One of my very best friends got a birthday this year. She turned 7. We celebrated by popping champagne and pigging out on desserts. No, I wasn’t illegally drinking with a 7 year old. She is a leap year baby and so has only had the opportunity to celebrate her glorious birth 7 times to date! I made these special scones in her honor, inventing the recipe by taking her favorite things and putting ALL OF THEM in a bowl and baking it.
So, to celebrate a great friend and her penchant for many things, I present to you: Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Scones.
Inspired by this simple scones recipe, I then added a cornucopia of other ingredients. The key to this recipe is to balance sweet and salty flavors and meld them into a flaky, buttery, melt in your mouth scone.
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt + pinch of sea salt (to sprinkle on top of the cooling scones)
8 tblsp unsalted butter (very COLD)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup crushed potato chips (original flavor)
1/3 cup crushed pretzels
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
2 tsp coffee grounds (espresso; finely ground – I used Lavazza)
Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda + powder, 1/2 tsp of salt. Then put the entire bowl in the freezer. The best thing you can do is keep everything you’re working with cold – the ingredients, bowls, fork, your hands. Those eating the scones will appreciate your sacrifice.
Take the butter out of the fridge (it’s best to leave the butter in the fridge until the last minute). You could also freeze the butter and use a food processor or cheese grater to add it to the dry ingredients. I prefer cutting the butter into small cubes (1/4in.). Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the cut butter. Stir together with a cold fork and then use your fingers or the fork to mash the butter into the flour. Work the cold butter through the flour mixture until it resembles damp (not wet) sand.
You should try to get the butter to pervade every bit of the flour so that if you squeezed a bit in your palm, it would hold together but then easily crumble apart.
Pro-tip: if using your hands to combine, use only the tips of your fingers to break apart the butter – the rest of your palm is too warm.
Once combined, stick the bowl back into the freezer. In the meantime, crush your potato chips/pretzels. Seal into a freezer bag and with your hands or a rolling pin, crush into fine pieces. Don’t go too crazy taking out your pent-up rage, you don’t want dust.
You want the pieces just small enough that people crunching into the texture dotting your scone will go: “By George… what is that delightful contrast?” (All my friends talk like they’re on Downton Abbey. Don’t yours?)
Finally, before you take the bowl out of the tundra, whisk the 1/3 cup of sour cream and 1 egg into a bowl until smooth. Now that your add-ins are ready, it is time to save that bowl from hypothermia. Add all the dry mix-ins to the bowl and then the sour cream/egg mixture and mix using the sides of the bowl to smush it all together.
It will seem like it won’t all come together and then magically somehow it will. Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface and pat it into a flat circle about 1-2in. thick.
Be gentle with it. As you alternate patting and smoothing you will create a round disk that can be cut into about 8-12 pieces, depending on how big you want your scones to be.
Transfer to a lined baking sheet (I use a silpat) and bake for 20-25 minutes, checking at 10 minutes and then at 5 minute intervals to make sure the scones are turning golden brown on top but not burning on the bottom.