Double Chocolate Scones with Salted Peanut Butterscotch Glaze

It’s Sunday, and I’ve been making a concerted effort to differentiate weekdays from weekends during this pandemic. Read: extra baking. I happen to live with two men in their mid-twenties who will literally eat anything I put on the counter, so I’m fortunate enough that baked goods wind up in their mouths more frequently than my own. It doesn’t stop me from enjoying my fair share as well, though.

With that being said, I do still try to choose better options when baking, which is why you see me using coconut sugar in so many of my recipes. It’s one of the more affordable options when it comes to unrefined sugar products, and I genuinely just enjoy the taste more than conventional white sugar. The taste of coconut sugar resembles more of a brown sugar or caramel, and I love that about it. I use it daily in my coffee, and pretty much any time I need a sugar substitute. Basically, if you don’t have coconut sugar, you can *almost* always sub regular sugar in my recipes. The same rule applies to milk. In this recipe, I use vanilla almond milk for the scones and heavy cream for the butterscotch. Regular milk will work fine for the scones, unflavored almond milk will also work… use what you have. If you choose to use a plain, unflavored milk option, I would suggest adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract to replace the vanilla flavor you get from the almond milk. Similarly, the heavy cream in the butterscotch can easily be substituted for full fat coconut milk. As long as the consistencies are similar, it’s a pretty safe bet as a substitute.

Now back to the scones. As far as baking goes, scones are one of the easiest IMO. You literally can use your hands for the majority of the time, which means fewer spoons to clean, and they come together in about 5 minutes. They’re also great for the anxious baker, because you don’t have to stress about perfectly shaping the dough or perfectly drizzling the glaze. Guess what? They taste exactly the same no matter what shape or glaze pattern you choose.

One non-negotiable in this recipe: cold butter. I’m talking straight-from-the-fridge cold. If it’s too warm, or worse, melted, the dough won’t turn out right. The cold butter is also what allows the scones to become flaky during the baking process.

A few notes about the butterscotch glaze: When in doubt about the consistency of the butterscotch, it’s always safe to simmer it on the stove for an extra minute or so rather than to remove it from the heat too soon. It’s better for your glaze to be overly set than not set enough. You can substitute any nut butter you have on hand in this recipe and it will be delicious. You really can’t go wrong with butter, sugar, cream, and nut butter. Feel free to store excess butterscotch in a container in the fridge for up to a week. Spoon it over ice cream, add a dollop to your coffee, or just eat it with a spoon.

I hope you enjoy this Sunday baking project as much as I do. Don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!

For the Scones 

2 cups whole wheat flour

⅔ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup cocoa powder 

1 tsp espresso powder

½ cup coconut sugar

1 TBSP baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup cold salted butter (1 stick)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 

1 egg  

For the PB Butterscotch 

½ cup cold salted butter (1 stick)

1 ¼ cup coconut sugar 

¾ cup heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk to make dairy free) 

½ cup natural peanut butter (or other natural nut butter)

Instructions

  1. Make the scones. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
  3. Cube 1 stick cold butter into roughly 1/2 in pieces. Add cubed butter to flour mixture and toss to coat the butter with the flour. Using your fingers, work butter into flour mixture until it is pea-sized and evenly distributed throughout dough.
  4. Add chocolate chips to bowl and toss to combine.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the almond milk and eggs until combined, then pour into the well. Fold to combine, using a silicon spatula or your hands. The mixture will become cohesive and slightly moist throughout.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, dump out dough and fold over onto itself a few times. Using lightly floured hands, shape dough into two equal circles, each about 3/4 inch thick.
  7. Transfer dough circles to a rimmed sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut each circle into 6 equal pieces. Spread the pieces out slightly, keeping them in the circle with at least 1/2 inch between each piece. There will be 12 scones total.
  8. Top scones with a few more chocolate chips, if desired.
  9. Bake for 18-24 minutes. Total bake time really depends on your oven, so be sure to rotate the sheet tray halfway through cooking to ensure even baking and check on them frequently as the end time nears. The scones will have risen slightly and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when done.
  10. While the scones bake, make the butterscotch. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the other stick of butter.
  11. Once melted, add the coconut sugar and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks glossy.
  12. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add heavy cream, and continue whisking. The mixture will bubble, which is normal. Whisk constantly until the bubbling subsides and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  13. Remove butterscotch from the heat and whisk in peanut butter. Allow mixture to sit while scones bake, and whisk again before pouring over cooled scones. If the mixture tightens up too much while you wait for the scones, you may warm it slightly over low heat until it reaches a pourable texture again.
  14. Serve scones warm with whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or a glass of milk. Enjoy!

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits

Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits are light, comforting, filled with cheddar-y goodness, and easy as…..biscuits? They’re best fresh out of the oven, but if you have enough self-control to not eat all 8 in one sitting, they can definitely be stored for later. I recommend storing in a sealed container on the counter at room temperature for up to 3 days. If storing longer, transfer to the fridge after 3 days. To reheat, simply warm them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.

