If you can make it dark, do it. Butter, sugar, chocolate, bread, eyeliner, most liquors, humor… The darker, the better.
(That’s Life Truth #834 according to yours truly; I haven’t shared the first 833 with you, and you’re very welcome.)
Needless to say, I’m a fool for these scones and their deep rye + dark chocolate flavors. So much so, that I love them even though I originally imagined (and attempted) that combination in cookie form. I like these more than their cookie incarnation. What?! I know. I. Know.
See, I started this glorious journey by adding dark rye flour and caraway seeds to my favorite chocolate chip recipe. Not bad, but I wanted more darkness, more sour tang. Of course, the sour flavor I was going for–the one we associate with dark rye bread–has more to do with the sourdough starter than the rye flour itself.
But we’re not making sourdough. We are busy people who need baked goods NOW.
Always Sometimes an avid shortcut-taker, I basically became convinced that balsamic vinegar was key to cheating my way into some approximation of that tangy rye flavor. However, the thing about adding vinegar to a cookie recipe with baking soda is: don’t. Baking soda + vinegar = puffy, cakey cookies, and only deranged monsters like cake-like cookies. (JOKES, jokes; whoopie pies are delicious; put down the pitchforks.)
To carry out my little vinegar experiment, I needed to adapt this idea to something I actually want to rise. Enter scones.
Scone-making is some of the laziest, quickest baking you’ll ever do. No bringing-of-butter-to-room-temperature is involved. If you’re a slave to the food processor like me, no working the butter into the dry ingredients. No waiting, no rolling, no round cutters.
I didn’t even egg-wash these. Admittedly, they would have been shinier if I had, but who cares about “golden brown” when you’re going for “ancient bronze brown” anyway? Not I.
I just wanted sour(ish) rye and caraway flavor and hunks of dark chocolate in the morning. Too much to ask?
I didn’t think so. I’m happy to report that the vinegar worked like a charm, and until I get my hands on some real sourdough, these will do juuuuust fine. They’re soft and plush, barely sweet (that’s what honeyed butter or some kind of berry jam is for, if you’re into more sweetness), slightly tangy, fragrant with caraway seeds, and studded with pockets of dark, dark chocolate.
Welcome to the dark side, I’d say… But I suspect you’ve been here all along. Your secret is safe with me.
- 2/3 cup dark rye flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, cold, cubed
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cried caraway seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used most of a 3.5-ounce bar)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine rye flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, cut in butter into dry ingredients using your hands or a bench knife.) Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine milk with beaten egg and vinegar, then add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in caraway seeds and chocolate.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk about an inch thick. Cut into six wedges.
- Transfer scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Note that this is a pretty small recipe, yielding only about 6 small-ish scones. Double to yield about a dozen.