Lightly spiced, tender and buttery pear scones speckled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with sugar over top for crunch. Just right with coffee on a winter morning.
This post is sponsored by Domino® Golden Sugar and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Katiebird Bakes possible!
I can hardly believe we’re in the first week of 2020. I feel like a broken record in saying this, but where has the time gone??
2019 flew by at the fastest rate I think a year has ever been for me. I feel like every time I say, “oh we just saw this person” or “I just took that trip” I think about it more and it was actually 4 or 6 months ago. The months have just been so fluid.
It’s not just life events, either. As it relates to this blog, this year time has simply escaped me over and over again. I actually have a large backlog of recipes I’ve photographed and intended to share with you, but have been unable to follow through on actually publishing because I blink and another week or month has passed without me realizing.
I hope I’m not alone in feeling this way. My parents always told me growing up that time passed so quickly, but I never believed them because it never seemed that way to me. Time feels so slow when you’re young.
My theory is that in youth, life has so many milestones and developments; you’re always learning and changing at an extremely rapid rate, so time feels slower because so much newness is packed into every moment. As an adult, less new things happen (though hopefully we’re still always learning), repetition and routine is the norm, and there are less major milestones to hit. In day to day life, not much actually changes from month to month or year to year, so time feels faster because change is slower.
My personal goal in 2020 is to find ways to break up that routine and make time feel new again. It could be as simple as trying a new restaurant for dinner on a weeknight instead of going home and watching tv, or as big as committing to a new volunteer project or going on a spontaneous trip somewhere I’ve never been.
I’m not sure exactly what it will look like yet, but it does feel like a new decade holds new promise for excitement.
One thing I’m definitely hoping for in 2020 is more baking experiments. I’m committed to bringing you quality, efficient, and delicious recipes in the new year. Time is a precious resource and the evolving thesis of this blog is that great baking does not have to take an excessive amount of your time. I hope to prove that with each recipe I deliver.
We’ll start here, with these pear scones liberally speckled with dark chocolate chunks and a (light) shower of sugar over top for crunch. Good scones should NOT be overly sweet. They should be tender, buttery, short, and melt in your mouth. And they should be delicately flavored!
I created this recipe as part of my ongoing partnership with Domino® Sugar featuring their new, less processed Golden Sugar, which you can buy on Amazon. Since it’s a cup-for-cup, less processed replacement for any recipe in which you’d use white sugar, it works perfectly in these delicate pear scones.
The Golden Sugar is not just for light sweetness here; it also adds moisture and flavor to the scones since it retains a hint of molasses. Plus, it adds textural contrast when sprinkled over top.
Keys to great pear scones:
Keep your butter cold. I cut my butter into small cubes and then put it back in the fridge until the moment I’m going to use it. Cold butter is absolutely critical to flaky and tender scones. If the butter is too warm, the scones will spread and won’t create those flaky layers we all love.
Don’t work the dough too much. Again, handling the dough as little as you can keeps the butter colder and prevents the overdevelopment of gluten, which yields a more tender result. Stir just until the dough comes together, gently shape it with your hands, and then stop touching it. It may still be a little crumbly at the edges, and that is ok!
Freeze the scones briefly before baking. Do you sense a theme here? Cold butter is king. Freezing the shaped scones on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before baking them helps them keep their shape and rise to beautiful flaky layers in the oven, rather than melting outward and becoming flat.
Make sure your pears are not too juicy. After you chop the pears, spread them out on a paper towel to dry while you’re prepping the other ingredients. If your pears are very juicy, you may want to roast the chopped pears for 20 minutes at 350 degrees to dry them out before adding them (cooled) to the dough. Adding too much moisture will result in wet, spread out scones.
The flavors in these pear scones are legit.
Now that we’ve discussed tips for scone success (and really, these tips could apply to any scone recipe), let’s talk about the end product. I always like to pair warming winter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with pears because for me, that combination (and the smell) evokes cozy feelings of cold winter nights under a blanket by the fire or frosty mornings with fuzzy socks and coffee.
The spiced scone base and the delicate pears are enhanced by the addition of a generous amount of dark chocolate chunks. You can use store bought chocolate chunks or even chocolate chips if you’d prefer, but I like to chop up a dark chocolate bar so there are uneven flecks and puddles of chocolate throughout.
In addition to mixing them into the dough, I usually sprinkle some chunks over top and press them in so the finished scones look pretty. Use your favorite kind of dark chocolate here; I usually get mine from Trader Joe’s.
The final element is a generous sprinkle of sugar (I used Golden Sugar) over top, for sparkle and textural contrast. We’re not trying to achieve Starbucks levels of sweetness here; just a gentle crunch.
Pair these delicate pear and dark chocolate scones with a hot cup of coffee or tea and a reflective morning. I bet it will make time slow down, even for just a few minutes.
Pear and Dark Chocolate Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup
Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of ground ginger
- Pinch of cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed small
- 1 cup chopped pear chunks from about 1 medium pear*
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate plus extra for top
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 teaspoons
Domino® Golden Sugarfor sprinkling over top
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour,
Golden Sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Chop your pear and arrange the chunks on a paper towel to absorb the juices. If your pear is particularly juicy, see the note below the recipe.
- Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips (my preferred method) until the mixture resembles wet sand with a few pea-size butter chunks remaining. Fold in the chopped pears and dark chocolate.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla extract, and heavy cream until well-combined. Pour into flour mixture and stir just until a dough is formed. There may still be some crumbly bits in the bottom and that’s ok – it’s more important not to overwork the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat it into a 1-inch thick disk. With a bench scraper or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 even wedges. Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If desired, press additional dark chocolate chunks into tops of wedges and sprinkle each with additional
- If you have time, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. This helps keep the butter cold, which will allow the scones to maintain their shape and develop flaky layers when baked.
- Bake scones for 18-20 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown and smell delicious. Serve warm with coffee or tea!