About this time of year in 2018 I had a bakeoff of 6 scone recipes and this one was by far the best. Since I had some ricotta cheese on hand I made them again..
I believe part of the success in baking scones is due to a few extra tips I found as I was researching recipes. All recipes cautioned about overworking the dough and I did find specific instructions on handling the dough with a bench scraper and gently folding it. The second tip was freezing the butter and grating it into the flour mixture which I did with every recipe. And the final tip was once the dough was cut and on a baking sheet to stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking to achieve a better rise which I also did.
Chocolate Hazelnut Ricotta SconesAnd the winner was a recipe I chose on a whim for a really unrelated reason. Every so often I cook an Italian recipe which calls for ricotta cheese so I buy a carton and then only use half of it. And there is never a second recipe imminent to use before the rest of it spoils. So when I was searching scone recipes and found one that actually called for ricotta cheese I immediately printed it out. And lo and behold it turned out to be the winning 5 star recipe. I did recently see a recipe for orange-ricotta scones which I will try also..
This did make a double recipe but could easily be halved. I did make one change though....I reduced the sugar to 1 cup as DH does not like his scones too sweet...
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or organic shortening, ice cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ricotta
- 100g (about 2/3 cup) semi-sweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
- -If using food processor (steps 2-3):
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of a food processor
- Add cold butter to dry mixture and pulse until it is fine and powdery. Add ricotta, egg, and vanilla extract to mixture and pulse to combine until it comes together into a dough.
- -If doing by hand (steps 4-5):
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix well. Grate butter with a cheese grater then use a pastry cutter or pair of knives to cut it into the dry mix until you have a course, crumbly mixture.
- Add the ricotta, egg, and vanilla extract to a small bowl and stir to combine, then pour into dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula until it comes together.
- Fold in chocolate and hazelnuts then scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and, with well floured hands because the dough will be a bit wet, flatten each half into a circular disc shape, about an inch high. Do your best to handle the dough as little as possible in order to keep it cold. (If you're having trouble with handling it you can chill it for about 30 minutes in the fridge or even the freezer to make it easier to work with.)
- Make 4 cuts, straight, across, and diagonally, in the circle so that you have 8 equal triangles (see photos) Repeat with other half of dough. Separate them and place each triangle about 2 inches apart to allow spreading room on prepared pan.
- Bake for 12 - 16 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.