What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Scones
Several years ago, during my pre-“What’s Cookin'” days, I tried my hand at baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. It was to be a gift for my neighbor. I used basic ingredients and no passion. I simply went through the motions of baking cookies. When I brought the warm treats to my friend we both noticed something was missing. She said it was lack of salt. I was clueless. And that was the end of my baking days for a while.
Today, I have fallen into creating yummy baked goods, from cookies to scones, that I’m proud to share and even hoard because I know they taste good and are good for you. Maybe it’s my age or practice but putting together scones with a Mediterranean twist is easy and definitely works.
On Friday night, I, the author-intuitive, sensed the weekend would be a challenge. As I crave a vacation I knew I had to stay in the work mode. Worse, both computers were playing ping pong due to a glitch so I couldn’t get on the Internet to work. A couple of those scones got me through the challenges almost as good as a swim or hot tub. By living in the mountains I have learned how much flour works because of the altitude. Also, by using a natural sweetener – honeys – it can help make your food taste better, be healthier. And, of course, the healthier ingredients, from whole wheat flour to low-fat plain yogurt, make me feel good about having control of what I put into the foods I eat.
21⁄2-3 cups 100 percent natural whole wheat flour
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup white sugar
1⁄4 cup clover honey
1⁄4 cup European style butter (cold cubes)
1 brown egg
3⁄4 cup 2 percent low-fat buttermilk
3⁄4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
11⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup all natural premium baking semi-sweet chocolate chips
3⁄4 cup almonds, sliced
Organic raw sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spice. Add chunks of butter, sliced in small squares. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, yogurt, egg and honey and stir. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Stir until a dough-like mixture forms. Fold in chips. Drop large spoonful of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool. Serves 12 medium-large scones.
The end result: These scones are light and yummy. The semi-sweet chocolate is a sweet break from dark chocolate. The honey and cinnamon combination gave it a twist that is tasty. The creamy chocolate, light crunch of the almonds and raw sugar, and crispy texture from the butter cubes are the secrets to making these versatile delights work morning, day or night. FYI: Warm one up in the microwave and the melted chocolate will take you to chocolate heaven. The first one I savored was split in half and paired with cream cheese. The second one was drizzled with honey made by honey bees in our neighbor city, Reno. These are the things that made these scones a super treat. You’ll be proud to serve ’em to you, yours or share with a neighbor with sharp taste buds. Trust me; these scones are homemade charmers to write home about.
My trip to Reno had its highlights, from visiting the beekeeper and getting local honey to treat my allergies, to a spa treatment to remember. However, once I returned to towering trees and our lake it was like I was home, really home. Sure, on the road I did treat myself to a chocolate frosty (with real cocoa powder) and a dark chocolate truffle at The Chocolate Factory. But there’s something unique about baking up a batch of cinnamon-chocolate chip scones paired with a cup of herbal tea in the comfort of my cabin and in the company of my two dogs and cat.
– Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.