Sunday, December 19, 2010

Baked Sunday Mornings: Nutella Scones

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings selection is actually not Nutella Scones, as the title of this post would have you believe. These scones were the first treats baked as a group, but I didn't join the group until just after they made them. Well, I didn't want to be left out, so I decided to make up for it and bake them this Sunday! There was another reason for this, though, I have to admit: this week's real selection, the Monkey Bubble Bread, is something I was planning on baking for Christmas breakfast next weekend, so I'll have to wait a week to blog and post about that. I will, though, that is a promise!

Anyway, back to these Nutella Scones. I knew I wanted to make these as soon as I came across them in the cookbook (which, of course, is Baked Explorations, in stores now!). I mean, come on now. Chocolate for breakfast? With hazelnutty goodness? I hardly needed any further motivation. Plus, I do enjoy making scones as an occasional indulgence, so my mind was made up.

They're easy to assemble, provided you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Among these ingredients: Nutella (duh!), good-quality cocoa powder, heavy cream, and hazelnuts. Oops. Turns out I did not have any whole or chopped hazelnuts, but I did happen to have some coarsely ground hazelnuts on hand, left over from a different recipe. I think it turned out just fine with the substitution; in fact, I liked how the finer nuts were so evenly dispersed throughout the dough.

As for the preparation, I have to admit that I was initially afraid that I had done something wrong when mixing the ingredients together. The recipe indicates to mix it all together gently, then switch to using your hands to knead the dough. Well, mine was still crumbly at this stage and did not want to come together. However, the directions warn against over-mixing, and I was scared to do that. So, I just went on to the next stage, which was spreading some Nutella across the surface of the dough. That didn't go too swimmingly, either. Because the dough was still crumbly, the spoon I was using to spread the Nutella started to pick up bits of dough instead of evenly placing the Nutella. Still, I soldiered on.

I'm glad I did, because suddenly magic happened. The next step is folding over the dough into the shape of a log, and then standing the log on its end and pressing it down into a disk. I did so, and suddenly the dough was just right! Somehow, that extra step really helped to get everything incorporated properly, and I was left with dough that was easy to work with, and not crumbly anymore. After that, it was cake to slice the round into triangles and then separate those triangles for baking.

Finally, the Baked boys tell you to drizzle even more Nutella across the tops of the scones after they have baked and are still warm, but I did skip this step. I just figured, I'm already serving chocolate for breakfast. Do I really need to make it that much more decadent and sinful? In my humble opinion, they were just fine without that added yumminess (though I'm positive they were over the top delightful if you did add it!). These are rich, not too sweet, and flaky in all the right places. The hazelnuts were great in this; next time I'll have to make sure I have larger ones.

So, better late than never, and these scones were worth the wait. You can check out this post on the Baked Sunday Mornings blog site to see how the other bakers did with this, as well as to see the full recipe.

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