Chocolate for breakfast? Why, of course! These are rich and very chocolatey, with both cocoa as well as semisweet chocolate chunks. Because these are all about the chocolate flavor, use high-quality cocoa and chocolate. Our favorites for this chocolate scones recipe are Scharffen Berger cocoa and Valrhona Equitoriale chocolate. Our one concession, to make them more breakfast-like, is that they are not overly sweet. Like all scones, these are easy to make – they key is to not overwork the dough – and are best when eaten as fresh as possible. The cinnamon butter is optional, but a nice addition and can be made several days ahead and refrigerated until needed.
The directions are for making these with a stand mixer. You can certainly make them by hand but cutting in the butter with a pastry blender. Just use the visual cues for what the dough should look like along the way.
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sifted natural cocoa, such as Scharffen Berger or Ghiradelli
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into ¼ to ½-inch chunks, such Valrhona Equitoriale (55%) or Callebaut semisweet (set aside 1 of the 6 ounces for the top of the scones – you can do this by eye)
- For the Butter: Stir together all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Pack into a decorative serving crock or small ramekin. May be used immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead.
- For the Scones: Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Whisk the cream and egg together in a small bowl; set aside. Place flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt in the stand mixer’s bowl and combine on low speed using its flat paddle attachment. Add butter and pulse on and off until it forms a very coarse meal; there might be pockets of butter that are larger, which is fine. Drizzle in cream mixture with mixer running on low speed and mix until it is about halfway combined. Add 5 ounces of chocolate chunks and pulse on and off just until dough comes together.
- Turn dough out onto work surface and knead briefly just until it comes together. Place dough on prepared pan and pat down into a large patty about 1 inch deep and about 7 ½ inches across. Cut into 8 even wedges, and barely separate the wedges by wiggling your knife back and forth. There should be about an ⅛-inch to ¼-inch of space between each scone. Take reserved 1 ounce of chocolate and press chunks here and there on top of scones.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until dry to the touch and a toothpick just tests clean. If pressed gently, the scone will still have some give to it (you cannot go by color as they are so dark to begin with). Place pan on rack and cool for about 5 minutes. These are best served warm from the oven or, at the very least, the same day they are baked. They can be stored loosely wrapped in aluminum foil for up to 1 day and reheated in a toaster oven – but only if you must. Serve with Cinnamon Butter alongside.