I’ve developed a habit of wanting something sweet with my morning cup of coffee. The problem is that many breakfast pastries are overly sweet and just not worth the calories. It’s hard to beat buttery scones with coffee -- so I set out to create a version that would fulfill my sweet tooth and be worth the indulgence.
I turned to my mom’s raisin scones with lemon butter that she’s been making for years. To make the perfect accompaniment to my morning coffee, I wanted scones where espresso would take center stage. So I added a full tablespoon of espresso powder to my mom’s recipe...trust me, no supporting role for espresso here. And then for added flavor and complexity, I swapped out some of the all-purpose flour for buckwheat flour, and then threw in dark chocolate chunks for good measure.
Whatever you do, don’t skip the lemon butter: the bright acidity makes a good match for the rich roasted flavor of the scones.
6 to 8
instant espresso powder or Starbucks VIA Italian Roast instant coffee
1 1/2 cups
zest from 1 large lemon
(1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
buttermilk + 1 tsp (reserved), preferably whole-milk buttermilk
stick unsalted butter, softened
to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (from lemon you've zested earlier)
Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water; set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands until butter is the size of peas and the mixture crumbly. Add dark chocolate, tossing lightly. Add buttermilk and dissolved espresso, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and shape the dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges, leaving the wedges intact. Brush scones with buttermilk, and sprinkle sugar evenly across the tops.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer scones to wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
While scones are cooling, make lemon butter: beat softened butter with lemon juice and powdered sugar with mixer or by hand. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar until fluffy and spreadable.