1) Classification. I have had numerous conversations with numerous people about the seemingly imperceptible differences between biscuits and scones. For both, you must combine the dry ingredients, then cut in cold butter. You must also add either buttermilk or cream to this mixture afterward. I guess I don’t really need to summarize the entire process (considering that’s what recipes are for), but in actuality, it is very difficult for me to differentiate between the two. Which meant that this recipe resulted in a very difficult choice—after all that mixing and stirring (and drooling) by the oven, what had I made? I decided on biscuits if only because I frequently associate scones with sweetness* and, despite the honey and chocolate, the dough this recipe creates is wonderfully lacking in that department. What presents itself is instead a mixture of sweet, salty, savory, and rich—all things that play beautifully with deep, dark chocolate.
2) Grace. I have watched so many shows about food and cooking in which various chefs have shown off their battle scars. “This one is from a fancy pizza oven in Napoli,” or “This is from that time I was experimenting with monkfish foam,” I hear them say. I have one cool scar on my forearm from the time I was baking gingerbread cupcakes for my thesis defense and accidentally brushed against the inside of the oven while placing the tin on the rack. I am proud of that one, because defending my thesis was a proud day. And you’d think that, given the fact that I actually took a giant knife to a brick of dark chocolate in order to create the dark slabs of gooey depth you see in the biscuits pictured above, I would almost have sliced off one of my digits doing something cool. But when does anything real align with the “shoulds” we concoct in our minds? I don’t even know how it happened, but I am absolutely embarrassed to announce that, of all things, cubing the butter almost resulted in my having a thumb-less left hand.
Don’t ask me how it happened, because I honestly can’t explain it. All I know is that my left thumb very suddenly met the knife as it acquainted itself with the butter, which left me with one good hand to finish up the entire recipe. And the biscuits still turned out amazing.
…Don’t worry, my thumb is fine now.
Dark Chocolate, Honey, and Sea Salt Drop Biscuits
Makes 6-8 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp plus ½ tsp granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp table salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 tbsp honey
¾ cup dark chocolate chunks, heaping
¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 425. Grease baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flour, 1 tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Add buttermilk and honey and stir to combine. Fold in chocolate until just combined. Meanwhile, combine reserved ½ tsp of sugar with ¼ tsp sea salt. Scoop dough onto baking sheet in 1/3 cupfuls. Sprinkle each biscuit with the sugar-sea salt mixture. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Biscuits are best eaten the day of.
*I admit that this is also entirely negotiable, considering scones may have savory ingredients, too, but let’s save this back-and-forth for another post.