Though there is no egg in the scones, the moist texture is similar to a muffin. Finely ground pecans add fabulous texture while the chocolate chips and vanilla add the wonderful flavor.
I used a medium-size round biscuit cutter, but a square cutter may be used as well. Any size will do.
If you like a less sweet scone, reduce the sugar to about 1/3 cup.
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 12 1/2 ounces
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free)
- dash salt (omit if you are using salted butter)
- 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips*
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for tops
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- granulated sugar or vanilla sugar
Cut the butter into small pieces and put on a plate in the freezer.
Spread the pecan halves out in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty. Remove to a plate and let them cool. Alternatively, toast the pecans on a baking sheet in a 400 F oven for about 5 minutes, turning about halfway through the cooking time. Remove the pecans to a plate to cool.
Heat the oven to 350 F or reduce the heat from 400 F to 350 F if you toasted the pecans in the oven.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt, if using, in the bowl of the food processor. Add the cooled pecans. Pulse until the mixture is fine.
Add the frozen pieces of butter to the flour and pecan mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles fine meal. Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl.
Stir the mini chocolate chips into the dry ingredients and then make a well in the center. Pour the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream into the center along with the vanilla extract. Blend the flour mixture into the cream with your hands until moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times, just enough to make a smooth ball. Do not overwork the dough.
With floured hands or a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. It will be about 10 to 12 inches in diameter.
With a round or square biscuit cutter — any size will do — cut out the scones. Gather the scraps of dough together and lightly press them together — again, not overworking — and cut out the remaining scones.
Place the cut-out scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them.
Brush the scones lightly with some heavy cream and sprinkle with plain granulated sugar or vanilla sugar.
Bake the scones for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until the scones are browned.
Makes about 2 dozen 2 1/2- to 3-inch round scones.
*Or use 6 ounces of good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped.
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