Sunday, January 24, 2010

Recipe For Banana, Espresso, and Chocolate Chip Scones

banana, espresso, and chocolate chip scones

It rained all week here. Thank God.

Sometimes I feel like I live in a terrarium: there is no weather in San Diego. As a New Englander, it's nice sometimes to experience rain, sleet, cold, you know, weather.

This was obvious to me when it rained every day last week, the first time that has happened in over a year. Standing at my window with my cup of coffee in hand, I watched the dark clouds roll in. Like something in a brown bear that just knows it's time to hibernate, something in me knew it was time to make scones. 

I could have been on a Discovery Channel program: The camera peers in on me; I'm exiting the pantry closet, arms weighed down by flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and whatever else I could put into a baked good. A Bear Grylls-like voice over says, "See here as the young woman sensing the imminent rain cannot suppress her instinct to make scones."
As the rain fell, I instinctively added banana, espresso, and chocolate chips to my scones. I could not say why, I just knew it was the right thing to do. With a high butter content and ripe mashed bananas, their texture is moist yet flaky and not too crumbly. And the flavor is sweet yet bold like a chocolate biscotti dunked in a caffe macchiato.

It's sunny here again. But I've made enough scones to last all winter. I'll just sit here and rest until I see clouds again on the horizon.

Banana, Espresso, and Chocolate Chip Scones
Makes 6 large or 8 small scones
Print recipe only here.

1/3 cup heavy cream of half 'n half
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup very ripe mashed bananas 
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
egg wash: 1 egg, lightly beaten OR 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon milk, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place oven racks in top and bottom thirds of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk cream and egg; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon. Add chilled butter, and mix with a pastry blender or fork until a coarse meal forms with tiny pea-sized butter pieces. Mix in bananas and chocolate chips. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and, using a spoon, mix until just combined. Do not over mix, or the dough will become leaden.

4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disk, about 1/2-inch thick. With a wet knife (to make slicing easier) cut the dough into 6 large triangles (or 8 smaller ones). Place scones on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

5. Brush egg wash over the tops of the scones. Bake scones for 20-22 minutes, rotating pans mid-way through. Bake until puffed and golden; transfer to a rack to cool.

You might also enjoy these baked goods from Food Blogga:
Pear and Cardamom Cake
Upside-Down Clementine Cake
Coconut Lemonquat Tea Cake
Orange, Walnut, and Chocolate Chip Muffins
Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Sticky Maple Syrup Glaze
Here are more scone recipes you might enjoy:
Truly Great Scones recipe at Chubby Hubby
Meyer Lemon Scones recipe at Baking Bites
Peanut Butter and Jelly Scones recipe at Cookography
Maple Oatmeal Scones recipe at Brown-Eyed Baker
White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Scones recipe at David Lebovitz
Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Scones recipe at A Mingling of Tastes