I serve these biscuits warm with a dollop of sour cream or butter, or alongside my Crispy Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs with Black Pepper Gravy to sop up that delicious creamy sauce. I hope you enjoy this simple baking project, and don’t forget to share and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram.

Ingredients needed to make Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits

Like most baking recipes, you need your classic flour, butter, etc. to get these biscuits just right. I use a ratio of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, specifics of which are described in the section titled “How to make Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits” below. For now, here’s what you’ll need to gather:

Tools used to make Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits

There’s not a whole lot of equipment required to make these biscuits. The most important piece of equipment is a clean, floured kitchen counter for folding and shaping the biscuit dough. Other than that, you’ll want to gather these pieces of equipment:

How to make Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits

This dough comes together unexpectedly, so be warned. It won’t look homogenous like a bread dough, and that’s kind of the point. The technical term is that the dough will look “shaggy” after the wet ingredients are added. The sour cream acts as our leavening agent when mixed with the baking soda, and the cold butter creates a solid barrier that, when melted, causes steam to rise and separate the dough to form little air pockets. In short: FLAKY LAYERS. Be weary of the amount of times you knead this dough, as the more you work the flour, the more time the gluten has to become tough. The best method is to use a swirling/folding technique to incorporate the ingredients while the dough is still in the bowl, and then knead it just a few times on your floured surface. Rolling the dough over onto itself, also known as lamination, is what creates those layers of solid butter upon solid butter that will puff up once in the oven, so don’t skip Step #8.

Another note: whole wheat flour, in my experience, tends to absorb liquid more easily and can lead to tougher baked good. So, the ratio in this recipe of 1.5 cups whole wheat to one cup AP flour is about as liberal as I’d go with your whole wheat usage. If you don’t have whole wheat, this recipe can easily be done using only AP flour. If you go that route, I would recommend using slightly less water in this recipe, maybe decreasing by a tablespoon. I haven’t tested this recipe using a gluten free flour, but I would recommend using a cup-for-cup option if you want gluten free. It should be fine if you follow all other aspects of the recipe.

I love to enjoy these biscuits fresh from the oven with a dollop of sour cream. They are so delicious!

Recipe Ingredients

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour, plus more to dust rolling surface

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup salted butter, cold (1½ sticks)

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 generous cup sour cream

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 TBSP water

Fresh ground black pepper, a few good turns

Optional: ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped 

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, coconut sugar, pepper) and whisk to combine.
  3. Cube butter into ½ inch pieces with a sharp knife. Set aside about 4 cubes in a small bowl to be melted later. 
  4. Drop butter cubes into the dry ingredients and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Using clean hands, squeeze and manipulate the butter into the flour to create small blueberry-sized pieces.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture and add the sour cream. Using a fork or butter knife, work the sour cream into the flour mixture by swirling and stirring to incorporate. The dough will not look homogenous. Add the cheddar cheese and water and repeat the swirling process. At this point, add chopped chives, if using.
  6. Using lightly floured hands, roll the dough over onto itself while still in the bowl. Then, dump the entire mixture onto a clean, floured surface such as your counter or a large cutting board. 
  7. Using your hands, knead the dough a few times to incorporate. Be careful not to knead more than a few times, or your biscuits may turn out tough rather than light and flaky. 
  8. Shape the dough into an oblong rectangle, as pictured below. Using a sharp knife dusted in flour, cut the dough in half and fold one half over onto itself. Then, press and shape the dough into an oblong rectangle again. 
  9. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces using the floured knife to avoid sticking and place biscuits onto a greased cookie sheet. Melt the reserved cubes of butter and brush or spoon over the tops of the biscuits. 
  10. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen slightly and are golden brown. 
  11. Serve for breakfast with a fried egg and extra chives for garnish. Alternatively, enjoy these as a snack with a dollop of sour cream or alongside my Crispy Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs with Black Pepper Gravy.

Citrus Ginger Green Smoothie

If you’re anything like me and, well, the rest of the population, you get hungry between lunch and dinner. It’s inevitable, regardless of how big of a lunch you eat. While I would gladly eat dinner at 5pm on the dot, my boyfriend isn’t quite so keen on that timing, seeing as he often doesn’t get home from work until 6:30 at the earliest. At the risk of eating dinner without him every night, I strategically pick afternoon snacks that are satisfying and delicious that aren’t too filling that I can’t eat a solid dinner later on.

This green smoothie is perfect. It’s healthy, loaded with immune-boosting ingredients, and colorful to boot. Plus, it’s sweet. Enough said. If you wanted to make this more of a meal rather than a snack, I would suggest beefing it up by adding something along the lines of half an avocado, a scoop of protein powder, or a banana.

Ingredients:

One small mango, peeled and pitted

5 frozen pineapple chunks

2 small oranges (clementines or mandarins work great), peeled

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lime

Heaping handful baby spinach

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Dash of cinnamon

Water, to cover

Instructions:

  1. In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and add water to cover.
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds or so until smooth and no chunks remain.
  3. Sip and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to post and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram. Thanks for stopping by!