Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones and Our Time in Portland
Happy Friday, y’all! I hope that your week has been full of joy and that you’ve got a killer lineup for the weekend. Today I’m sharing some nutty, buttery, caffiene-enhanced treats to jolt your weekends to life- chocolate coffee almond scones. These treats were inspired by a recent jaunt to Oregon that I’m going to splurge about this morning, so bear with me as I take a salivating walk down memory lane.
A few weekends ago, Brett and I continued our whirlwind travel saga by flying with friends to Portland, Oregon. The trip had no distinct purpose, other than to soak our gullets with pinot noir and outrageously delicious food, and we were thrilled at the opportunity to relax in a new corner of the country. Our time was divided in two with the first half spent touring Newberg’s wine country and the second spent in downtown Portland. This split ended up being the perfect balance of relaxation and sight-seeing, both locations brimming with fun (and plenty of wine.)
We began our trip in Newberg, the comfy cozy, deliciously boozy town just outside of Portland. With a lineup of wineries to visit, we opted for a hotel that would offer premium relaxation and rooms suitable for nursing any morning hangovers. The Allison Inn & Spa was the obvious choice given its proximity to vineyards and the luxurious offerings throughout the hotel. By day, we snacked on charcuterie and flights of wine, taking in the rolling landscape views offered from the wineries we toured, and by night, we dined at nearby restaurants, rehashing the day’s sites and excitement. On our final day before leaving for Portland, the girls visited the spa, and I’ll just say that it was more than acceptable. My body still feels good from those 90 minutes.
Portland was a drastic change of scenery from the rural setting we were transitioning from. The city had a little big town feel as its expansive footprint was seemingly void of any giant skyscrapers, however there was no shortage of things to see, eat, and do. In planning for this portion of the trip, we were overwhelmed by the number of restaurant options that existed. HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE JUST ONE RESTAURANT PER MEAL? In the end, I was more than thrilled with the choices we made, and the food we enjoyed in Portland was some of the best I’ve ever had. (This is not an exaggeration. It was next level delish.)
The Nines Hotel hosted us for the second portion of the trip. The hotel was within walking distance of a number of places we wanted to shop, eat, and explore, and it also boasted a lobby fitted with a terrific restaurant and ample group hangout space- perfect for our crew of 8. The girls picked through the shopping scene while the men let out their inner boy at a nearby bar/arcade. Because we were there on a Saturday, we were able to snoop through the Portland Saturday Market, where we purchased scads of very necessary items that our husbands were more than happy to pack in their luggage (kidding). Our friends spent even more time eating at Bon Appetit’s “Feast Portland” event that was being held that weekend, but I opted to head to Powell’s Books where Joy Wilson (yes, the baker) was signing copies of her newest book (insert the squeals of this fangirl!!!)
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific highlight of the trip. Certainly the views in Newberg were stunning, and there’s no doubt that the wine was first class. I’m still having dreams about the chicken wings at Pok Pok, and I’d fly back in a heartbeat for the kouign amann at St. Honore Boulangerie. Still, the trips we take with friends are cool just for the sake of spending time with that family in a new setting. You get to know people in a real away when stripped of the familiarity of home, and I’m really grateful for the chance to do that so often.
So now, let’s talk about these chocolate coffee almond scones. While dining at Jory for breakfast one morning, we enjoyed a coffee almond scone that was a delicious accompaniment to our morning brew and eggs. When I got home from Portland, I decided to recreate that treat so that those hours in the Pacific Northwest could live on in my Selma, Alabama kitchen. The end product that I came up with is nothing short of fab.
To make these chocolate coffee almond scones, we start by mixing a few dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Next comes the ice-cold butter which gets cut in quickly and carefully until large pea-sized clumps exist throughout the mixture. The chocolate chips and chopped almonds are added next, although you could certainly opt for walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts if you prefer. Finally, we douse the whole thing in an espresso cream, prepared by dissolving espresso powder or instant coffee into a smidge of dairy. Stir all of the batter just until combined and then cut out tiny rounds of dough.
For this recipe, we chill the dough briefly before baking which will help all of our little treats to rise well. Fresh from the oven, these chocolate coffee almond scones are bronzed, with a crisp, buttery, golden exterior covering the soft and almost cake-like interior. The coffee flavor here is subtle, giving way to melty chocolate morsels and nuggets of crunchy almonds that flavor each pastry throughout. I love the simplicity of these treats, how a one-bowl recipe can yield such rich flavors and textures. These are the perfect addition to your weekend breakfast and brunch plans, although I’ve enjoyed them as an after-dinner treat as well. With so many ways to share these chocolate coffee almond scones with the people you love, I daresay these are a must.
Where We Stayed In Oregon:
Luxurious accommodations in a country setting.
Fun, spunky hotel in the heart of downtown Portland.
Where We Ate In Newberg:
Hotel dining unlike any I’ve ever experienced.
A head to tail dining experience.
The perfect place to grab grub in between vineyard visits.
Where We Ate In Portland:
James Beard Award winning spot with casual, fun fare.
Southeast Asian food in a casual setting. Probably the best meal of our trip.
Try this French bistro for their quaint lunches and yummy pastries.
A mammoth collection of whiskeys in a library-esque setting.
French-inspired fare in a cozy atmosphere.
The flagship location for this national brand is in Portland!
Hotel dining at The Nines Hotel- a farm to table experience.
Delicate French pastries and coffee to-go.
Wineries We Visited in Newberg:
If you like the chocolate coffee almond scones, you should check out:
Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones
Buttery with crisp edges and fluffy interior, these chocolate coffee almond scones are a simple, one-bowl treat that is bound to please!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12
- ¾ cup (180 mL) whipping cream, plus additional for brushing
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee
- 2 cups (260 gm) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
- ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and chopped
- 1 cup (110 gm) chopped unsalted almonds
- 1 cup (225 gm) mini chocolate chips
- In a small container, stir the whipping cream and the espresso powder to combine and set aside in the fridge to keep cool.
- 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 throughout. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. Add the espresso and cream mixture and stir 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.
- Pat the dough to ¾” thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut 2” round 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.
- Once the dough is chilled, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of whipping cream over the top of the scones. Bake in the oven until golden brown around the edges of each scone, about 25 minutes.
- Chilling the dough ensures the scones will rise well. You can skip this step but it isn’t recommended for best outcomes.
Recipe barely adapted from King Arthur Flour