My last post featured a scone of the dainty English variety, which I was inspired to make as a contrast to this rustic, chunky, indulgent number! These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones are more suited to a tall glass of chocolate milk than a cup of tea, in my opinion. Alternatively, one might just shovel as many of them as humanly possible into the mouth and forgo that whole beverage thing altogether. I mean, really– why fill up on drinks when you can eat more scones?? But maybe that’s why people tell me I’m obsessed with baked goods… I accept that. Anyway, I was excited to try these as soon as I cracked open my copy of Baked Elements. I love me some scones, and I’ve never tried this style, so naturally I was curious. It’s hard to go wrong with the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, though admittedly, it’s not at the top of my list. I understand that many bakers and eaters alike would recoil in horror at this notion, but rest assured that even *I* was quite smitten with these scones. They are like a cross between a scone and a cookie, and frankly, anything resembling a cookie and containing cookie-friendly ingredients is something I want to eat!
Like my Currant Cream Scones recipe, this dough is pretty simple to put together. No mixer needed, just a little elbow grease to cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. This is the traditional “biscuit method” of making dough, which is standard for proper scone construction. Similar to a pie crust, you want the butter to stay as cold as possible and retain some pea-sized crumbs, which helps to create that tender, flaky scone texture. Now, these are more dense and hearty than classic scones, but nevertheless this wild cousin still possesses distinct scone tendencies.
On the ‘cookie’ end of the spectrum, the oats lend a nice chewiness to the scones and the chunky peanut butter bestows a nutty crunch. I am generally a creamy peanut butter girl, but the recipe was very specific about requiring chunky peanut butter, and now I understand why. I went with Skippy, though you can make your own. (Perhaps a project for next time…) The other typical cookie ingredient is the chocolate chips, and I chose mini chips for optimal chocolate distribution. I’m pretty adamant about getting as many chips into each bite as possible, the chances of which are drastically reduced when using bigger chips; it’s a no-brainer for me, really.
I was very pleased to see that buttermilk was on the ingredient list, because pretty much everything I’ve ever made with buttermilk (red velvet, pancakes, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, mashed potatoes, etc…) has turned out really well. It contributes to the pastry texture and brings out the other flavors in the dough. Once the wet ingredients are added to the bowl, you bring the wet and dry elements together gently with your hands, taking care not to overwork the dough. A scone can easily double as a paperweight if the dough is over-handled, so it’s important to use a light touch when working with the dough. Finally, the chips go in once you have formed a semi-cohesive dough.
My only divergence from the recipe was in the cutting of the scones. The recipe says to form the dough into a round directly on your cookie sheet, then slice it into eight wedges and bake without separating them. I was a bit skeptical about the scones baking all the way through, and I also prefer smaller scones, so I made two dough rounds and conducted a little experiment. I sliced one round and kept it together as directed, and for the other, I cut and separated the scones before baking.
By this time, my dough was starting to get a little warm, so I put the cookie sheet in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up before brushing them with egg wash and sprinkling with sugar. The recipe calls for raw sugar, and I chose golden turbinado sugar for its deep, honey-like flavor. Raw sugar is also much crunchier than granulated sugar, so I agree that this was definitely appropriate for a rustic scone.
As predicted, the separated scones baked much faster (12 minutes) than the intact dough round. They were golden brown and crisp on top and around the edges, which I think gives them even more of a rustic look and taste. The dough round took about 20 minutes, and I had to check it for doneness repeatedly, which meant that a couple of scones got a little mangled. Once I did finally separate them, I found that the sides were still raw and gooey, so I put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. While the tops took on a handsome shade of golden brown, the sides of the scones did not acquire said attractive color, nor did they crisp up like the separated scones. Perhaps my mistake was in slicing them before brushing on the egg wash?? Next time I will likely separate all the scones… Both batches were ever-so-slightly underbaked, so I will leave them in the oven for an extra minute or so.
My overall impression (and the feedback that I got from tasters) is that these scones were pretty damn awesome. Given that I am not a huge peanut butter/chocolate fan, I have to say that these are among the best peanut butter/chocolate items that I’ve made and eaten, and I definitely plan to make them again! I think there’s a lot of room to play with variations, the thought of which always makes me entirely too excited. I’m pondering maple peanut butter (favorite PB ever), spekuloos (Belgian cookie butter used as a topping for waffles), peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, etc. The recipe suggests omitting the chocolate chips and slathering jelly between two scone halves; I’m thinking of swirling a little jelly into the scone dough, if I’m feeling really crazy. So many scones to bake, so little time… 🙂
Visit Baked Sunday Mornings for this recipe, and see what the other fabulous baked have whipped up this week!