs and I have been kicking our heels up and letting our hair down. We’ve been going wild! Why, just last night we spent the evening reading by candlelight (we lost power due to storms), and playing a rousing game of Scrabble. Madness, I tell you! The party just doesn’t stop around here.
I think today, I’ll have the hubster make his yummy grilled burgers, I’ll make some soft homemade buns for them, and we’ll tuck in for a night of old movies, then listen to the fireworks going off in the distance while Loki shivers in fright between us. Poor pumpkin hates fireworks. Things will be so thrilling, we may even stay up until midnight.
I joke, but in reality, this last week has been like a little honeymoon, and we’re enjoying every last second of it. We’ve been cooking and baking together a lot, and have been eating more decadent foods than we usually ever do. The kid is going to come home and won’t recognize us for all the weight we will have gained!
In fact, this weekend I made an incredible breakfast. It’s one of my favorite breakfasts of all time…and it’s completely unhealthy.
You may remember the Irish Coffee Toffee that I made back in March. Well, these scones came about as a result of that candy. We had a lot left over, and although it would have been eaten eventually, I wanted to do something new with it. I remembered reading about toffee scones in one of my cookbooks, The Art and Soul of Baking, and decided that the idea was too yummy sounding to resist. Oh my word, did these turn out fabulous! They are, by and far, my favorite scone ever. I love scones anyway, especially plain vanilla cream scones with a fine, crisp, thin layer of sugar on top, but these… These are the most decadent, mouthwatering, unbelievably delicious scones ever. Ever.
I used my favorite plain scone recipe, which calls for all-purpose flour, cold, unsalted butter (cut into chunks), an egg, heavy cream, sugar, baking powder and salt. Then, I adapted the toffee amounts from The Art and Soul of Baking. They use store bought toffee bits and chocolate chips in their recipe, which also work great, but there really is a huge difference in using homemade toffee here…especially coffee flavored toffee. I don’t usually add an egg to my scones, as scone recipes don’t tend to have them, but a egg will lend a cakier texture to the scones, which works beautifully for this particular recipe.
The first time I made these, I used leftover Irish coffee toffee, but this time I made fresh coffee toffee, skipping the mint (recipe below). I made the toffee the day before I intended to make the scones. The recipe I’ve included makes enough toffee to for the scone recipe with maybe a few pieces leftover. If you want more toffee to have on it’s own, simply double the recipe.
Once I had all of the dry ingredients blended with the cold butter, I added the toffee (chopped) and tossed it all to combine it before adding the wet ingredients.
Just look at all those tasty chocolate and toffee bits! Yum!! I cut this disk into eight wedges and spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Next, I chilled the scones. Mine actually chilled overnight because I wanted them for breakfast the next day, but I didn’t want to get up early. I just prepared them up to this point, covered them with plastic wrap, and refrigerated them overnight. If you are making them that day, I recommend chilling them in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes. Chilling them will help them hold their shape better in the oven.
Seriously, my friends, these are a must, must, must try! If you’re intimidated by making your own toffee, then toffee baking bits and mini chocolate chips are an excellent substitute. However, if you can, I urge you to make the coffee toffee. It is so rich, so flavorful in these scones that they may as well be dessert, except you have the luxury of eating them for breakfast. And who is to argue? Scone are for breakfast, right? Never mind the gooey chocolate and rich toffee. You’ve got a scone and some coffee, I dare anyone to challenge your breakfast.
Coffee Toffee Scones [Printable Version]
Makes 8 scones
FOR THE SCONES
3/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup, plus 1/3 cup coffee toffee (recipe below) OR 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup, plus 1/3 cup toffee baking bits (such as Heath)
**If making homemade toffee, see recipe below and make it ahead of time.**
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, and vanilla extract; set aside.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the ingredients 5 or 6 times to combine. Distribute the butter evenly over the top of the flour mixture and pulse another 5 or 6 times until the butter is cut to about pea sized. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add 1 cup of the toffee (or 1/2 cup toffee and chocolate chips). Pour in the heavy cream mixture and mix until the ingredients just come together as a dough. Pour the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and lightly pull any loose pieces together to form a more cohesive dough.
Once your dough is formed, shape it into a disk about an inch thick and 7 to 8 inches across. Using a sharp knife or a dough cutter, cut the disk into eight equal wedges and transfer them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with the 1 tablespoon and press the 1/3 cup toffee into the tops.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
Chocolate Coffee Toffee [Printable Version]
**For plain chocolate toffee, the coffee int his recipe can be omitted.))
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (margarine for vegan)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoons finely ground espresso
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, espresso, and salt. Stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches about 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, stirring constantly (be sure to get in the corners of the pan), until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. If necessary, use an offset or heatproof spatula to spread the candy evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then spread the now soft chocolate over the top of the toffee. Allow to cool completely before cutting or breaking into pieces.
Recipe by Darla