Raspberries are one of those fruits that taste as great straight out of hand as they do in baked goods and pastries. Aside from their great taste, they’re also really good for you. The antioxidants packed into that cute little red (and sometimes gold) package are off the charts. This easy scone recipe combines the antioxidants of raspberries with the antioxidants of dark chocolate to make a powerhouse of a healthy scone recipe (well, healthy-ish). So going with the concept of “if one is good…two must be better” lets make some of these dark chocolate raspberry scones and eat our way healthy.
This post is Looooooong overdue. Several months ago, Driscoll’s Berries was kind enough to bring me up to their Northern California location for a visit and the opportunity to see one of their raspberry growing fields.
The start of our day included a great big breakfast spread replete with Driscoll’s berries (natch). While we enjoyed our berries, we learned about the berry growing process and a little secret as to why and how the Driscoll’s strawberries taste so good. Hint, it involves a little science (cross breeding berries for the good qualities) and lots of patience. Since it had been a bit (understatement) on the rainy side just prior to our visit, we were then issued pairs of bright and shiny wellies to make mucking through the fields a bit easier. Needless to say, we were a very stylish group of bloggers.
Raspberries mean a bit more to me than just a great summer time, or healthy, fruit. Growing up, my grandparents had a pretty large raspberry patch. Living just around the corner from them, meant I could stop by anytime and pick a handful, or two, of fresh sun warmed berries and eat them right then and there. It also meant that all raspberry treats at our house were fresh raspberry recipes (and I was the one responsible for fruit harvesting). Their raspberry plants grew to be about 5 feet tall and were loaded from top to bottom with berries.
My grandpa took great pride in his bushes and went to some pretty great lengths to protect the berries from marauding deer. Much to my grandma’s dismay, he created a low electric fence around the garden to shock the deers legs and cause them to back away. While the fence was marginally successful at keeping the deer at bay, it was VERY successful at keeping Mother Nature’s smaller berry bandit creatures out. In the morning, my grandma would head out to the garden to pick something and would stumble across various furry and feathered creatures that couldn’t handle the voltage that the deer could. Complain as she did, grandpa wasn’t removing his deer fence.
When my grandparents passed away, and the house was subsequently sold…so went the great raspberry patch. My parents tried to re-plant some of the bushes (and dad installed the electric deer fence at our house…with the same results) but the raspberries never took like they did at grandma and grandpa’s house.
When we stepped out of the truck, at the raspberry farm, this is what we saw. I was immediately transported back to my grandparents raspberry patch. (I told you it was a little wet.)
The fields go on for as far as the eye can see. But as you know, raspberries are readily available throughout the summer months, so how can that be when the plants are already this tall and loaded with ripening fruit? Well, they stagger the growth of the plants. Behind me, in this photo, are rows and rows of plants that are only a couple of feet tall and still at the early stages of growth. By now (remember, this photo was taken a few months ago) those small plants would be the one’s producing the berries you’re finding at the store and the plants in the above photo would be done for the season.
You’ve probably heard that bees are responsible for more than 100 crops existence. Raspberries are one of those crops. In the muddy photo, you may have noticed a large set of boxes in front of the berry bushes on the right hand side. These are bee hives. Driscoll’s Berries has bee hives in the fields to help insure the pollination of the crops and to help the plants bear as much fruit as they can. Having grown up with a beekeeper father, I was thrilled and impressed to see this. I was especially happy to be able to capture the photo below.
You may have noticed that this little bee looks like he’s carrying two, rather large, yellow things on his legs. This is where the bees store the pollen that they collect from the flowers they visit. Since you usually don’t get to see something like this, I thought I would post this here and share it with you.
One of the delicious berry treats we had for breakfast that morning were some wood fired raspberry scones. To say I was in love with these baked treats would be a major understatement. The outer crust was browned and topped with crunchy crystals of raw sugar. But the high heat from the wood fire oven gave these scones an extra crunch like I’ve never had in a scone before. Unfortunately, I don’t have a wood fire stove, so my easy scone recipe would be cooked in a lowly gas fueled model. Alas, they still taste pretty darn good.
Scones are a great venue for fresh raspberry recipes. Using the fresh berries helps to keep the dough from turning that purple blue color, which occurs when the raspberry juice interacts with dough ingredients.
Since I couldn’t get the same kind of flavors in my scones as those that come from the high temperature wood fired oven, I opted to add dark chocolate chunks to the scone recipe to help amp up the flavor.
So grab yourself some fresh raspberries and whip up a batch of these chocolate raspberry scones. You’ll be really happy you did.
The real reason why people have kids.
Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Scones
- 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1 Cup Half and Half (plus more for brushing on top of scones)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chunks (no more than 72% Cocoa)
- 1 Cup Fresh Raspberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
- Lightly oil 2 baking sheets or line the baking sheets with a pieces of parchment paper
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium size bowl.
- Cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form. (You can do this with your hands or with a mixer.)
- Mix egg, half and half and vanilla in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add half and half mixture to flour mixture. And mix just until dough comes together.
- Mix in the chocolate chunks until thoroughly incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead the dough until all ingredients are evenly distributed (this won’t be long).
- Split the dough into 2 even balls.
- Pat out the dough ball to 3/4″ thick square or circle shape.
- Sprinkle half of the raspberries onto each of the dough squares/circles.
- Gently fold up sides over berries and lightly press out into a 1/2″ – 3/4″ square/circle.
- Cut into 8 triangles and put each triangle onto a baking sheet. Leave at least 1″ between each scone.
- Do the same with the remaining dough.
- Brush the tops of the scones with half and half and lightly sprinkle each scone with raw sugar.
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. They’re done when they have a golden brown color.
I used larger crystal raw sugar to top the scones because that’s what I like. If you don’t have any raw sugar, you could also sprinkle the tops with regular granulated sugar.
You could also use a small circle shaped cookie cutter to make smaller scones.
Preparation time: 25 minute(s)
Cooking time: 18 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: English