All-American Chocolate Chip Scones

This is a recipe for delicious chocolate chip scones. They have a crispy exterior and a tender interior and are studded with mini chocolate chips. When we make them for breakfast, our kids think they have won the lottery.

About this Chocolate Chip Scone Recipe

American scones must have, at some point, descended from the British version, which food historians tell us date back to the 17th or 18th century and were originally a relatively savory cake, made with oats, and cooked on the hearth. Today, when Britons make scones, they are minimally sweet, cylindrically shaped, studded with currants, and served with clotted cream and jam. It’s a mystery how American bakers took this baked item and transformed it into the glorified cookie form in which it exists today. Needless to say, we’re glad they did. In our endless pursuit of dessert options for all meals, this recipe is a key ingredient (pun intended) for a breakfast sugar high. If you’re not in the mood for chocolate today, take a look at these waffles — they are equally sweet and an equally inappropriate way to start your day!

A Note About Pastry Cutters

This recipe is a great excuse to buy a pastry cutter. They are cheap, and they will ensure that you never overmix the butter into your biscuit or scone again. Biscuits and scones rely partly on steam from the chunks of melting butter to help them rise, so you want to be sure you leave some big hunks in there to (ironically) make the final baked good lighter.

We’ve included instructions for a version of this recipe that uses a food processor, rather than a pastry cutter. While this version is certainly expedient, it would make professional bakers past turn over in their graves as it has a very high risk of over-cutting the butter and over-mixing in the liquid. You must be very careful to not be trigger-happy with the pulsing! A third option, not listed here because it’s so darn tedious, is to grate frozen butter and stir that into the dry ingredients.

Sconing About

On a scone kick? Beset by a unexplainable desire to learn more about the history of scones? Wondering why we love pastry cutters so much? Never fear, we’re here to help. Check out these delicious scone options that will also provide answers to your burning scone-adjacent questions:

Recipe Facts

  • Yield: 12 scrumptiously large scones
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk (plus 2 Tbsp for brushing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Directions for Chocolate Chip Scones

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Method with a pastry cutter:

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces (roughly 1/4-inch cubes) and toss into the bowl with dry ingredients.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is roughly pea sized (1/8-inch).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, heavy cream, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and use a fork to stir until the dough begins to come together in a ball. Do not overmix!
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.

Method with a food processor:

  1. Pour the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to food processor. Pulse a few times (do not over mix!) until the butter is roughly 1/4 inch sized.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, heavy cream, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the food processor and pulse a few times until the dough forms a ball.
  5. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few times until combined.

Final steps with either method:

  1. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, or, for minimal sticking, a floured silicone baking mat and knead 2-3 times, adding more flour if a bit too sticky.
  2. Pat dough into an 8-inch disk and cut disk into 8 pieces.
  3. Place scones on baking sheet. Use pastry brush to top with heavy cream (this ensures a nice deep brown on your scone tops), and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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