chocolate chip scones & {giveaway winner!}

Last week I spent a couple of days with my immediate family at Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, Missouri. The weather was unusually pleasant for the middle August, 80 degrees and sunny! With the weather on our side for once, we decided to not let the heat dictate our schedule.

We lounged around in the morning and played with baby Josie. She is really into peek-a-boo these days and giggles until her cheeks turn red. Boating activities consumed our afternoons, which was then followed by happy hour and delicious dinners. Pizza and beer, anyone? 

Besides the usual lake “MO”, I did manage to squeeze in some quality time in the kitchen with my Mom. I’ve mentioned before on this blog about how she is more of baker than a cook. As a little girl, I remember her baking up pumpkin bread, banana cakes, and Christmas sugar cookies for my brothers and I like it was no bigs. I’m still trying to figure out to this day how she bakes with such perfection. Is it her kneading skills? Her ability to mix all-purpose flour with wheat to keep things healthy? Or, is it really just the love she puts into each and every step of the recipe? 
I’m going with, C, “all the above.” So with my Mom’s baking skills in mind, I knew I had to share this chocolate chip scone recipe with you today. My Mom has been making these scones for as long as I could remember. I have very vivid memories of her dusting the counter top with flour, kneading the dough, and rolling it out with a rolling pin. 

I also remember her giving my brothers and I leftover chocolate chips to snack on after she poured more than the recommended amount into the batter. Aaahhh, those were the days. 
Anyways, as I stood in the dated lake kitchen watching my Mom cut the scone dough with a biscuit cutter rather than wedges, I appreciated the fact that after all these years, she still does her own thing. I think that’s why I love this recipe. From the imperfection of the biscuit looking scones to the oozing melted chocolate chips to the simplicity of the dough, these scones embrace your individualism. 
Who knows, maybe round scones will become the new “MO” of 2012. 

****The winner of America’s Test Kitchen, Simple Weeknight Favorites Cookbook is MJ! Congrats, MJ!. Please email me your shipping information to griermountain@gmail.com
Chocolate Chip Scones
(recipe adapted from my mother, Geri Wurth)
Yields 14
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 to 20 minutes
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cubed
½ cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. With a pastry blender or fingers, add butter to flour and sugar. Combine until resembles coarse crumbs.
In another small bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry along with chocolate chips in batches until mixture clings together and forms a soft dough.
Flour a surface and knead bread gently 5 or 6 times. Then roll dough into a 7 inch round. Take a two inch biscuit cutter and cut out rounds.  Place rounds on greased baking sheet. Bake for about 18 to 20  minutes or until golden brown.