Orange Chocolate Scones

I love breakfast. A lot. Saturdays are my favorite not only for the obvious reason that I don’t have to be rudely awakened from my slumber by an alarm, but because Ryan and I get to spend the morning making coffee and whipping up something delicious in the kitchen.

I like to think this romance with breakfast blossomed in high school when I worked at a coffee shop and bakery, Sunrise Bakery, in the little ol' town of Titusville, Florida. Almost everything at the bakery was made from scratch, including a delectable assortment of breads, muffins, scones, and cinnamon rolls. I have such fond memories of my first job, despite the fact that I arrived to work at 6am (looking back on it, I’m amazed that I was able to pull my high school self out of bed at 5:15 am 3 days a week). When I walked into the bakery each morning, I was instantly greeted by the smell of warm bread, fresh from the oven and standing at attention on cooling racks, waiting patiently to be sliced, wrapped, and put on the shelves. Morning Edition was always playing on NPR while regulars trickled in for “the usual” before heading off to work…it was lovely. 

In addition to chugging way too much coffee in the morning, I usually helped myself to a scone or muffin before heading off to school around 8am. One of my all-time favorites served at the bakery was an orange chocolate chunk scone. It was flaky, full of ginormous chunks of chocolate, with just a tinge of orange zest to round things out. In a word, it was heaven.

So, in honor of my first post, I decided to recreate the orange chocolate scones of my high school years so that you can taste where this little culinary passion of mine began. These guys are the perfect addition to a brunch with friends, or to enjoy all by yourself if you don’t feel like sharing (I won't judge either way). 

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Orange Chocolate Scones
Makes 12 scones
Recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

For the dough:
1 and 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c sugar
3/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 c cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 c semi-sweet chocolate chunks
3 candied orange peels, diced (recipe)
2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk

For the topping:
2 tsp milk
2 tbsp turbinado sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the chocolate chips and diced orange peel, mixing until combined. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough holds together and ingredients are incorporated.

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit of flour. Scrape the dough onto the parchment and divide the dough in half. Roll out each half into a 6” circle (circles should be about ¾” thick). Brush each circle with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Using a knife (run knife under cold water first), slice each circle into 6 wedges. Pull the wedges away from the center to separate them (they’ll puff up as they bake so they need a little breathing room).

 Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered (fun fact courtesy of King Arthur: putting the scones in the freezer relaxes the gluten in the flour, allowing them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, giving the scones a more flaky texture).

While you’re waiting, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake scones for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.