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.
The pictured scones were cut out with 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 or less.
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 5 ounces butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons, chilled)
- 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*
- 9 ounces heavy cream (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the Topping
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar (granulated, vanilla-flavored, or coarse)
- 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.