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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones Minis

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones by

So, the holiday season is about to make its official start. Thanksgiving will arrive this year just about as late as it can be, meaning retailers will lose out on a week of post-Black-Friday Christmas sales. I expect the entire month of November to be heavily commercialized (eek!).

But, with the holidays comes lots and lots of parties and potluck gatherings centered around food — some of my favorite foods ever, in fact, like appetizers, and small-plate meals, and mini-desserts.

One of my go-to, bring-along party foods is the scone. Easy to transport — they stack! (sorry, cupcakes) — and make-ahead-able, it’s a sweet bite that’s almost guaranteed not to be duplicated by another party-goer (like ubiquitous brownies and fudge and red and green decorated butter cookies).

I love scones for a lot of reasons, but primary among them is that they can accommodate an endless variety of flavors — sweet, fruity, nutty, even savory. A sure-fire crowd-pleaser, though, is today’s brown butter chocolate chip scones. Is there any ingredient more deceptively fabulous than brown butter? It looks burnt, smells curiously like roasted hazelnuts, and sends baked goods right over the flavor top. I sometimes wonder about the person who first discovered brown butter’s effects on baked goods. Was it a butter melting accident? Were they like, “Oh, crap, I burned the butter. [Checks butter holder] And I’ve run out! Um … [looks around slyly] … let’s just pretend that didn’t happen … [whistling as they scrape the speckly brown butter into the world’s first brown butter cookie dough]”?

However it came about, it’s definitely butter magic. And I think Google should do a Google Doodle honoring the invention (and a National Brown Butter Day should be created forthwith).

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones by

For a party, you’ll want to make a larger batch than the typical wheel of six or eight wedges. So, I’ve upped the quantities of a basic buttermilk scone recipe, with the goal of creating little 2-bite triangles — perfect party food size. The peeps will love these brown butter chocolate chip scones — small bites, not too sweet, just the right touch of nutty goodness.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones by

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Scones by

A bake-ahead tip: Scones are interesting little beasts — their texture and flavor changes over days, often for the better, thanks to the aggressive balance of flour and liquids. They are, of course, totally awesome fresh out of the oven. But when you’re baking ahead, you might want to make a test batch — tragic that you’ll have all these extra scones that you’ll have to do something with — and store them in a sealed container to see when they’re at their make-ahead best. I actually like them on the third day (with the day of the bake being day 1). The longer brown butter chocolate chip scones rest, sealed at room temperature, the more tender and flavorful they become, I think.

Karen xo

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Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Scones Minis

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 32 scones
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or use all-purpose
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds toasted then chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoons almond extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips use your favorite, milk, semi-sweet, or dark, or a combo
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream for brushing scone tops
  • turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Butter will foam at first then subside. Cook until the butter is golden and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and immediately pour in a small, heat-safe mixing bowl to cool.
  • Meanwhile, measure the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar, and almonds) into a large mixing bowl and stir together to combine.
  • When the browned butter has cooled, place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and almond and vanilla extracts. Set aside.
  • When the butter is solid (or mostly solid) and very cold, scrape it into the flour mixture bowl. Use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients, pinching and squeezing the mixture to break the butter down into pea-sized bits. You needn’t incorporate it thoroughly – just until the flour mixture is lumpy.
  • Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir using a large spoon. Add the remaining liquids and stir only to incorporate – there will be dry spots. Do not overwork the dough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Turn out the dough into a floured work surface (gently – there will be loose chips and flour). Gather up everything with floured hands and knead and turn 3 or 4 times, until the dough comes together in a ball. It will be shaggy – it’s supposed to be.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape each into a rectangle about 1" thick and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Slice the first rectangle in half lengthwise, then 3 times cross-wise, dividing the length into 8 equal sections. Finally, cut each of the 8 rectangles in half on the diagonal to form triangles. Gently pull the triangles apart. Repeat with the other section of dough.
  • Refrigerate the dough on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, if possible. Brush the scone tops with heavy cream, and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack. If the scone triangles have fused back together during baking, gently pull them apart while still warm. Cool completely.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Recipe Rating

Corina @ Honeymoon Places

Thursday 19th of December 2013

I found your recipe via Pinterest and the cookies turned out absolutely fantastic!Thanks for the great idea and the great recipe.Yum! Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe, I can’t wait to give it a go.


Monday 25th of November 2013

Karen, I'm going to make the dough up ahead of time and just refrigerate it until tomorrow. Keeping your three-day recommendation in mind, I don't want to bake them today. Any problems with doing that?


Monday 25th of November 2013

I haven't tried it, but I don't see why not. Most dough really benefits flavor-wise from an overnight stay in the fridge. If anything, it should help the scones keep their perky puffy shape. Good luck! (fingers crossed)


Monday 28th of October 2013

I'm such a muffin fan, and never really got into scones or biscuits at home because of the whole kneading thing (though unlike you muffin haters, I do like scones other people make ;) but I love the idea of a 2 bite party snack. Thanks, Karen!


Tuesday 29th of October 2013

I'm not really a muffin hater - it's just the last thing in the bakery display that I'll pick (unless something else has coconut on it, which isn't picked last ... it's picked never). And I'll pop the head off and eat the top and bottom separately, saving the crunchy top (which hopefully has some kind of streusel on it) for last. ;)

Ruthy @ Omeletta

Monday 28th of October 2013

I'll second that vote for National Brown Butter Day, complete with a Google Doodle!! what a smart idea. ...Almost as smart as bringing scones to a holiday party (stackable! Why didn't I ever think of that!?)


Monday 28th of October 2013

If there can be a National Oatmeal Day (tomorrow), by gum there should be a brown butter day. Hmmmm ... oatmeal and brown butter ... breakfast tomorrow! :)


Monday 28th of October 2013

As a non-fan of scones because they never seem to taste like anything, will this recipe cure me of my aversion? I love butter, browned and otherwise, and if these are as flavorful as they sound, I must make them. In fact, I'm traveling this weekend and would love to add these to the stacks of baked goods I'm taking to friends.

On another topic: The last of the pomegranate chicken is gone and I can't get over how much my new flavor combination may be pomegranate and cilantro. It also occurred to me that bacon might be quite wonderful as a substitute for the prosciutto. Just thinkin' out loud, with my taste buds.

Finally: Karen, do you have a reliable and tasty shortbread recipe? I have been experimenting with several recipes that the internet swears by and they are so crumbly as to be impossible to eat. And I'm kind of tired of eating the failures. Do you have the Walkers' shortbread recipe in your outstanding repertoire by any chance?

Apologies for veering way off topic.


Monday 28th of October 2013

Darlynne, you crack me up. "Will your recipe be the exception to all of the repulsive scones I have ever tried, ever?" That's a lot of pressure on my little scones! ;) I would say, if you're going to make them, time them for the 3rd day [she says, biting her nails in nervous terror]. Oddly, I have the same problem with muffins - to me, they taste like nothing (they don't even have texture [to me], because they're cakey and super crumby - it's like biting into damp sponge crumbles). (Doubly odd, because I'm a huge fan of bread, so you would think that I love bread in all its forms....)

About the shortbread ... have you tried the French version, called sables? I've never done a side-by-side ingredient comparison, because once I landed on sable cookies, that was it. I have two recipes actually: plain and chocolate, both based on recipes from Dorie Greenspan. I haven't tried to flatten out the dough into a more traditional shortbread square or round (with the fancy embossing and slicing), but I suspect it would work, if you can get the timing right on the bake.

I've been getting so much mileage from the pomegranate molasses, I already have to make more. I totally agree about the pomegranate/cilantro combo! :)