Monday, March 27, 2017

Chocolate Chip Scone Loaf

The summer before 6th grade, I moved into a new house.  I pretty much thought my parents were the worst for making me move and change schools.  To make matters worse, they were making move away from my best friend.  The best friend that I went with to the mall and classic skating.  The best friend that did the science fair with me every year and who was my siamese twin for Halloween.  The best friend who wore the other half of the best friend heart that dangled on a chain around my neck.  My parents, like any parents would, told me that I'd make new friends, but I wasn't convinced.

That same summer, before our big move, I went to 5th grade camp with the elementary school I had been attending and a few other schools.  A day into the camp, my best friend went home with a bad case of "homesickness".  I remember going back to my tent feeling sad and alone.  Little did I know that Heavenly Father was watching out for me and that soon I'd be introduced to a group of girls that would become my very best friends.

I remember standing in field with a big group of kids and a girl wondered over to me with a small group of girls standing a few feet behind her.  She asked me if I was the new girl moving into the purple house (yes, our new house was a purple-grey color) and then told me they'd bring me cookies when I moved in.

I'm not sure how out of all those kids, they knew it was me who was moving into their neighborhood, but I remember afterward feeling not so alone.

Those girls did bring me cookies when I moved in and they became my very best friends.... really the best friends anyone could ask for.  We've been through a lot together...A LOT (pretty much everything imaginable) and to this day I love them with all of my heart.

A few weeks ago, one of these best friends was visiting from Florida (the one that told me they'd bring me cookies).  As soon as I found out she was coming, a group text was sent out to all our Utah friends to plan on a girl's brunch at my house while she was here.

We sat around my kitchen table for 4 hours eating, talking, laughing, crying, and eating and laughing some more.  The time apart from each other may be months and in some cases years, but when we get together it's like we were never apart.  After everyone left, I sat in my kitchen with piles of dirty dishes, platters with crumbs of chocolate chip scone loaf and brown butter blueberry muffins, and a heart filled with so much love and gratitude for these amazing women in my life.

Chocolate Chip Scone Loaf

7-8 ounces marzipan, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Homemade ricotta and vanilla bean honey, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges on the long sides of the pan.

In a large bowl, toss together the marzipan and powdered sugar to coat. Add the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and pulse to combine.  Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  Add this to the bowl with the marzipan and chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and extracts and add to dry ingredients.  Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf and spread it out evenly.  Sprinkle top with 2 teaspoons sugar (I used raw sugar) and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Using the overhanging parchment, remove scone loaf to the rack to cool completely.  Slice with a serrated knife and serve with ricotta and honey.

I've made this without the marzipan and it was still incredibly delicious!

Recipe slightly adapted from Molly on the Range