Christmas Scones

I told my husband this year that I would make him anything he wanted for breakfast on Christmas morning.  We both really like scones, so he asked for chocolate and peppermint scones.  I admit, this didn’t sound all that appealing to me at the start, but I took on the challenge and I was very happy with the results.

Chocolate Scone with Peppermint Sugar

I started with a chocolate buttermilk scone base.  To add in some peppermint, but not so much as to make it a weird breakfast taste, I sprinkled the top of the scones with crushed candy canes instead of my usual coarse sugar.  The results were definitely repeatable.  The buttermilk chocolate scones were very moist, tender and light, almost like a chocolate cake but not as sweet.  The peppermint sugar added a nice crunch and a faint peppermint aroma and flavor.  Was this like having cake for breakfast?  Well, sort of.  But, so what!  It was a nice Christmas morning indulgence, one we’ll probably be repeating next year.

Chocolate Scones with Peppermint Sugar

1 Tbsp. hot water
1/2 tsp. espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. milk or cream
1 candy cane, finely crushed
1 tsp. sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the espresso powder and the hot water, stir well and allow to cool.   Combine the crushed candy cane with 1 tsp. of sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and sugar until thoroughly blended.  Work the butter into the dry ingredients just until the mixture is crumbly and has lumps the size of peas.  Add the chocolate chips, the buttermilk and the espresso mixture and stir with a fork just until a soft dough is formed.

Gently knead the mixture about 5 times on a lightly floured board to bring the dough together.  Pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick.  Brush the round with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with the candy cane mixture.  Cut the circle into 8 wedges and move each wedge to the prepared baking sheet.  The scones will rise and spread a bit so there should be some space in between them.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm.

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