Biscuits

Chocolate Shortcakes

Way back in 2008, when I started my very first blog, I joined a baking group called “Tuesdays with Dorie”, a group dedicated to baking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s new (at that time) baking book, “Baking From My Home to Yours”.

Due to circumstances in my life at the time, I had to drop out of the group and therefore never completed baking my way through the book……. but one thing is for certain – I had a lot of fun during my journey – meeting new people and certainly trying out recipes I’m not sure I would have unless I was encouraged to.

Anyway, where I’m headed with this story is that during the course of my membership with the group, we never made it to this recipe. And I wish I had! I mean, a biscuit is one thing, but a CHOCOLATE biscuit? I’m all in!

These were really good but due to baker error ** cough cough **  I overbaked them and thus they were cursed with the dreaded “D” word……dry…..

Fortunately (for me) that’s an easy problem to fix …..and now that strawberry season is almost upon us, I can’t wait to make these again..

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Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the leftover biscuits were crumbled, toasted, and turned into pie crust crumbs…..

Chocolate Shortcakes – adapted from dorie greenspan

1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk the milk, vanilla and egg together.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into a large bowl.  Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour.  Quickly, working with a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly.

Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you’ve got a very soft dough.  When the dough comes together, you’ll probably still have dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl – just use a spatula or your hands to mix and knead the dough until it’s evenly blended. Don’t overdo it; it’s better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. Even with all the flour mixed in, the dough will be soft and sticky.

Spoon out about 1/3 cup of dough for each shortcake onto the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between the mounds. Pat each mound down until it is between 3/4 and 1 inch high. (The shortcakes can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add at least 5 more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back at the midway point, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a bit when prodded.  Pull the sheet from the oven and transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack.

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