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Sweetheart Scones

Servings: Makes 10 scones
A basket of warm and fragrant heart shaped scones will make sleepy heads rise and shine on Valentine's Day. These buttery biscuits, studded with currants or chocolate chips and scented with orange zest, are delicious on their own or served with whipped cream or double or clotted cream and fresh strawberries. If you're an early bird, you can marinate the currants in orange juice for 30 minutes, then strain before adding to the dry ingredients.

Those who are French at heart love to linger over breakfast, especially one that includes warm breakfast bread, croissants or scones filled with bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. Wherever you wake, pretend you're in Paris with the luscious chocolate filled scone variation (Chocolate Filled Scone variation follows recipe).

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/3 oz./85g) unsalted butter, frozen
1 teaspoon grated or finely minced orange zest
3/4 cup currants or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup half and half (half cream/half milk)

Serve scones with:
Whipped cream, double cream or clotted cream and fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Set aside a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended. Using the large holes of a grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. With a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingertips, work the pieces into the flour for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The bits of butter should still be cool to the touch. Toss in the zest and the currants or chocolate chips. Combine the egg and half and half, and stir into the flour mixture until the dough holds together. Do not overmix.

Dust your hands with flour and loosely gather the dough into a ball. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently two or three times. Lightly pat or roll the dough 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Dip a 2 1/2-inch heart or muffin cutter into flour, and cut out the scones. Place on the baking sheet and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with cream and strawberries.

Makes 10 scones.


Chocolate Filled Scones

Follow the recipe above, omitting the currants or chocolate chips and continuing as directed, rolling the dough 1 inch thick. Cut out six scones with a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Immediately make a horizontal slit into each scone, leaving a hinge of crust to hold the two halves together. Insert a portion of bittersweet chocolate bar (I like Perugina, Scharffen Berger, or Lindt) that is slightly larger than the opening, allowing a slip of chocolate to show. Wait 1 minute for the chocolate to slightly warm before serving with a napkin. The chocolate will retain its shape, until the first bite.

Nutritional Information for Sweetheart Scones (not chocolate filled version)

Serving size: 1 scone
Calories: 208
Fat: 10g
Carbohydrates: 26g
Cholesterol: 47mg
Sodium: 99mg
Protein: 4g
Fiber: 1g
% Cal. from Fat: 43%
% Cal. from Carbs: 50%

Source: Cooking.com
Date: January 10, 2003