Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

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It’s a bit of a struggle to sit here and type this post. As much as I love putting together new recipes for my readers, there is something outside right now that makes me want to gravitate to the front door and step out. It’s something that rarely shows up around here, and brings with it warmth and hope and vitamins and general all-around happiness. Yep, I’m talking about the sun. Sadly, it tends to hide beneath a thick layer of gray clouds for about 9 months of the year around here, and when it finally shows its face it’s pretty much cause for celebration. While the Pacific Northwest is home to tons of amazing things such as the Cascade and Olympic mountains, apple orchards, the first Starbucks, Macklemore, and of course the ocean, it doesn’t have much to boast about when it comes to days of sunshine, contrary to what those touristy travel brochures will tell you. You know it’s the truth when the first sunny day of spring results in your entire newsfeed on Facebook being filled with nothing but statuses about the sun. Sad, yet true.

If I had any sense at all, I’d be cutting to the chase right about now so I can go outside and enjoy this beautiful, blue-skyed day! Here’s the gist of it:

-I’ve been trying to branch out from trying so many recipes off of blogs, Pinterest, and other Internet sources and instead experience the old-fashioned baking nostalgia that can only come from following a recipe off of a real-life, 3-dimensional, flour-stained cookbook. So instead of scouring my millions of bookmarked recipes-to-try, I pulled out my copy of The Joy of Cooking and leafed through the pages until I found….

-Orange Chocolate Chip Scones, today’s featured recipe. Perfect for spring, perfect for breakfast, brunch, snacks, desserts…the list goes on and on. Tender, slightly flaky, not-too-sweet scones with a dose of fresh orange zest and decadent dark chocolate make for a fabulous Saturday morning treat. Or a Sunday brunch addition. Or a late-night snack on Monday. You get the point…

-Don’t skimp on the chocolate here. Dark chocolate and orange is my favorite combo, but use whatever type you like. Just make sure it’s good-quality chocolate, since the orange zest and chocolate are the major players here. The combination is so good. So very, very good.

-I’m going to go enjoy my sun now, before it disappears. Happy scone-making!

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Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

3 Tbs granulated sugar*

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 large eggs

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 Tbs fresh orange zest

1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Sugar, for sprinkling

*If you like sweeter scones, add in an extra tablespoon or two of sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the cold butter until it’s the size of small peas.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Reserve 2 Tbs of the beaten eggs. Whisk the cream into the remaining eggs. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg/cream mixture, the orange zest, and the chocolate chips. Gently fold the mixture together until barely combined. Be careful not to over-mix, or the scones will be tough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or a silicone baking mat. The dough should stick together but still be pretty “shaggy.” If it’s way too dry, drizzle a little cream onto the dough, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until it can be patted into a disc. Pat the dough into an 8-inch circle and then cut into 8-12 wedges. If you’re using a silicone mat, just slip the mat onto a cookie sheet and slightly separate the wedges. Otherwise, place the wedges onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Brush the scones with reserved eggs and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until tops are golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. These are best eaten the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

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(Recipe from the 75th Anniversary-edition of The Joy of Cooking)

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