Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Scones (aka....The Death of Me)

 Oh no!  I have a confession to make.  I may have fallen off my food challenge for the month, but hey, I'm only human.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it though, because let's face it, things happen and as long as you don't let it define you, it's ok.  I'm proud to say that I'm back on track now.  I even bought a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies, to bake with, and haven't even opened them.  Now that's will power.

So what was the death of me?  Why exactly did I fall off the bandwagon, especially when I was going strong?  That's easy.....I made the biggest mistake I possibly could.  I baked Jeff these delicious looking chocolate chip cinnamon roll scones.  I thought I was being nice, and doing a good thing, so that he wouldn't just have to eat Pop Tarts for breakfast throughout the week.  Little did I know that they'd be my downfall.

I stayed strong for awhile.  When the scones were in the oven baking, they smelled delicious, when they came out of the oven they looked even better, and when I added the frosting and garnish of chocolate chips, that's when I really knew I was in trouble.  Yet I stayed strong.  It wasn't until the following day, when I was hungry, that I decided to cut one of the scones in half so that I could have it with my coffee.  And yes, that's right, I was still going to be good, so I cut it in half, but who was I kidding?  It was delicious that I ended up eating the other half too.

So, consider yourself warned.  Bake these scones at your own risk, but I promise you, they're definitely worth it if you decide to slip!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Scones

Makes about 16 scones

8 TBSP. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
½ cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1 TBSP. cinnamon

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 TBSP. baking powder
¼ - ½ tsp. salt
8 TBSP. cold butter, cut into slices
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 + ½ - ¾ cup half and half

4 oz. cream cheese (I always use 1/3rd less fat), softened
4 TBSP. butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1-3 tsp. milk

For the Filling:
In a small bowl, using a hand held mixer, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until smooth and creamy in appearance.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Next, cut in the butter slices until the mixture is crumbly in appearance.  You can use forks, knives, or a pastry blender for this.  Don’t judge, but I always end up using my fingers, because honestly, that’s what works the best for me.  Once ready, add in the chocolate chips and whisk around until they are evenly distributed.

Pour in 1 ¼ cup of the half and half and stir around with a wooden spoon until the ingredients start to come together.  Slowly add in the rest of the half and half, as needed (You might not need it all).  The ingredients should not be soggy in appearance, but instead, should form dryer looking dough.  *After the initial stirring of ingredients, I always use my hands to knead the dough together.*

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, or baking mat and roll out into a rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.  

After that, spread the cinnamon filling evenly out over the top of the dough.  Make sure that you leave room around the edges so that the filling doesn't overflow once you roll it up.  

Beginning with one of the long sides of the dough, roll it up to form a log.

Place the prepared dough into the refrigerator while you preheat the oven.  This will make the dough easier to cut into slices.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the dough log from the fridge and cut off the little ends (you could choose to discard them, but that’s yummy goodness you’d be throwing out, so why not bake them and enjoy).  Slice the dough into about 1-inch thick pieces and place them onto the prepared baking sheet(s). 

Place the baking sheet(s) into the oven and let bake for 20-22 minutes or until the scones are lightly golden around the edges.  Make sure to rotate pans halfway through baking.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.  After that, remove the scones to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the Icing:
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter, using a hand held mixer.  Once ready, it should be smooth and creamy in texture.  Now, add in the sugar, vanilla, and 1 tsp. of the milk.  Begin by beating on low and increase the speed as needed.  Add in more milk until you reach your desired consistency of icing.  I liked mine a little thick, so I stuck to only 1 tsp. of milk.

Place the icing into a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag, and cut off the tip.  Drizzle it over the scones and garnish with some extra mini chocolate chips. 

Goes great with a cup of coffee!  Enjoy!


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