On Mom and Butterscotch and "Blond" Scones
My mom had a thing for butterscotch chips. She used to eat them like M&M’s – popping a few pieces into her mouth throughout the day…tiny handfuls between meals. And, in a few instances, they were used as quick and efficient cake décor. A few perfectly arranged butterscotch chips edged the perimeter of a freshly baked cake (courtesy Betty Crocker) piled high with canned frosting. But she never baked with them. I wasn’t even aware at the time, they were meant to be (to some degree) interchangeable with the ubiquitous chocolate chips. In fact, mom never even placed the two similar looking bags close to each other in the cupboard. The butterscotch bag was in the “snack” portion of the cabinet and the chocolate chips were firmly in the baking (er…boxed mix) section.
I inherited almost 99% of my mom’s sweet tooth DNA, but I missed the butterscotch chip strand. In fact, I almost went out of my way to avoid any bagged butterscotch chip. I still do. Occasionally, I find myself buying a bag (very rarely) in honor of mom (or, is it misplaced nostalgia) and I am still mystified by the overly manufactured taste and unnatural color. I love butterscotch (obviously). I dislike butterscotch chips.
But mom’s day is about moms. And I am absolutely certain my mom would have loved this Bon Appétit recipe for Butterscotch Drop Scones. I made the recipe two ways. First, I followed the recipe exactly as mentioned…butterscotch chips and all. On the second pass, I substituted chopped Valrhona Dulcey for the butterscotch chips. What is Dulcey? It is a problem. I need it out of my house stat. I CAN’T STOP EATING IT. The Valrhona website says it “marries intense biscuit flavors with a pinch of salt, a creamy texture, hints of caramelized milk, and unique blond color.” Guess that about sums it up. Yeah, you should buy a few bars. If you are feeling extra spendy, you can buy the stuff in bulk (and maybe give some to a baking friend).
But here is the thing. I actually liked both versions of the scones. The butterscotch chip version was crazy good. I ate two for breakfast and one for lunch. The Dulcey version was superb as well, but the scone obscured some of the subtler aspects of the Dulcey flavor. Don’t worry, I am giving the Dulcey a go on a cake next week.
Regardless, make your mom these breakfasty desert scones for Mom’s day (you can even sprinkle in a few regular chocolate chips to knock her socks off). She’ll be thrilled. And, hey, don’t forget to call her more often.
Butterscotch (and Dulcey) Drop Scones via Bon Appétit Magazine.
2 cups all purpose flour
⅓ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced into half-inch pieces, chilled
1 cup butterscotch chips (about 6 ounces) or Valrhona Dulcey, chopped coarsely
½ cup (or more) heavy cream, chilled
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in chips. Whisk ½ cup cream and egg in small bowl to blend. Gradually add cream mixture to dry ingredients, tossing with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Add more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Drop dough by ¼ cupfuls (I used my ice cream scoop with release mechanism for uniformity and ease…the scones were slightly smaller and cooked slightly quicker) onto large rimmed parchment lined baking sheet, spacing apart. Bake scones until golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.