Monday, March 20, 2006

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Peanut butter can go on scones, but isn't usually a part of the scone. It is a fairly dense product and the goal of a scone is to be light and tender. If you treat the peanut butter like butter, however, and cut it in to the flour mixture, you can create a scone that is not only tender but that has a peanut butter flavor.
The peanut butter flavor is not as strong as it would be if you simply smeared a few tablespoons of peanut butter onto your scone because it is incorporated with the flour and the butter, so it is possible that someone tasting these might simply think that they were eating an unusually rich-tasting scone without identifying the source of the flavor. The majority of people, though, will recognise the peanut butter flavor. They'll like it, too.
A food processor is the best way to bring all the ingredients together in this recipe because the peanut butter is a bit hard to handle by hand. If you have one of those tools that is used to cut butter into flour, that will work, too. Try not to use your fingers.
These scones are light, with a definite melt-in-your-mouth quality from all the butter and peanut butter in them. Make a batch and take them into the office to share with your coworkers. They make great snacks and are less suited to putting butter or cream on them, though I suspect you could get away with jelly or jam, should you be so inclined. The mini chocolate chips add just the right amount of chocolate, in my opinion, and I would recommend using them instead of full-sized chocolate chips if you can get them. They're delicious!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones
3 cups ap flour
1 tbsp paking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
10 tbsp butter, cold and cut into 10 pieces
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/8 cup milk (1 c + 2 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add butter and peanut butter and pulse a few times, until mixture resembles very large, coarse crumbs. Add mini chocolate chips.
Combine milk and vanilla extract. With the motor of the food processor running, pour in milk. Stop when the dough starts to come together into a ball. Try not to fun the food processor any more than necessary.
Divide dough into three or four pieces and pat each piece into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut each circle of dough into 4 or 5 pieces, to make 16 triangular scones. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 16-20 minutes at 400F, until light golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container if not eating right away.
The scones are best within two days of baking made.
Makes 16 scones.