the toffee queen
My friend and co-worker, Kim Howard, makes the very best toffee every Christmas. I was a lucky recipient of a tin of her toffee this year – but after days of picking away at it, it’s all gone. I was at her beautiful home yesterday and saw 4 new pans of the detectible toffee sitting on her counter, ready to be cut and packaged for her other other happy friends and family – darn, why did I eat all of mine already?! There is an upside though, it reminded me of the recipe for these wonderful toffee scones and I just knew I had to share them with you! Kim, “The Toffee Queen” would want me too!
Barbara Pool Fenzl and Kim Howard at our amazing spa trip at Rancho LaPuerta in 2008
If you don’t have the good fortune to be in line for a tin of Kim’s toffee, or if you have sadly already eaten your share – Trader Joe’s sells a couple great options. The type of theirs I like the best is not only chocolate-covered but also covered in nuts. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area (I am truly sorry and feel your heartache), Heath bars work perfectly well for these scones.
The only liquid in the scones is cream, whipped to stiff peaks. The way to find out if the whipping cream has stiff peaks and is ready; while beating, once the cream begins to look fluffy, remove the whisk attachment from the mixer, dip into the whipped cream (or egg whites, when whipping them for a recipe) pull out the whisk and turn it upright. If the peak flops over, you have soft peaks.
Return whisk to machine and continue to beat. If the peak stand straight up, you have stiff peaks and are ready to fold the whipped cream into the dry mixture.
Another fantastic thing about these scones – they qualify as “easy-breezy”!
Milk Chocolate, Pecan, and Toffee Scones
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoons plus1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped chocolate covered toffee (chopped into about 1/4-inch pieces)
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with either silpat mats or buttered parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, and toffee pieces.
Beat cream in the bowl of a standing mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the dry ingredients. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently until a soft dough forms, it will be sticky and should only take a minute or two.
Form dough into a ball and gently pat out into a 1-inch thick round disk. Use a 3-inch round or holiday shaped cookie cutter and place scones on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1-inch apart.
Brush the scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes total, switching the baking sheets after the first 10 minutes, to ensure even baking. Serve warm.
Makes 12 to 14