Clearly I’m in a bit of a sconey state of mind! After last weekend’s vanilla-sage scone
success, I wanted to whip up another batch of yummy scones to enjoy during our weekly game night. These scones needed to be decidedly chocolate-laced, given that there’s more than one chocoholic among our game night gang! Then I started wondering what magic could happen if one added chocolate chips to lightly browned butter before whisking into frosting, and just knew I had to find out.
But since these scones were supposed to be more of a snack than indulgent holiday breakfast treat, I decided to lighten them up. Starting with one of my favorite “light” recipe resource – Skinny Taste
- I searched for scone recipes and stumbled upon this one
for chocolate chip buttermilk scones. And while the scones looked delicious and the nutrition facts weren’t bad, deep down I really wanted to make these scones as sugar- and white flour-free as possible!
Anyone who attempts this “healthified” strain of baking knows that things can easily go awry. While white flour and sugar may not be great for your health, they do tend to have the alchemic properties necessary to produce light, sweet, fluffy, crumbly confections. Simply replacing white flour with whole wheat or grain flours, and replacing sugar with Stevia will not always yield a good result.
There are many tricks out there to replace the sugar in sweets, applesauce being one of the most common routes to go. For this recipe I replaced 1/4 cup of the liquid (buttermilk) in the inspiration recipe with unsweetened apple sauce. Then, I reduced the sugar by more than half, knowing the scones would also be getting some sweetness from the chocolate chips and drizzle.
In terms of replacing the white flour – this is a bit trickier. If you’re going to completely avoid white flour in baking, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that the texture of your baked goods is just going to be different. All-purpose flour is very light and airy, and with the help of a little yeast or baking powder, it fluffs up quite nicely in the oven. Whole wheat, oat, buckwheat and other whole grain flours are heavier, so you can expect a denser baked good. I personally love this texture – it’s much more hearty and has more complex flavors than just straight up white flour. That being said, it’s most likely not what you’re used to tasting when you bite into a scone or muffin – so I urge you to have an open mind when baking this way.
Being the crazy oatmeal lover that I am, I went with a good deal of oat flour in my scones, and ended up using half oat flour, half whole wheat flour. Because I couldn’t find oat flour at Trader Joe’s, I wound up just grinding up some rolled oats in the food processor – a trick my mom used growing up when making us cookies. This works great, and is probably a lot cheaper than buying oat flour! As for the whole wheat, regular whole wheat flour worked out pretty darn well here, but I’d imagine that whole wheat pastry flour might result in an even more fluffy texture, if you have it on hand.
With all these hearty, healthy ingredients, you really can’t skimp on the chocolate. Three-quarters of a cup of chocolate chips goes into the batter, and even more gets drizzled on top, which means each bite of scone is loaded with a big mouthful of gooey chocolate. Drizzling the scones with chocolate glaze is preferred to dipping them in this case; it maximizes the chocolate flavor you get in each bite while keeping the amount of glaze on each scone low.
In the end, these turned out delicious! I ate mine warm, right out of the oven, while the chocolate was still melted and oozing. It’s really the only way to go. These are perfect as a healthy scone to bring to brunch, to put out for dessert or tea, or even to keep in the freezer for an on-the-go breakfast (yes, they’re healthy enough for breakfast). So go ahead, give baking with whole grain flours a whirl!
Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Scones – Makes 12 scones
Adapted from Skinny Taste
- 1/2 cup cold low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of oat flour (or rolled oats that have been ground in a food processor)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
- 1 tbsp of room temperature unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine the buttermilk, apple sauce, sugar, vanilla and egg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.3. Combine oat flour, wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or using two knives until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fold in the milk mixture, stirring just until moist.4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (I used all-purpose flour for dusting) knead lightly four times with floured hands (the dough will be sticky). Form dough into 3/4″ thick circle. Using a knife,cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.
5. Spray baking sheet(s) with cooking spray and transfer wedges to baking sheet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until scones are lightly golden brown on the top and bottom.
6. While scones are baking, make the chocolate glaze. Start by placing 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt and continue to cook until butter begins to brown. Once butter is brown, immediately pour over bowl of chocolate chips. Allow butter and chocolate to sit for 2 minutes, then add 1/2 tsp powdered sugar and stir well until smooth.
7. Once scones have finished baking, remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Using a spoon or a pastry bag with a fine tip, drizzle the chocolate sauce over the scones. I recommend using all of the sauce for the 12 scones – it gives a great flavor!
8. Enjoy warm!
Nutrition Facts: 201 calories, 10.5 grams of fat, 27 carbs, 3.2 grams of fiber, 12.8 grams of sugar, 4.6 grams of protein