This month I am attempting recipes that challenge me. Mainly because nothing ventured, nothing gained, but also because in a few short weeks I will be having a booth at the Farmer’s Market, and variety is the spice of life!
Scones – I love them, but I have never had good luck with them – they always turn out dense and dry, to where you need a full glass of milk just to get them washed down. I snagged a new recipe to try during the week from a friend who’s an excellent baker. I was excited about it, but not that optimistic, even though she swore by it. I expected them to resemble scones of the past. Oh, boy was I wrong!
The recipe also promised ease – another red flag for me, but after completing it, I have to agree. This was also a reason I was doubtful. I don’t know why – but some sick part of me feels like in baking, if it’s easy, the payoff won’t be as great. Kind of like my approach to beauty: “if it doesn’t hurt, you’re doing it wrong.” This is only slightly a joke. This is also why I have never even attempted macaroons.
The results were some bad-ass, fantastic scones. Like holy crap, “call your dad and tell him about it” fantastic. Which I did, right after I broke off a corner to taste and found myself, a few minutes later, having eaten the whole thing standing over the counter, muttering, “oh my god” between bites. These are really something. They are the perfect blend of lightness and density, if that makes any sense? They have that quality that makes a scone a scone, yet they aren’t so dense you need a full glass of milk to wash each bite down. They do have some substance, but it’s flaky, buttery substance. I have already forced them on my sweet neighbor, who is my guinea pig for recipes. Upon taking her first bite, she held up a hand and said, “I need a moment”. And just now typing this, I foisted one on another one of my sweet neighbors – who said he’d take it to go and wolfed the whole thing down in a flash. I am encouraged. And I love watching people eat what I make.
I think I have found a winner for the bakery, and I would love for you to try them at home. Which shouldn’t stop you from coming to see me at my bakery, I mean, why cook when I can make them for you? Just an idea. But please, try these at home.
I needed to use some fresh blueberries up that I had left-over from Pancake Day, so those went in the mix, along with some steel-cut oats to make the following delightful concoction. I have already dreamed up about 50 other combinations that sound equally delicious. And I The basic recipe makes a dozen or so medium-size scones.
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Grease a half-sheet pan (or two cookie sheets) with Crisco
- 1 ½ C AP flour
- ½ TBSP and ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 11 TBSP butter, chilled and cubed (1/2” cubes)
- 1 egg
- ½ C heavy cream
- ⅓ C sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 C blueberries
- 1 C stee-cut oats
- In a large mxing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. With a fork or pastry blender, cut butter cubes into flour mixture until thoroughly mixed. It will seem like there isn’t enough butter, but there is. Promise.
- Beat egg and vanilla in a smaller bowl – add to flour/butter mixture and mix to form a relatively tacky, thick dough. Gently fold in blueberries and oats as to break as few blueberries as possible. Avoid excessively “kneading” the dough.
- Parcel out about half-cup dough balls and form into whatever shape appeals to you. I went for the traditional, albeit lumpy classic scone triangle. But do what you like! Sprinkle the top with a little more of the oats.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until golden-brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- For icing – whisk 1 C confectioner’s sugar and 2 TBSP milk in a small bowl. It will be thin. Drizzle over scones when cool.
- Serve with grace and aplomb.
- And there you have it!
If you’re like me, you’ll be hooked, and dreaming up new combinations to try next time. And next time will come very soon because these are such a hit, there won’t be left-overs!
I’m thinking lemon curd-blueberry, or apple cinnamon. And the basic scone is so good, I can’t wait to see what plain ones turn out like. I have a feeling they will be amazing!
Regardless, approach with abandon.