Good day all! Let’s have a summer story.
Over 4th of July, my brother and his family came to visit from New York. They are pretty awesome. My bro, his wife and their almost 8-year-old are basically the smartest people I know and we had a great time hanging out, playing board games and catching up on life. While they were in town, sister-in-law and I, naturally, got to talking about pregnancy, childbirth and the whole “How the hell am I supposed to keep this child alive?” part of being a baby lady. She told me that the best thing she did was big batch baking. She said that while she was nursing, especially in those first few weeks, some nights she would be up and starving but because it was 3am, nothing sounded good.
Chocolate Chip Scones. Specifically, the chocolate chip scones featured in the book The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge.
She raved about these scones. You start by making a big batch of the scone mix, then make single batches of scones out of that. “Oh but Jessica, I won’t eat a whole batch of scones before they go bad…I’ve tried and failed.” No. You guys. Listen. Here is the beauty of this whole thing.
You freeze them. You freeze them and then pop them out of the freezer and heat them up when you need a little something in the afternoon, or the middle of the night, or for breakfast. I keep hearing that during the first months of this whole parenting situation, I’m going to be a zombie and won’t want to cook or bake, so being able to just grab a quick snack out of the freezer is going to be super amazing. They keep up to 3 months once they’ve been baked and, according to Ann, they are going to save my life. She believes in these scones so much, she and my brother bought me a copy of the book so I could experience the magic for myself.
Like I said. One of the smartest people I know. She says do it, I do it. Let’s get started!
Sift flour into a large tupperware container that you know you can seal. Not one of those that you’re like, Oh…I swear I have a freaking lid for this somewhere. No. Make sure you actually have the lid. Anyway, sift the flour in, then add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk it all together.
Label it and store it. You can just walk away. For like, 2 months! It will keep for 2 months!
See! Look at the label. Seriously though, you should actually date this stuff. You’ll forget when you made it then you’ll have not good scones. Which is not good.
Ok. Let’s say you made your big batch of dry mix and now you’re like, Hm. It’s time for making of the scones. First, put your butter in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes (I promise this makes sense). Then, you grab the mix and get a move on. Give it a good whisk to wake up the ingredients and carefully measure out what you need for just one batch of these bad boys. Then, grate, yes grate, the butter into the mix. With a cheese grater. It ensures the pieces are even and small which gives lovely layers of buttery goodness in your scones.
Pretty groovy huh? 🙂
Since you’ve been grating that butter and it’s Kansas City in July, it’s crazy hot. You don’t want this butter to melt. It makes for sad scones. Put that bowl back in the freezer for 5 minutes (or 10 if you are me and your bestie came over so you showed her the progress you’ve made on the nursery since the last time she was over). Once you have finished shower her the changing table that you got for free from another friend, take the bowl out of the freezer and toss the butter in the flour mix until all the butter bits are coated in scone mix. But toss them gently! Gently! Like how Westley from The Princess Bride requested Buttercup treat him after she found him in her room and he had like, just (ish) woken up from that coma. #blahblahbride
It should look about like this. If tossing the butter bits resulted in them getting a bit bigger than pea sized, you might go through with your hands and break some of them up. Don’t spend 10 years on it though. Heat is the enemy here and your hands are full of it. I’m not hitting on you or anything, it’s just science.
But I’m sure your hands are hot.
Add the chocolate chips and fold them into the mixture, then pour in vanilla and buttermilk.
Stir to combine until ingredients are incorporated and the dough just comes together. Keep an eye on it and try not to overmix. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough can be formed into a medium sized disc and will hold it’s shape. Using whatever implement you feel comfy with, I used a pizza cutter, slice into 8 equal slices. Or if you are me, 8 equal-ish sized slices.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes. Mine took exactly 18, but your mileage may vary depending on your oven.
Let them cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before freezing.
OMG! Millennium Falcon scones!!! I didn’t do this on purpose, I swear, but I was really excited when I realized what happened. I might have started humming the Star Wars theme at home. In my kitchen. By myself.
Now, if you wanna eat them, go for it once they are cool enough to handle. I had one and my husband and a couple friends who were over also snacked on them. Good reviews all around. Nommy treats. Hurrah. However, I’m also excited about the freezing part. So, to freeze. Get a large zip top bag and label it with both the date baked and the expiration date, which is in about 3 months. Pop them in there and place in the freezer. Make sure they are completely cooled before doing this though. If they are even warm, they could potentially raise the temperature of foods around them in the freezer- no good. It can also alter the texture and flavor of the scones.
And that’s that! When you are ready to enjoy your delightful scones, take them out of the freezer and place in a skillet over medium heat covered with a lid until warmed through. Need more scones? Bust out that mix you pre made and make some more. Easy as pie.
Nosh on, friends!
Chocolate Chip Scones
Yield: Mix yields 4 batches, each single batch yields 8 scones Prep: 15-20 minutes Bake: 18-20 minutes
9 cups flour (sifted)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
For one batch of scones
2 1/2 cups dry mix
1 stick unsalted butter (frozen and cut in half)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Move your oven rack to the middle of your oven and preheat to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place butter in freezer for later.
- In a large tupperware container, sift the flour for the dry mix. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Label lid of tupperware with date made and note that the mix is good for about 2 months after you have made it.
- To make one batch of scones, measure out 2 1/2 cups dry mix into a large mixing bowl. Take butter from freezer and grate into dry mix.
- Once all the butter has been grated, place entire mixing bowl back in the freezer for about 5 minutes so butter can reset. Then remove bowl from freezer and toss gently to ensure all butter bits are coated in the dry mix.
- Add chocolate chips and stir gently to combine.
- Drizzle buttermilk and vanilla into mixing bowl and stir until all ingredients are incorporated and dough just starts to come together.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough can be formed into a disc and will hold it’s own shape.
- Cut into 8 evenly(ish) sized slices.
- Space wedges on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges are golden brown (about 18-20 minutes).
- Place baking sheet on a rack to cool for 5 minutes then carefully transfer scones to a wire rack to cool completely before freezing. Or, or or, if you aren’t freezing them, you can just eat them and enjoy them now.
- If freezing, label a baggie with the baking date. Place completely cooled scones inside bag and get as much extra air out of the bag as possible. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place scones in a skillet over medium heat with a lid on top. Allow to heat until they are warmed through.