Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones, A Perfect Morning Treat

Father’s Day this year was a busy one, yet still very low-key.  I knew the moment that I saw these scones posted on Kate Wood’s “Wood and Spoon” blog that I’d be making them as a Father’s Day treat.

Anyone who knows me should know that I love coffee.  My husband, Craig, was not a huge coffee drinker when we first got together seven years ago.  Let’s just say, things have changed and he needs his coffee almost as much as I do!  These scones are the perfect blend of everything that I love, so I had to share Kate’s yummy recipe.


Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones – recipe by Kate Wood:

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Before sharing the recipe goods, I’ll tell you a little bit more about how Father’s Day was spent this year…..

I woke up earlier than usual just to make sure that I could prepare the scone dough, give it time to chill and then bake before Craig became ravenous.  My husband wakes up hungry and is usually wondering what’s for lunch before he can even finish his breakfast.  Must be a man thing??

Our plan for the day was to have Craig’s dad and family over in the morning to share the scones with.  They arrived around 8am and once they all had their fill of my fresh scones, we went to a little coffee shop across the water in the neighboring town of Martinez.  I don’t really remember how I came across States, but it very well could have been my fellow coffee lover, aka, my mom.

We enjoyed our coffee at States, where I love to go because it’s very kid friendly.  There are wooden blocks and old toy trucks that are left on the lower shelves for the children to play with.  Gia always has a good time when we are there and even gets her own little coffee.  (I just fill her little to-go coffee cup with water and she thinks it’s the coolest.)

After taking our last sips from our drinks, we meandered through the Farmers’ Market that’s held on Sunday mornings in Martinez.  Once we all got to take a look at the offereings, we packed it up and parted ways.  Craig’s family went back home, while Craig, Gia and I had some family time.  We went five minutes down the road to a nice little park across from a fire station.  Gia played for about 45 minutes before we decided to head home, feed her lunch and put her down for a nap.

Later, after Gia woke up and played a little, we went over to my parents to see my dad for Father’s Day.  My grandma joined us too – there’s no way she’d go without seeing my dad on Father’s Day.  My mom made us a nice dinner and I’m pretty sure that the dads, as well as their stomaches, were happy.

Overall, we had a really nice day.  Sometimes it’s just doing simple, easy things with family that are the most enjoyable.


Daddy and Gia swinging together at Nancy Boyd Memorial Park in Martinez:

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Hopefully you’ll enjoy these scones as much as we did!  Now, for what you’ve really been waiting for, the recipe……

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. In a small container, stir the whipping cream and teh espresso powder to combine and set aside in the fridge to keep cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes a coarse meal consistency with pea-sized clumps thoughout.  Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.  Add the espresso and cream mixture and sitr into the dry ingredients, just until evenly incorporated.  If a lot of dry ingredients remain in the bottom of the bowl you can add an additional tablespoon or two of cream, just barely enough to make it all come together into a dough. (I found that I definitely needed to add the extra bit of cream.)
  3. Pat the dough to 3/4 inch thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut 2 inch circles of dough for each scone.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Put the pan in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Once the dough is chilled, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of whipping cream over the top of the sonces.  Bake in the oven until golden brown around the edges of each scone, about 25 minutes.

Notes:

  • Chilling the dough ensures the scones will rise well.  You can skip this step but it isn’t recommended for best outcomes.

Recipe from Kate Wood of “Wood and Spoon”

xo

When Life Gives You Lemons, Trade Them For Coffee

Remember when I told you about my hot friend???  Oh, yes you do….his name is coffee!  Now you’re telling me he was your hot friend first?!  Okay, okay, he can be a friend to all.


Pictured below is a gorgeous cappuccino from Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach, CA:

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I am absolutely a coffee person (sorry tea drinkers) and I live for finding great places to enjoy that dark, delicious, liquid gold.  I’ll even admit that many, if not all of my errands and outings, revolve around the ability to also grab a cup of the good stuff.  I’m sure many other people are similar to me in that sense.

