Best Scones of the Year: Chocolate Peppermint Crunch
I have to admit. Peppermint is not my favorite flavor. I’d much rather have almond or vanilla or pumpkin spice or something else a little more savory. But it’s the Christmas season. And that means peppermint isn’t optional, it’s required. And what better way to indulge in that pepperminty taste than to throw together a quick recipe of honey-sweetened Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Scones? I know, I just started drooling, too.
This is a super easy recipe, and a super tasty one. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or alongside a cup of peppermint tea in the morning. And if you like them less sweet, just omit the peppermint glaze topping and extra crunch on top. While the scones take a little while to complete, that’s mostly due to the glaze and peppermint topping. So if you don’t have the time to mess around with toppings, these can be made in about 30 minutes. But they’re a great addition to the Christmas morning retinue. And this recipe makes plenty for those pesky, I mean adored, house guests. What’s even better is that you can make these ahead of time, and freeze the raw scones, then you can pop into the oven Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and you have breakfast for the masses. Diets don’t start until the New Year, after all . . .
Yield: 32 small scones
Time: 45-60 minutes (15 prep, 12-18 baking, 15 cooling, 15 optional topping)
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 C coconut flour, sifted or free of lumps
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark), sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, chopped and chilled
1 C Andes Peppermint Crunch “chips” (or crushed candy canes, etc.)
1/3 C honey
1/2 C Greek yogurt (Fage plain Greek Yogurt, full fat)
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 tsp coffee espresso grounds in 2 T hot water (or brewed espresso)
1 to 1-1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1/2 C half and half
2 C powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
4-5 T half and half
1 tsp peppermint extract
Additional Topping (optional):
1/4-1/2 C Andes Peppermint Crunch “chips”
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a small or medium sized bowl, whisk together the honey, 2 T liquid coffee, Greek yogurt, 1/2 C half and half, and 1/2 C of the heavy whipping cream.
- In a larger bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine well.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients and work in with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers.
- Add the Peppermint Crunch and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. *You can also use crushed candy canes or any sort of mint of your choosing here. It’s nice if the pieces are big enough to see though, so if you choose to crush your own candy canes, don’t pulverize them.
- Add the liquid mixture of honey, coffee, yogurt, half and half, and whipping cream. Mix just enough to bring the dough together.
- Add 1/2 C more whipping cream, and mix. If there are a few dry bits, that’s okay, you can work those in when you turn out the dough. Do not add too much more cream, but if you need more, drizzle it over the dough in 2 T increments until your dough will just barely come together. Do not over knead.
- Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured countertop. The dough should be rather dry and barely hold together. Give it one or two kneads and flatten into a log about 8 inches tall and 12 inches across. It should be about 1/2-high. Cut lengthwise down the middle, then repeat twice with each piece so that you have 4 long strips of dough about 2 inches tall. Cut the doughs into 4 equal pieces, so that you now have 16 square pieces. Then cut each square diagonally to form scones. *Obviously you can cut your scones however you like, and use the traditional round shape if you like. If you do pat the dough into a round, you should divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces first, so that your scones are huge and take forever to cook!
- Place the scones on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a Silipat. Brush with extra half and half or cream, then bake at 400 F for about 12-18 minutes. Depending on the size of your scones, you might have your scones in shorter or longer. To check their level of doneness, lift up the scone and check the underside. It should be lightly browned when they are done. The top of the scones will look dry but not burned.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on wire racks. While they cool, create the glaze by sifting the sugar into a medium sized bowl. Add the peppermint extract to 4 T of half and half and then add the milk mixture to the sugar. Whisk well. If you are using just the glaze, I recommend making a thicker glaze, but if you’re going to add the Peppermint Crunch on top of the glaze, then I recommend thinning it out a little and adding the extra 1 T half and half.
- Drizzle the glaze onto the scones by fully icing the tops of a few at a time, then adding the Peppermint Crunch before the glaze has time to set. The glaze will be runny and much will slip off the sides, but if you sprinkle the peppermints on before the glaze dries, it will hold most of the peppermints in place. Finish for all the scones.
- Allow the glaze and peppermints to set on top before enjoying.