This week felt like winter has finally settled in. Weirdly enough, the last two weeks of November felt colder than it is right now, but the gloomy days of December make me want to snuggle up under a blanket and enjoy the couch. Falling a little ill this week didn’t make it any better either. My roommates are also starting and finishing finals this week, so the stress is a tad-bit tangible. All of these lovely ingredients mixed together makes for one of those weeks you wish was just over.
Now, butter, sugar, flour, pears, and chocolate… mix those ingredients together and you get something way better than an unfortunate week. You get scones from Smitten Kitchen, and that is something that everybody wants.
Scones are quite frankly one of my favorite baked goods. I remember when my mom used to make them. They were simple, yet delicious. They were usually made with a little bit of orange zest, or maybe a little cinnamon sugar dusted on the top, but even just a plain scone fresh out of the oven was enough to make me a happy camper. Mondays have also become my days for baking. The group gets together to play some MTG, I bring some baked goods along, and it is nothing short of a great time. The guys I play with are my co-workers as well, and they are hilarious. Just this last Monday, we were in the middle of an intense game, I made some weird snake noise with my mouth (because, you know, normal people stuff) and it turned into this long tangent of who knows what, and I was laughing so hard I was in tears. I love cooking, that much is obvious, but sharing it with people, that what makes it worth it.
As mentioned above, this recipe comes from the wonderful Smitten Kitchen, and I’ll leave it here as well.
Roasted Pear and Chocolate Scones
3 firm pears (about a 1lb.) peeled, cored, and cut into 1″ cubes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling over the top
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch for the egg wash
6 tablespoons of butter, cut into small cubes (the smaller the better I think)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (3 oz.) chopped semisweet chocolate
2 large eggs, 1 for dough, 1 for egg wash
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pears on the baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until pears feel dry and are tad brown. Remove the pears from the oven and let cool. You may slide the parchment paper with the pears onto a cooling rack, or if you have room, put the pears on a plate into the fridge/freezer to cool faster. The pears should be lukewarm after cooling.
In an electric mixer or bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Toss in the lukewarm pear chunks, cubes of butter, egg, and heavy cream. Mix until the dough comes together. Then add the chocolate and mix for a few more seconds.
Note: This is much easier with an electric mixer, but doable by hand. If you use your hands, add a tablespoon extra heavy cream to help bring the dough together, and using your hands, mold the pears into the dough.
On a well floured counter top, pat the dough out into a 6″ round. This will make 6 large scones, or you can cut them a bit smaller if you would like more out of a single recipe (I suggest just doing two recipes though, the large scones are so satisfying). Place the cut out dough back onto the lined baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Whisk the remaining one egg with a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt. Brush the tops of each scone and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Bake scones until golden, about 30 minutes.
I made these fresh, but Deb from Smitten Kitchen says you can make this recipe up until just before putting them in the oven, and freeze the dough overnight for later use. She is a pretty smart cookie over at Smitten Kitchen, so I believe her 😉