Introduction: Valentine Scones
Valentine’s Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship and these fluffy and gorgeous looking Valentine Scones are created just for this special day which falls on February 14 every year. Valentine Scones with miniature chocolate chips added, are specially tinted red and cut out into heart shapes to make them more festive to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
260 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
113 grams butter cold and cut into cubes
90 grams chocolate chips
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp red food colour
Step 1: First, Preheat Oven to 200 Degree C and Place Rack in Middle of Oven.
Preheating the oven is especially important for baking. By preheating the oven,we allow it time to reach the correct temperature in order to bake the scones perfectly. A preheated oven will cook the scones all the way to its centre before the outside of the scones gets burnt.
In general, the middle of the oven is best for even baking. So placing rack in the centre of oven during baking allows for even baking and overall same baking time.
Step 2: Line a Baking Sheet With Parchment Paper.
Placing scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ensures the baked scones will not stick to the baking sheet. There is no need to use cooking spray and add extra grease and the baking sheet is much easier to clean as you can just throw the parchment paper away when you're done. Also, scones baked more evenly and slight right off of the paper when baked.
Step 3: Mix the DRY Ingredients Together.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until everything is well-blended.
Step 4: Rub Cold Butter Cubes Into the Flour Mixture.
The butter should be well chilled and cut into cubes before you rub it into the flour. Warm butter will not distribute properly.
Cut the butter into small cubes and blend the COLD butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter till it resembles coarse crumbs. Cutting the butter will make it more manageable and easier to mix. You can use a pastry cutter, food processor or even your hands to rub the cold butter into the flour. Just be sure to work fast so as not to raise the temperature with the heat of your hands. You really want to keep everything cold.
Step 5: Next, Stir in the Chocolate Chips and Set Aside.
To make chocolate chip scones, add the chocolate chips into the coarse crumb mixture and stir.
Step 6: Mix All the WET Ingredients Together.
In a small measuring cup containing buttermilk, add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then, add in 1/2 teaspoon of red food colour and whisk everything together till well mixed.
The vanilla gives flavour to the scones and the buttermilk adds tenderness and moisture to the scones. The red food colour makes the scones tinge red, perfect for valentine.
Step 7: Add Into the Flour Mixture.
After the flour/butter mixture resembles coarse crumbs, then gently add in the WET buttermilk mixture a little at a time and mix it. You may end up using all, a little less or more of the buttermilk mixture.
Step 8: Stir With a Rubber Spatula.
Scones need a very light touch so mix very gently together. Stir JUST until the dough comes together and a soft dough is formed. The trick to light textured scones is to avoid over mixing the dough. When you over mix the dough, it will over develop the gluten making it tough. This will result in tough, overly-dense scones.
Step 9: Then Transfer the Dough to a Lightly Floured Surface.
The dough should be very lightly kneaded on a floured surface, just enough to form the scones. The lighter and quicker this is, the better so pat the dough into a circle about 7 inches round and 1 1/2 inches thick. Do not have it too thin or it will not rise enough. However, bear in mind that the thicker the dough, the longer it will need to bake. Make sure the dough is not too dry. It should be a bit more sticky than a shortcrust pastry.
Step 10: Cut Into Pieces With Cookie Cutter.
Dust the cookie cutter with some flour. Cut out heart shapes with the heart-shaped cookie cutter. Gather scraps and cut out additional heart shapes until all the dough is used up. Avoid twisting the scone cutter when stamping out the heart shapes. This can cause them to rise lopsidedly.
There are several ways you can cut the scones.
1. Using a cookie cutter (like above) of any shapes.
2. Pat the dough into a circle and then slicing it into eight wedges like a pizza or pie ( traditional scones ).
3. Using a sharp knife to cut the scones into squares.
Step 11: Place the Heart Shaped Scones on the Prepared Baking Sheet.
Transfer the scones evenly spaced about 1 inch apart on the parchment-lined, ungreased and cool baking sheet. The cool baking sheet will prevent the scones from melting and spreading before baking. The parchment paper will prevent the scones from sticking to the baking sheet.
Step 12: Glaze and Decorate the Scones.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Dip a brush into the milk and lightly brush over the tops of the scones. This helps in browning and gives the scones a shiny-texture when baked. Then decorate with tiny sugar hearts.
Step 13: Bake in Preheated Oven.
Bake the scones as soon as you can after combining the dry and wet ingredients. If you want to prepare beforehand, rub the butter into the other dry ingredients first but only add the wet ingredients when about to bake.
Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
For best results, bake scones on the middle shelf in the oven. Everyone's oven is different, so if the scones are baking flat and spreading out, adjust to a slightly higher temperature. Or, if the scones are not rising properly, lower the temperature slightly.
(In general, scones with fruit may take a little longer to bake than other scones).
Step 14: Remove the Baking Sheet From Oven and Cool Slightly on Wire Rack.
When baked, remove them from the oven and let them sit on wire rack for 5 minutes to firm before removing them from the baking sheet.
Step 15: Then Transfer the Baked Scones Onto a Wire Rack to Cool. and We're Done!
Carefully lift the scones off the baking sheet using a spatula and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Step 16: Serve the Scones.
You can serve the scones plain or with clotted cream, butter and jam. To keep scones soft, wrap them in a clean tea towel immediately after baking. For crispier scones, leave them to cool uncovered on a wire rack. Scones are best eaten the day they are made but they do freeze well. Thaw them at room temperature and brush with a little milk before reheating in a 180 degree C oven for 10 minutes.
Scones can also be re-toasted in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes the day after to get the outside crunchy yet still remain moist in the centre.
As always, ENJOY!
Runner Up in the
Valentine's Day Challenge 2016