Maple walnut, chocolate chip and sea salt scones

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A few weeks ago I wrote about my quest to stay away from the coffee chain that shall remain nameless and bake my own breakfast pastries. And yet, no sooner had I finished that tray of lemony muffins that I was back through the doors of that exact same coffee chain. Yes, there were plenty of early starts and late finishes at work (typically both in the same day, never a good combination), but that by itself is no excuse to not buy oatmeal instead of a sugar-laden pastry.

So, last weekend I found myself standing in the kitchen willing to be better prepared for the work week. I had come across a recipe for chocolate walnut biscotti and although I did not bookmark the recipe, the flavour combination stayed with me and, having no eggs on hand, I thought about making chocolate chip and walnut scones. And I added some sea salt because what does not taste better thanks to the addition of sea salt!

I looked at a few recipes before cobbling together my own. Although I stuck to the proportion of fat to flour, I wanted to use strong wholemeal bread flour (to make the scones a tad healthier and give them a bit more staying power) and reduced the sugar slightly as I figured the flavours of the chocolate and walnut were strong enough on their own.

Ingredients, enough for 12 small scones or 24 mini scones

1 cup wholemeal bread flour, 3/4 cup unbleached white bread flour
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar (I used half sugar, half maple syrup for a more subtle sweetness and to complement the walnuts)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chocolate, chopped
1 tsp fleur de sel

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Mix the two types of flour in a bowl together with the baking powder, the salt, the chopped walnuts and the chopped chocolate.

3. Chop the cold butter into small chunks and add to the flower. Using a pastrycutter or a knife, cut the butter into the flour mix. The trick is to work quickly and not overwork the dough has this will ensure that the scones have that buttery flakiness everyone loves. At some point I usually end up getting my hands dirty to rub the butter into the flour by hand so that the whole mix starts resembling sand.

4. Mix the milk with the sugar and the maple syrup (if using). Pour over your flour and butter mix and quickly combine with your hands to a ball. Don’t worry if the dough is a bit sticky or floury in places, this all evens out in the oven.

5. Place the ball of dough onto waxed paper. Roll out to a circle, ca. 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 12 rectangles (or 8 if you are feeling hungry). Carefully separate the triangles so they do not stick together in the oven. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and bake for ca. 15 minutes.

Best served with a steaming cup of coffee…

… silly but true, but the weathered look of my Mokka plus the old fashioned storage jar I keep my coffee in makes me positively happy.

If you are feeling decadent, feel free to pair your scones with some butter, honey and sea salt.

Now that is the way a new work week can start.

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