Let me get one thing straight before I go ahead and tell you about some of my all-time Bay Area favorites….I by no means am claiming that I was the first to discover any of these coffee shops.  Some people get really possessive about their local hangs and haunts, claiming that they’ve known about them for years – sometimes people even get mad when they find out you are frequenting a place that they like to go.  Good news – there is room for us all!  My only intention here is to share the wealth.  I’m positive that many of you already know about the places I want to talk about, but what’s nice about that is knowing I’m not the only loyalist out there.

Let’s get this thing started before my first cup of the day starts to wear off!

There is a very special place in my heart for a spot called, Caffe Greco.  I’ve been going to this San Francisco staple for a long, long time.  It appeals to me because it’s located in the heart of North Beach and being the good Italian girl that I am, I like to be true to my roots.

They have a beyond friendly staff who I’ve gotten to know over the years.  They’ve seen me grow up in a sense – from high school age, to visiting when I was home from college, to having engagement photos taken there, and now Gia is keeping up the tradition by visiting too.


Here’s Craig and I trying to get comfortable during our engagement shoot at Caffe Greco:

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A trip to Caffe Greco wouldn’t be complete without grabbing a pastry from Mara’s Italian Pastries, just a block away.  I highly suggest getting their “raspberry wreath,” or at least that’s what I’ve always called it.  When you walk up to the window at Mara’s you’re greeted with the most beautiful pastries, made fresh each day.  Although I’ve still never been to the motherland (Italy), I imagine it would have pastry shops like this all over.


Picture of pure decadence:

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The next up is Artis, located on 4th Street in Berkeley, CA.  Artis is unlike many coffee shops out there in the sense that they’re all about the story of your coffee, from seed to sip.  My mom loves Artis and makes pit stops here often, especially if she’s made a trip to the Monterey Market for some beautiful produce.

I like the location of Artis as much as I like their coffee because you can stroll the shops and make an afternoon of your visit.  The knowledgable staff at Artis make for a great customer experience, which is harder to find these days that you would imagine.  If you’re willing to do some experimenting with your coffee tastes, this is the place to do so.

Also, for all those who commute into the city for work, there is now a Hayes Valley location!  Yay!


This next spot I’m going to mention is beloved in the Bay Area and it is taking over – Philz Coffee.  My first encounter with Philz came back when I was working for Virgin America.  Before last year’s big merger with Alaska Airlines, Virgin was always about supporting local.  We started serving Philz Coffee on all of our flights and I vividly remember when that shift happened.  All of the in-flight team members were schooled on the coffee at headquarters, in Burlingame.  It was a really cool and unique experience because essentially Philz was brought to us to be demoed and tasted.


My days with Virgin:

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The majority of Philz locations are in the city and on the peninsula, but now more and more are sprouting up all over.  Berkeley has a few locations and better yet, there is one in Walnut Creek now.  My sister-in-law, Michelle even mentioned to me that they have some opening in the greater San Diego area.


I know that I said I was going to mention a few of my Bay Area go-to coffee shops, but I cannot finish this post without mentioning two places that are a little bit out of the area.

The Flying Goat and Bibo Coffee Co. are both fantastic.  The Flying Goat is located in the heart of Healdsburg, CA, while Bibo is in Reno, NV.

I stumbled upon The Flying Goat with my parents when they became members at a great winery in Healdsburg, called Lambert Bridge.  You should always drink copious amounts of coffee before wine tasting! 😉

Bibo is a place I discovered in college at the University of Nevada.  I spent a lot of time studying there and finding myself during those years.  Now, they have quite a few more locations sprinkled throughout the biggest little city.  I think Craig and I will be needing to make a trip up that way soon, not only for the coffee, but to get some Wolfpack apparel for Gia.

Make it a good day, and remember, coffee is good at any hour!